The Bridges of Madison County

When two Iowa siblings get involved with the settlement of their dead mother’s estate, they learn that in 1965 she had an affair with a photographer who was there to take pictures of covered bridges in the area. As an actor, Clint Eastwood has not really made himself known as a man of emotions, but his career as a filmmaker is different. This film shares some of the qualities of Brief Encounter (1945) and shows two mature adults try to handle the consequences of sudden love. Eastwood is relaxed and charming as the photographer; Meryl Streep convincing as the bored Iowa housewife with Italian roots. The passion builds to a heartbreaking climax; memorable music theme. 

1995-U.S. 135 min. Color. Produced by Clint Eastwood, Kathleen Kennedy. Directed by Clint Eastwood. Screenplay: Richard LaGravenese. Novel: Robert James Waller. Music: Lennie Niehaus. Cast: Clint Eastwood (Robert Kincaid), Meryl Streep (Francesca Johnson), Annie Corley (Carolyn Johnson), Victor Slezak, Jim Haynie.

Trivia: Robert Redford was allegedly considered as star and director; Bruce Beresford was another candidate for directing duties. Later a Broadway musical.

Last word: “Everyone was helpful and wanted to enjoy the idea of the film. When you get out of the Hollywood environment it’s a pleasant surprise just how co-operative people can be. I feel very comfortable with the movie. I don’t find it any different from other material I have worked with. There is love, conflict and fear. And they are basic emotions in real and movie life. This is a warm movie for me – and, yes, maybe it is the time and the circumstances which want me to work with material like this.” (Eastwood, interview with Douglas Thompson)

 

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