The Last Bridge 1954
A STARKLY impressive reminder of the daring of partisan fighters in World War II comes at you like the flow of lava in the Austro-Yugoslav film "The Last Bridge," known in German as "Die letzte Bruecke,". It is slow—at times even lethargic—in taking us into the heart of a Yugoslav partisan outfit through the character of a captured German nurse. And ultimately one fully senses why it is that the German nurse elects to give her medical service to these people rather than return to her own outfit, when she can.Of course, the visual reflector of this growing sense is Fraeulein Schell. She is a wonderfully true actress, and her sensitivity to the partisan cause is supreme. Her attitudes and facial changes are heart-rending in the critical scenes. It is no wonder she was given the 1954 best-actress award at Cannes for this performance.