Six Bridges to Cross


1h 36m 1955

Brief Synopsis

Youth gang leader Jerry Florea is shot fleeing from a crime scene by rookie cop Ed Gallagher. Result: "he'll never have children of his own." Ed and Jerry develop a mutually beneficial friendship: Jerry gets the benefit of the doubt, Ed gets information that brings him rapid promotion. As years and jail terms go by, Ed's friendship with this likable rogue becomes strained, as hope for his reform dwindles. Can Jerry redeem himself in the end?

Film Details

Also Known As
Five Bridges to Cross, Five Rivers to Cross, Million Dollar Holdup
Release Date
Feb 1955
Premiere Information
World premiere in Boston, MA: 19 Jan 1955; New York opening: 21 Jan 1955; Los Angeles opening: 2 Feb 1955
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co., Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story They Stole $2,500,000--and Got Away with It by Joseph F. Dinneen in Colliers (8 Jan 1954).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 36m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.00 : 1

Synopsis

In Boston in 1933, young Jerry Florea leads a gang of ruffians, including his pals Andy Norris, Skids Radzievich and Red Flanagan, in the robbery of a marketplace store. During the holdup, rookie policeman Edward Gallagher shouts at them to halt, and when they refuse, shoots at them, injuring Jerry. By the next day, Bostonians are outraged to learn that the youth will never be able to have children, but Eddie stands by his actions, and is backed by his boss, Vincent Concannon. After a jewelry store is robbed that night, Eddie visits Jerry, who welcomes him, and is surprised when Jerry reveals the identity of the thief. Days later, Eddie acts as a character witness during Jerry's trial, and Jerry, whose father has turned his back on him, races outside to thank the policeman. There, Eddie informs Jerry that he believes in him but will still arrest him at any sign of misconduct, and reluctantly listens to Jerry's next tip-off. Years pass during which Eddie rises in the department, thanks in part to Jerry's continuing insider information. The now teenaged Jerry, however, remains a delinquent, and when Eddie notifies him that he has been charged with statutory rape, Jerry takes the rap even though he knows Andy is the actual culprit. He spends the following years in the state reformatory, while Eddie continues to rise in his department, buys a luxurious house and has a baby girl with his wife, Ellen. When Jerry's sentence ends, Eddie and Ellen pick him up and urge him to live lawfully, despite his protests that he needs money. Jerry's first act, one of revenge, is to beat up Andy, after which his friends stand up for him. He then accepts a job as an elevator operator, but runs a side business taking bets on horse races. Within months, he develops a plan to fix a race and, along with Skids and Red, falsifies race results and collects his winnings. On the way home, however, he crashes his car, and after the police discover that the parolee has a gun, he returns to jail. There, Eddie, furious with Jerry's nonchalance, shocks Jerry by slapping and repudiating him. By 1941, Jerry is eager to join the Army, and Ellen convinces Eddie to try to help him gain a pardon. Jerry is at first thrilled to see Eddie, but upon hearing that he was never naturalized after moving from Italy to America and thus cannot fight, grows convinced that Eddie is out for retribution. When Ellen visits him in jail and urges him not to be bitter, the always good-natured Eddie replies that he is only upset that he can never have children or serve his country. In 1946, Jerry is released and immediately returns to running rackets. Soon, both he and Eddie have grown powerful, and they maintain an uneasy working relationship in which Jerry tips off Eddie when it benefits him to do so. When a $300,000 robbery occurs in Eddie's neighborhood, his suspicion that Jerry is involved seems justified by Jerry's handy alibi, involving an hour spent with Father Bonelli. Eddie convinces the priest that Jerry was using him, but when they all gather in an interrogation room, Jerry announces that he wanted only to earn Father Bonelli's blessing to arrange a church wedding for him and socialite Virginia Stewart, who has three small children. Upon hearing Jerry's plea that he be allowed to begin a family, Eddie, who wants to believe him and still feels guilt about shooting him, agrees to act as Jerry's best man. After the wedding, the newly respectable Jerry closes down his rackets, opens gas stations and spends his savings acquiring a pardon for his past crimes, thus enabling him to become a naturalized citizen. He and Virginia become close friends with Eddie and Ellen, until one night when Eddie learns that the armored car company near Jerry's office has been robbed of $2,500,000. The city's six bridges are closed off to seal the thieves inside the city, and a lineup is arranged, containing Jerry, Skids and Red. Furious, Eddie verbally attacks Jerry, but is nonetheless suspected of collusion in the robbery because of his close ties to the criminal. He is court-martialed, but there convinces the jury that detectives must have relationships with felons, and after being released, visits Immigration and Naturalization Service head J. J. Walsh. Walsh confirms that, because Jerry did not reveal two of his crimes to the pardon committee, he can be deported. Soon after, however, Skids induces Andy to finally confess to the rape charge, thus clearing Jerry of one of the two crimes and allowing him to stay in America. Eddie visits Jerry and urges him to give up the stolen money, and although Jerry refuses, he is devastated by Eddie's anger and, later, by Virginia's disgust. After she leaves him, Jerry asks both his gang and Eddie to meet him in the warehouse where the money is stashed. There, he informs his men that he is returning the money, allowing them enough time to flee the police, but they assume he is cheating them and begin a shootout. Outside, Eddie and his policemen hear the gunshots and break in, killing several gang members. Jerry, dying from a gunshot wound, reveals the money's whereabouts and tells Eddie he did not want to let him down. As Jerry dies in his arms, Eddie breaks down in tears.

Cast

Tony Curtis

Jerry Florea

George Nader

Edward Gallagher

Julie Adams

Ellen Gallagher

Jay C. Flippen

Vincent Concannon

Sal Mineo

Jerry Florea, as a boy

Jan Merlin

Andy Norris

Richard Castle

Skids Radzievich

William Murphy

Red Flanagan

Kendall Clark

Sanborn

Don Keefer

Sherman

Harry Bartell

Father Bonelli

Tito Vuolo

Angie

Kenny Roberts

Red Flanagan, as a boy

Peter Avramo

Hymie Weiner

Hal Conklin

Jerry's attorney

Ken Patterson

Inspector J. J. Walsh

Paul Dubov

Bandit leader

Peter Leeds

Harris

James F. Stone

George Russell

Howard Wright

Judge

Kem Dibbs

Policeman

Roger White

Policeman

Clifford F. Tobey

Policeman

Anabel Shaw

Virginia Stewart

Robert Lynn

Jury foreman

George Ramsay

Charlie

Nicky Blair

Clerk

Elizabeth Kerr

Governess z 1

Mary Newton

Woman clerk

Helen Mayon

Woman clerk

Charles Conrad

Clerk

Carl O'bryan

Clerk

Ted Bliss

Clerk

Charles Victor

Clerk

Scott Lee

Detective

Dan Moynihan

Detective

Joe Mcturk

Stanley

Vincent G. Perry

Elder

Ronnie Anton

Ted Stewart

Larry Turner

Harry Stewart

Carl Frank

Judge Manning

Grant Gordon

Dr. Moreno

Claudia Hall

Maggie

Joseph Quaranta

Mr. Florea

Gina Aguglia

Mrs. Florea

Gordon B. Clarke

Warden

Jean Goodale Wales

Nurse Caddy

Diane Flaherty

Patricia at age 8

Janice Thomas

Patricia at age 5

James Mcgah

Bus driver

Frank E. Sawin

Mailman

Herbert Gross

Owner

Harry Cooper

Driver

Manuel P. Kurland

Driver

John S. Barrett

Driver

Stanley Brown

Driver

Helen Keeton

Person outside jewelry store

John Hormel

Person outside jewelry store

Edward Mcnally

Truck helper

Anthony Pennacchio

Dice game player

Robert J. Mcelroy

Court bailiff

Di Di Roberts

Jail visitor

Doris Meade

Jail visitor

Harold W. Miller

Jail visitor

Ed "skipper" Mcnally

Prison guard

Charles Buswell

Prison guard

Edward F. Bowers

Prison guard

Edward Richardson

Reporter

Carl Moore

Reporter

Edmund M. Macclosky

Reporter

William Conley

Patrolman

John Regan

Patrolman

John J. Connolly

Patrolman

Henry M. Coughlin

Patrolman Dexter

Robert T. Walley

Dennis

Edward R. Skrickus

Dispatcher

John F. Dacey

Tom

William Brackman

Guard

Michael F. Powers

Man in radio car at bridge

Charles F. Roche

Man in radio room

William Ryan

Man in exam room

John J. Muldoon

Radio dispatcher

William Flannery

Radio room policeman

James Diorio

Bystander

Cosmo Sardo

Harry Raven

Jack Gargan

Ralph Brooks

Tom Coleman

Sam Finn

Kathleen Hooper

Nancy Robie

Joseph Cammarata

Robert Paolucci

Film Details

Also Known As
Five Bridges to Cross, Five Rivers to Cross, Million Dollar Holdup
Release Date
Feb 1955
Premiere Information
World premiere in Boston, MA: 19 Jan 1955; New York opening: 21 Jan 1955; Los Angeles opening: 2 Feb 1955
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co., Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story They Stole $2,500,000--and Got Away with It by Joseph F. Dinneen in Colliers (8 Jan 1954).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 36m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.00 : 1

Quotes

Two things I can never be, Mrs. Gallagher. That's a father...and a citizen of my country.
- Jerry Florea

Trivia

Sammy Davis Jr. lost an eye in an automobile accident en-route to the recording studio to record vocals for this film.

Notes

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.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States February 1955

Released in United States Winter February 1955

Sal Mineo makes his screen debut.

b&w

Released in United States February 1955

Released in United States Winter February 1955