Cast & Crew
The bridge of San Luis Rey, built by the Incas and blessed by St. Louis, stands guarded by the Cathedral of St. Rose of Lima on the highroad of Peru as a symbol of the villagers' communion with God. On 20 July 1714 the bridge collapses, sending five people to their deaths "like stones into the water." The people interpret this catastrophe, coming on the day of the Feast of St. Louis, as forewarning of their imminent doom, and desperately they come to Father Juniper for spiritual guidance. He must delve into the lives of the five to explain this divine intervention: The Marquesa de Montemayer has been left lonely and disconsolate by her daughter, who married and moved to Spain. Pepita, the convent-reared ward of the marquesa, finds herself so stirred by Esteban that she is relinquishing her freedom to return to a life devoted to the Almighty. Esteban has witnessed the spiritual and finally corporeal destruction of his beloved twin brother by a wanton, power-mad dancer, La Perichole. Pio is an old man who was the dancer's "uncle," and whose selfless devotion and love were spurned by her lustful recklessness. He is leaving her and taking in his charge her young son, Jaime, whom he has sheltered and cared for throughout her heedless debauchery. Father Juniper exhorts the villagers in a moving sermon to see God's infinite wisdom, to understand that all five have loved and through suffering have known a deepening of their love. "There is a land of the living and the land of the dead--and the bridge is Love--the only survival, the only meaning."
Henry B. Walthall
Best Art Direction
Art director Cedric Gibbons won his first of many Academy Awards for his work on this film.