The Night the Bridge Fell Down | 1982
Movies' "disaster master", Irwin Allen, was the man behind this adventure yarn that strands a group of motorists and fleeing bank robber, Desi Arnaz, Jr., and his girlfriend, Char Fontane, on a bridge that is collapsing because of shifting sands near the pylons. Its unique history is more interesting than its premise: made in 1979 as a two-part four-hour film called "The Night the Bridge Collapsed", it was set to premiere in early January 1980. Pulled from the schedule at the last minute, it was given its first showing in this form in Australia several months later. Subsequently cut to three hours as a single-part film, it was re-scheduled for a mid-October 1980 showing but was pre-empted by the World Series. It then went into limbo until finally being dragged off the shelf for its ultimate U.S. premiere in early 1983. Its star, James MacArthur, hot off "Hawaii Five-0", at the time the film was shot long had been in semi-retirement from acting.