powered by AFI
The working titles of this film were Million Dollar Holdup, Five Rivers to Cross and Five Bridges to Cross. The opening credits include the following written statement: "This picture is respectfully dedicated to the organizations of law and order everywhere, and especially to the men and women of the Boston Police Department, many of whom appeared in this story. We also wish to express our gratitude to the city, state and county officials, to the newspapers and to the people of Boston who cooperated so heartily in the making of this production. The characters, events and firms depicted in this photoplay are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, or actual firms is purely coincidental."
Six Bridges to Cross was based on a condensed story by Joseph F. Dinneen, called They Stole $2,500,000-And Got Away with It, which was published in Collier's magazine. The story was derived from Dinneen's full-length novel entitled The Anatomy of a Crime; A Startling Parallel to the Fantastic $2,500,000 Brinks Robbery (New York, 1954). The onscreen credits mention only the story. Dinneen, a reporter for The Boston Globe, fictionalized his account of the famous Brink armored car robbery, which took place in Boston on January 17, 1950, and included details from other New England crimes. Jeff Chandler was originally cast as "Edward Gallagher," but, according to a May 1954 Hollywood Reporter news item, was suspended by Universal after refusing the role. He went on to write the lyrics to the title song, however. A May 1954 Hollywood Reporter item reports that Roy Danton was also considered for a role. The film was shot almost entirely on location in Boston, MA.
As noted in a February 1955 AmCin article, the film featured the documentary-style photography of William Daniels, who won an Academy Award for similar work on the 1948 Universal picture The Naked City (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50). According to a January 1955 Hollywood Reporter article, during the film's world premiere in Boston on January 19, 1955, the riot squad was called in to control a crowd of more than 5,000 people who mobbed actors Tony Curtis and George Nader in the theater lobby. Tony Curtis' teenaged brother Bobby was to make his screen debut in the picture, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. January Merlin and Sal Mineo made their feature-film debuts in Six Bridges to Cross, and many reviews singled out Mineo for praise. Various news item add Charles Pomeroy and Philip Benjamin to the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Other versions of the story include a 1976 television movie entitled Brinks: The Great Robbery, directed by Marvin J. Chomsky.