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ACROSS THE BRIDGE

Director: KEN ANNAKIN

103 minutes| U.K.| 1957| Black and White| 35mm


Described as a masterpiece by Mike Leigh and reputedly one of Quentin Tarantino’s favourite films, this is amongst the most audacious of all Greene adaptations. Only the last 15 minutes follow Greene’s short story, the remainder being an ingenious backstory about a crooked businessman on the run who impersonates a man he has murdered only to find himself stranded on the Mexican border, and befriended by his victim’s dog, Dolores. Rod Steiger’s portrayal of a reviled outsider, who finally betrays himself through a perverse act of love for Dolores (another brilliant performance), is an astonishing rendition of a Greene archetype: the hunted man at the end of his tether. Like no other British film of its time and curiously anticipatory of Welles’ Touch of Evil in atmosphere and imagery, it is the perfect dramatisation of that William Rose aphorism: ‘In the worst of all men there is a little bit of good that will destroy them.’

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