The ‘coming of age’ theme has been subject of many a film over rthis century. Combine that idea with two young lads going off to fight for their country in the Great War of 1914/18 and you have Distant Bridges. For Aurthur Fisher (Richard Cambridge) and Will Brown (David East), schoolboy friendship in the sleepy North country town they live in, mirrors the traditional prankster and one-up-manship, associated with youth in any period. However, they dream of adventure and to Arthur and Will, fighting for King and country in France against the wicked ‘hun’, is probably the best adventure they could imagine.
Neither are 18, but that doesn’t deter them from trying to enlist. In Will’s case, passing for 18, due to his size is academic, however Arthur, of slight build needs a little help in pursuading them of his age.
Having passed the hurdle, they are despatched into the forefront of battle in the French trenches, and only then does the true horror of war and it’s sickening and mindless killing hit home to the two young men.
For Arthur being slightly injured requires his return to ‘Blighty’ on leave and to the girl of his dreams, Amy (Laura Patch). Back at the front the news that he is to be a father, gives Arthur a new purpose in life, to stay alive and see his child grow up. But for Arthur life is to be cut short when he’s riddled with machine-gun bullets. For Will, thea death of his best friend is shattering, but he survives the war, returning to England injured but alive, seeing the future in the eyes of Arthur’s growing son, and a new generation, who hopefully will never have to go through such a trauma again.
Directed by Dusty Rhodes, the two young leads played by Richard Cambridge and David East, are thoroughly convincing as innocents taught the harsh reality that war is no graet adventure, consequently they mature rapidly as the story unfolds.
In the lead role Richard Cambridge shows a potential of greater things to come, as he hopefully gains more experience from forthcoming roles that will stretch his ability to perform in front of the camera. On this showing he should find a very successful career ahead as an actor. Watch this space....