Dumbarton Bridge

on December 30, 1999 by Cathy Thompson-Georges
"Dumbarton Bridge" is an extremely well-meaning movie that wants to say something important about war and healing, addiction and family. Unfortunately, it's too ham-handed and inept to make much of an impact. Shot on what seems to have been a $20 budget, "Dumbarton Bridge" tells the story of an alcoholic black Vietnam veteran, John Shed (Tom Wright), who faces a crisis when his half-Vietnamese daughter enters the U.S. and tracks him down. Esperanza Catubig is a fresh presence as the daughter, but the film itself plods. We are never shown why the characters feel about each other the way they do, and we never see inside Shed enough to care about his dilemma. Instead, we get some unsubtle moralizing about addiction. Only the haunting images of the salt flats outside of San Francisco around the titular bridge are likely to linger in the memory after "Dumbarton Bridge" is behind us. Starring Tom Wright and Daphne Ashbrook. Directed, written and produced by Charles Koppelman. No distributor set. Drama. Not yet rated. Running time: 100 min.
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