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The Bridge on the River Kwai
William Holden and Jack Hawkins




Overview -
One of the all-time great war films, THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI is yet another classic from the marvelous David Lean (LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, DR. ZHIVAGO). The film is an outstanding, psychologically complex adaptation of Pierre Boulle's 1952 novel, a classic story of English POWs in Burma forced to build a bridge to aid the war effort of their Japanese captors. British and American intelligence officers conspire to blow up the structure, but Col. Nicholson (a fabulous Alec Guinness), the commander who supervised the bridge's construction, has acquired a sense of pride in his creation and tries to foil their plans. Although credited to screenwriter Carl Foreman, the script was actually written by blacklisted writer Michael Wilson. The film garnered seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor (Guinness). The climax is one of the great finales in film history.

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More About The Bridge on the River Kwai

 
 
 

Overview

One of the all-time great war films, THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI is yet another classic from the marvelous David Lean (LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, DR. ZHIVAGO). The film is an outstanding, psychologically complex adaptation of Pierre Boulle's 1952 novel, a classic story of English POWs in Burma forced to build a bridge to aid the war effort of their Japanese captors. British and American intelligence officers conspire to blow up the structure, but Col. Nicholson (a fabulous Alec Guinness), the commander who supervised the bridge's construction, has acquired a sense of pride in his creation and tries to foil their plans. Although credited to screenwriter Carl Foreman, the script was actually written by blacklisted writer Michael Wilson. The film garnered seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor (Guinness). The climax is one of the great finales in film history.

Awards:
1957 - Academy Awards - Best Film Editing Winner
1957 - Academy Awards - Best Picture Winner
1957 - Academy Awards - Best Actor Winner
1957 - Academy Awards - Best Director Winner
1957 - Academy Awards - Best Adapted Screenplay Winner
1957 - Academy Awards - Best Cinematography Winner
1957 - Academy Awards - Best Original Score Winner

Main Cast & Crew

David Lean - Director
William Holden
Alec Guinness
Sessue Hayakawa
Jack Hawkins
James Donald
Geoffrey Horne
Andre Morrell
Peter Williams
John Boxer
Percy Herbert

 

Details

DVD Format
  • Format: DVD
  • Run Time: 164
  • Color Format: Color
  • UPC: 043396052789
  • Genre: War
  • Rating: PG (MPAA) (mild war violence)
  • Release Date: June 1998

Related Categories:
Movies > Dramas

Related Keywords:
Adventure
Classic
Prison/Prisoners
War
World War II
Epic
Recommended
Theatrical Release
Essential Cinema

 

Movie Reviews

More Details

Notes:
THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1997. Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, stood in for Burma (now known as Myanmar).

Reviews:
"...Lean handles the climax with precision and suspense..." - 04/18/1999 Chicago Sun-Times, p.5


"...[A] masterpiece...purely enjoyable..." - 11/17/2000 USA Today, p.13E


"...[A] masterpiece....That rare film about something as seemingly black-and-white as World War II that is colored entirely in shades of gray, and the better for it..." - 11/24/2000 Entertainment Weekly, p.51


"...It's certainly weathered well thanks to its novel and ingenious approach to presenting multiple perspectives of the Second World War..." - 03/01/2001 Total Film, p.104


"...[T]wo compelling stories jelled into one sprawling action film..." - 12/01/2003 Premiere, p.9


5 stars out of 5 -- "[I]ts combination of sly satire, poignancy and sheer excitement is still astonishing." - 06/01/2011 Total Film


"The absence of button-pushing triumphalism is striking, as indeed is the long game played by Lean's direction." - 07/01/2011 Sight and Sound

 

BAM Customer Reviews