Monday, October 6, 2008
After my grandfather's funeral a few weeks back, we went back to his and Ginger's house, and Ginger let everyone go through his old stuff and see if there was anything we wanted to take. Naturally, I took a look through his movie collection, and picked out The Bridge On the River Kwai, and also noticed this one, another movie starring William Holden with the word "bridge" in the title. Andy told me he had watched it with grandpa last time he visited, and that it was good, so I figured I'd take it and watch in honor of the old guy.
I thought that this would be a ripoff of Kwai, but it turns out this one came first, the titles are just a coincidence I guess. And it was a pretty good one, entertaining but surprisingly thoughtful, with the awesomeness of Holden clearly on display. But it was also, somewhat unintentionally, poignant for me, watching it with my grandfather in mind. He was a Navy man, and it's about the Navy, so I must imagine that something about this one resonated with him; he must have felt this one got it right. It's about a Navy pilot, and the conflict he feels between his duty to his country, and his desire to make it home alive to see his wife and kids. I think I always took grandpa's service for granted, like, hey, that's cool, he did that. But maybe in some way this gave me a better sense of how it all fit into his life, that perhaps his emotions about his service were more nuanced than I realized, if he liked this movie so much. I mean, the guy didn't own a lot of movies, so I have to guess that this one was somehow special to him.
Or maybe he bought it by mistake thinking it was The Bridge on the River Kwai, I don't know.