ⓘ A View from the Bridge (film)

A View from the Bridge (film)

ⓘ A View from the Bridge (film)

A View from the Bridge is a 1962 French-Italian drama film directed by Sidney Lumet with a screenplay by Norman Rosten based on the play of the same name written by Arthur Miller. It follows the troubled Eddie Carbone, whose working life becomes harder when he allows two illegal immigrants to stay in his home, which leads to tragedy.


1. Production

It was filmed in English and French versions, and its exterior sequences were filmed on location on the waterfront of Brooklyn, New York, where the play and the film take place. Unlike the play, in which central character Eddie Carbone is stabbed to death with his own knife in a scuffle with his wife Beatrices cousin Marco toward the end, in the film Eddie commits suicide by plunging a cargo hook into his chest.

The film was the first time that a kiss between men was shown on screen in America, in the sequence in which an intoxicated Eddie Carbone passionately kisses his wife Beatrices male cousin Rodolfo in an attempt to demonstrate the latters alleged homosexuality. However, this overture was intended as an accusation of someone being gay, rather than a romantic expression.


2. Cast

  • Frank Campanella as Longshoreman
  • Harvey Lembeck as Mike
  • Jean Sorel as Rodolfo
  • Raymond Pellegrin as Marco
  • Maureen Stapleton as Beatrice Carbone
  • Vincent Gardenia as Lipari
  • Raf Vallone as Eddie Carbone
  • Carol Lawrence as Catherine
  • Mickey Knox as Louis
  • Morris Carnovsky as Avvocato Alfieri

3. Reception

A View from the Bridge premiered in the United States on January 22, 1962, to generally negative reviews. In Film Quarterly, Pauline Kael called the film "not so much a drama as a sentence thats been passed on the audience." Stanley Kauffmanns review for The New Republic was titled "The Unadaptable Adapted."

A more favorable review came from The New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther, who praised Sidney Lumets realistic depiction of the Brooklyn waterfront and his choice of actors but believed that principal character Eddie Carbone lacked depth and dimension. "The rumbling and gritty quality of the Brooklyn waterfront," he wrote, "the lofty and mercantile authority of the freight ships tied up at the docks, the cluttered and crowded oppressiveness of the living rooms of the dockside slums are caught in his cameras comprehension, to pound it into the viewers head that this is an honest presentation of the sort of personal involvement that one might watch - might spy upon - through a telescope set on Brooklyn Bridge." However, "The one great obstruction to the drama - and a fatal obstruction it becomes - is the slowly evolving demonstration that the principal character is a boor. As much as his nigh-incestuous passion and his subsequent jealousy may be credible and touching, they are low in the human emotional scale and are obviously seamy and ignoble. They havent the universal scope of greed or envy or ambition or such obsessions as drive men to ruin."

The film currently has a 67% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which noted that "Director Sidney Lumet shot the film in both English and French, with the English version sounding more recited than acted at times. The film is more commonly remembered today for a shocking set piece, in which Eddie kisses Rodolpho full on the lips to prove that the boy is gay."