The Bridge on the River Kwai [42], Roger Ebert gives the film four out of four stars. Ralph is using Letterboxd to share film reviews and lists with friends. The story is fictional but uses the construction of the Burma Railway, in 1942–1943, as its historical setting, and is partly based on Pierre Boulle's own life experience working in Malaysia rubber plantations and later working for allied forces in Singapore and Indochina during World War II. A man tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue. [16] Guinness later reflected on the scene, calling it the "finest piece of work" he had ever done. 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. The 1957 movie Bridge on the River Kwai may be one of the most famous war movies ever made, winning seven Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor for Alec Guinness. The Bridge has its own station, River Kwae Bridge station is about 200 yards before the Bridge at the Bangkok end. During WW II, allied POWs in a Japanese internment camp are ordered to build a bridge to accommodate the Burma-Siam railway. Most importantly, there was nowhere to escape from the camp as it was surrounded by jungle. Both bridges were used for two years, until they were destroyed by Allied bombing. An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses. When the shipment failed to arrive in London, a worldwide search was undertaken. [10], Many directors were considered for the project, among them John Ford, William Wyler, Howard Hawks, Fred Zinnemann, and Orson Welles (who was also offered a starring role). These problems resulted in a number of anomalies that were very difficult to correct, like a ghosting effect in many scenes that resembles colour mis-registration, and a tick-like effect with the image jumping or jerking side-to-side. Nicholson spots the wire and brings it to Saito's attention. This map was created by a user. The site's critical consensus reads, "This complex war epic asks hard questions, resists easy answers, and boasts career-defining work from star Alec Guinness and director David Lean. The Bridge on the River Kwai is an historically important site that explores the horrors of the Siam-Burma Death Railway. Only in 1984 did the Academy rectify the situation by retroactively awarding the Oscar to Foreman and Wilson, posthumously in both cases. The documentary itself was described by one newspaper reviewer when it was shown on Boxing Day 1974 (The Bridge on the River Kwai had been shown on BBC1 on Christmas Day 1974) as "Following the movie, this is a rerun of the antidote."[33]. "[44], Variety gave high praise for the movie saying that it is "a gripping drama, expertly put together and handled with skill in all departments. Bandaranaike, then Prime Minister of Ceylon, and a team of government dignitaries. Also, Malcolm Arnold's score, which I loved when I was a kid, seems now jarringly inappropriate from start to finish. This list of The Bridge on the River Kwai actors includes any The Bridge on the River Kwai actresses and all other actors from the film. [13], Director David Lean clashed with his cast members on multiple occasions, particularly Alec Guinness and James Donald, who thought the novel was anti-British. But keep your eyes fastened tight to Alec Guiness. [38], The film was re-released in 1964 and earned a further estimated $2.6 million at the box office in the United States and Canada[39] but the following year its revised total US and Canadian revenues were reported by Variety as $17,195,000. or cross it by train when travelling between Kanchanaburi & Nam Tok. Lastly, it is many decades past 1957. The movie garnered seven Academy Awards, including that for best picture, as well as three Golden Globe Awards and four BAFTA awards. David Lean's The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) is a brilliant triple character study set during World War II. The Bridge on the River Kwai, British-American war film, released in 1957 and directed by David Lean, that was both a critical and popular success and became an enduring classic. Fast, free delivery. In 1941 the Japanese Army invaded Thailand. Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? (1957). [37] By October 1960, the film had earned worldwide box office revenues of $30 million. The Bridge on the River Kwai, commonly referred to as the Railroad of Death or Death Railway, which stands in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, was one of only eight steel bridges of the estimated 688 that were built. [56], This article is about the film. He reveals he was not an officer in the U.S. Navy, but impersonated one after capture to receive better treatment. Did he really want the enemy to come in across it?”[47], Some Japanese viewers disliked the film's depiction of the Japanese characters present in the movie and the historical background presented as being inaccurate, particularly in the interactions between Saito and Nicholson. During WW II, allied POWs in a Japanese internment camp are ordered to build a bridge to accommodate the Burma-Siam railway. In many tense, dramatic scenes, only the sounds of nature are used. At first, the prisoners admire Nicholson when he bravely endures torture rather than compromise his principles for the benefit of Japanese Commandant Colonel Saito, but soon they realise it's a monument to Nicholson, himself, as well as a form of collaboration with the enemy. Most hotels are located here. In the film, a Colonel Saito is camp commandant. Kanchanaburi- this is the area's main town, with Allied war cemeteries. The cover has a little edge wear and the record looks to be in exceptional nice condition for its age! It was repaired in time to be blown up the next morning, with Bandaranaike and his entourage present. The Bridge on the River Kwai cast list, listed alphabetically with photos when available. The Colonel Bogey strain was accompanied by a counter-melody using the same chord progressions, then continued with film composer Malcolm Arnold's own composition, "The River Kwai March," played by the off-screen orchestra taking over from the whistlers, though Arnold's march was not heard in completion on the soundtrack. [25][26][27][28], The plot and characters of Boulle's novel and the screenplay were almost entirely fictional.[29]. Chris Taylor, a neophyte recruit in Vietnam, finds himself caught in a battle of wills between two sergeants, one good and the other evil. Unique to this film, in some ways, were other issues related to poorly made optical dissolves, the original camera lens and a malfunctioning camera. Adventure, Certificate: Passed The actual name of "Bridge on the River Kwai", on the 258 mile long Burma Railway between Ban Pong, Thailand, and Thanbyuzayat, Burma, built from 1940-1944, was called Bridge 277. Holden's relationship with Jack Hawkins (playing a parallel role to his General Allenby in Lawrence) seems pallid next to the mighty Guiness/Hayakawa standoff – in fact, it seems to be in another movie altogether. Recognising the dying Shears, Nicholson exclaims, "What have I done?" It was still highly unusual at that time for a television network to show such a long film in one evening; most films of that length were still generally split into two parts and shown over two evenings. We worked at bayonet point and under bamboo lash, taking any risk to sabotage the operation whenever the opportunity arose. The film was made in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 epic war film directed by David Lean and based on the 1952 novel written by Pierre Boulle. [citation needed] Julie Summers, in her book The Colonel of Tamarkan, writes that Boulle, who had been a prisoner of war in Thailand, created the fictional Nicholson character as an amalgam of his memories of collaborating French officers. However, in 1943 a railway bridge was built by Allied POWs over the Mae Klong river – renamed Khwae Yai in the 1960s as a result of the film – at Tha Ma Kham, five kilometres from Kanchanaburi, Thailand. [45], Balu Mahendra, the Tamil film director, saw the shooting of this film at Kitulgala, Sri Lanka during his school trip and was inspired to become a film director. [4][5] It has been included on the American Film Institute's list of best American films ever made. The Bridge on the River Kwai escaped planned destruction and remains in place in Kanchanaburi as a tourist attraction and functioning railway bridge over which trains pass daily. alfiehitchie. Lean had a lengthy row with Guinness over how to play the role of Nicholson; Guinness wanted to play the part with a sense of humour and sympathy, while Lean thought Nicholson should be "a bore." However, cameraman Freddy Ford was unable to get out of the way of the explosion in time, and Lean had to stop filming. After Guinness was done with the scene, Lean said, "Now you can all fuck off and go home, you English actors. Their instinct is to sabotage the bridge, but under the leadership of Colonel Nicholson they're persuaded the bridge should be built to help morale, spirit. Lean shouted at them, 'For God's sake, whistle a march to keep time to.' The commando team is appalled that their own man is uncovering their work. Saito leaves the officers standing all day in the intense heat. A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods. "[41] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 87 out of 100 based on 14 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". Alec Guiness's passionate, detailed performance as Colonel Nicholson, above all other factors, makes Kwai a still watchable and important experience. In reality, Risaburo Saito was respected by his prisoners for being comparatively merciful and fair towards them. Subsequent releases of the film finally gave them proper screen credit. Also, in the novel, the bridge is not destroyed: the train plummets into the river from a secondary charge placed by Warden, but Nicholson (never realising "what have I done?") Guinness later said that he subconsciously based his walk while emerging from "the Oven" on that of his eleven-year-old son Matthew,[15] who was recovering from polio at the time, a disease that left him temporarily paralyzed from the waist down. The majority of its smaller components are originals, while a few are post-war replacements. The Bridge on the River Kwai - 1957. At first, the prisoners admire Nicholson when he bravely endures torture rather than compromise his principles for the benefit of Japanese Commandant Colonel Saito, but soon they realise it's a monument to Nicholson, himself, as well as a form of collaboration with the enemy. Bridge on The River Kwai, An Origina Sound Track Recording Columbia High Fidelity Vinyl Record Album. Bridge on the River Kwai was the highest-grossing film of 1957 and received overwhemingly positive reviews from critics. This was an incorrect assumption. [18], The producers nearly suffered a catastrophe following the filming of the bridge explosion. [9], William Holden's deal was considered one of the best ever for an actor at the time, with him receiving 10% of the gross. In particular, they objected to the implication presented in the film that Japanese military engineers were generally unskilled and unproficient at their professions. But the unusual move paid off for ABC—the telecast drew huge ratings with a record audience of 72 million[50] and a Nielsen rating of 38.3 and an audience share of 61%. The Bridge on the River Kwai, portrayed in the 1957 movie of the same name, is a … I am too much influenced, I suppose, by the rock and roll jungle menace of Coppola's `Apocalypse Now.' A train carrying important dignitaries and soldiers is scheduled to be the first to cross the bridge the following day, and Warden's goal is to destroy both. We follow the engaging Alec Guinness as he masterfully and stubbornly manipulates and debates with a Japanese Colonel, while another man escapes their prison camp to only return to blow up the bridge the British POW's forced to construct. Nicholson objects, informing Saito the Geneva Conventions exempts officers from manual labour. Crime. That, I believe, is also Kwai's greatest weakness. Both writers had to work in secret, as they were on the Hollywood blacklist and had fled to the UK in order to continue working. The bridge in the film was near Kitulgala. In early 1943, British POWs arrive at a Japanese prison camp in Burma, led by Lieutenant Colonel Nicholson. We follow the engaging Alec Guinness as he masterfully and stubbornly manipulates and debates with a Japanese Colonel, while another man escapes their prison camp to only return to blow up the bridge the British POW's forced to construct. In reality, Japanese engineers proved to be just as capable at construction efforts as their Allied counterparts.[48][49]. [30] According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission: The notorious Burma-Siam railway, built by Commonwealth, Dutch and American prisoners of war, was a Japanese project driven by the need for improved communications to support the large Japanese army in Burma. Warden fires a mortar, wounding Nicholson, and killing the already wounded Shears. The four commandos parachute in, though Chapman is killed on landing. The British Film Institute placed The Bridge on the River Kwai as the 11th greatest British film. [43], Slant Magazine gave the film four out of five stars. Two Americans searching for work in Mexico convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains. Joining Warden and Shears are Chapman and Lieutenant Joyce, a novice from Canada. View production, box office, & company info. Alec Guinness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins, and Sessue Hayakawa. By daybreak the river level has dropped, exposing the wire connecting the explosives to the detonator. But the reality was a bit different than the movie. It was initially scripted by screenwriter Carl Foreman, who was later replaced by Michael Wilson. The Bridge on the River Kwai, Kanchanaburi, Thailand. David Lean's The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) is a brilliant triple character study set during World War II. In a 1988 interview with Barry Norman, Lean confirmed that Columbia almost stopped filming after three weeks because there was no white woman in the film, forcing him to add what he calls, "a very terrible scene" between William Holden and the nurse on the beach. The British didn't build the railway in the 19th century because it would be too expensive. [26] On a BBC Timewatch programme, a former prisoner at the camp states that it is unlikely that a man like the fictional Nicholson could have risen to the rank of lieutenant colonel, and, if he had, due to his collaboration he would have been "quietly eliminated" by the other prisoners. Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends. A shrewd examination of the brutality of war and the duality of man in conflict. Ebert, in his Great Movies article, correctly identifies William Holden's character in Kwai as undergoing an implausible transition from escaped POW to martini-guzzling playboy to selfless war hero. The real history of how the railway between Burma and China was built, including the bridge, is a horrific story. An estimated 80,000 to 100,000 civilians also died in the course of the project, chiefly forced labour brought from Malaya and the Dutch East Indies, or conscripted in Siam (Thailand) and Burma. And a bloke called George Siegatz ... —an expert whistler—began to whistle Colonel Bogey, and a hit was born.". Some of the characters in the film use the names of real people who were involved in the Burma Railway. Spike from the Burma Railroad [45] William Holden was also credited for his acting, he was said to give a solid characterization and was "easy, credible and always likeable in a role that is the pivot point of the story". Thank God that I'm starting work tomorrow with an American actor (William Holden)."[14]. [8], The film was relatively faithful to the novel, with two major exceptions. Nicholson is shocked by the poor job being done by his men. Only Shears survives. According to Columbia Pictures, they followed an all-new 4K digital restoration from the original negative with newly restored 5.1 audio. The next morning, Saito informs the new prisoners all will work, regardless of rank, on the construction of a railway bridge over the River Kwai that will connect Bangkok and Rangoon. In an interview he said that "There were a lot of lessons in that", Buffett said of the film. For the novel, see, 1957 World War II film directed by David Lean, American theatrical release poster, "Style A", A transcript of the interview and the documentary as a whole can be found in the new edition of John Coast's book, Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, 11th greatest British film of the 20th century, the highest-grossing film of 1957 in the United States and Canada, Best Screenplay – Based on Material from Another Medium, Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures, Best Sound Track Album, Dramatic Picture Score or Original Cast, AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition), "Complete National Film Registry Listing | Film Registry | National Film Preservation Board | Programs at the Library of Congress | Library of Congress", "New to the National Film Registry (December 1997) - Library of Congress Information Bulletin", "Columbia Earns as It Holds Coin Due Bill Holden on 10% of 'Kwai, "Flashback: A look back at this day in film history (, "How Father Brown Led Sir Alec Guinness to the Church", "links for research, Allied POWs under the Japanese", "The Colonel of Tamarkan: Philip Toosey and the, "Once-Stupendous-Now-Modest $2,700,000 Budget Kept Secret; 'River Kwai's' Sockfull Gross", "Balu Mahendra, who made his visuals speak, dies at 74", "Warren Buffett carries an American Express card and about $400 in cash", The Colonel of Tamarkan: Philip Toosey and the Bridge on the River Kwai, "Movies | Disc & Digital | Sony Pictures", "Wayne and Shuster Show, The Episode Guide (1954–1990) (series)", Lost and Found: The Story of Cook's Anchor, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama, National Board of Review Award for Best Film, New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Film, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Bridge_on_the_River_Kwai&oldid=1002236424, Films featuring a Best Actor Academy Award-winning performance, Films featuring a Best Drama Actor Golden Globe winning performance, Films whose cinematographer won the Best Cinematography Academy Award, Films whose director won the Best Directing Academy Award, Films whose director won the Best Director Golden Globe, Films whose editor won the Best Film Editing Academy Award, Films whose writer won the Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award, Films that won the Best Original Score Academy Award, United States National Film Registry films, Films with screenplays by Michael Wilson (writer), Short description is different from Wikidata, Album articles lacking alt text for covers, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2021, Wikipedia articles with CANTIC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, $30.6 million (worldwide rentals from initial release), Best DVD Original Retrospective Documentary/Featurette, This page was last edited on 23 January 2021, at 13:33. 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