Published on June 9th, 2007 | by Chris1
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
1957's The Bridge on the River Kwai is a classic by any definition of the word. Based on the book "The Bridge Over the River Kwai" by Pierre Boule, it tells the compelling story of a band of British soldiers taken prisoner by the Japanese in Thailand during WWII, and how they overcome their situation by building a magnificent bridge for their captors.
Of course that's just on the surface mind you. Alec Guinness masterfully portrays Col. Nicholson, the "by the book" leader of this group. Nicholson's refusal to give into the less-than-honorable demands of the Japanese Col. Saito (Sessue Hayakawa) earned him a well-deserved Oscar for this role. He effectively takes charge of the camp and the bridge building efforts from Saito due to the latter's incompetence and weakness. He uses the bridge as a means to restore some order and dignity to the men, even though not all of them are on board with the idea.
Then there is "Commander" Shears (William Holden), an American who escapes the camp early on, just as Nicholson and his brigade arrives. He finds his way out of the jungle and back to "civilization," only to be recruited (or blackmailed might be a better term) by British forces to help with destroying Nicholson's bridge.
Sure there are a lot of typically-cheesy "50's" moments ("Lovely!"), but there is a great deal more introspection and commentary on the entire methodology with which we fight most wars, and a lot about the people involved and the so-called rules they're supposed to play by.
And in the end, Guinness' portrayal of Nicholson's ultimate realization is sheer brilliance, and brings everything to a decisive end.
This is one of WMB's top twenty, to be sure. See it someday soon!
The Bridge on the River Kwai (Limited Edition)
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When British POWs build a vital railway bridge in enemy-occupied Burma, Allied commandos are assigned to destroy it in David Lean's epic World War II adventure THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI. Spectacularly produced, THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI captured the imagination of the public and won seven 1957 Academy Awards(r), including Best Picture, Best Actor (Alec Guinness), and Best Director...
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 2.55:1
Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Manufacturer: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Original Release Date:
- James Donald
- Geoffrey Horne
- Jack Hawkins
- Sessue Hayakawa
- William Holden
262 of 275 people found the following review helpful
real Blu Ray review,
This review is from: The Bridge on the River Kwai (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)I'm still not entirely sure why Amazon lumps the reviews for all versions of a given release in the same category. It makes it especially hard to locate reviews on the blu ray version. Anyway, this is a review of the blu ray version recently released, in a collector's format. It is composed of basically a digibook within a hard external case, which is quite flashy as it has raised illustrations and looks quite nice. Upon removing the digibook (which is quite a bit thicker than others), you will find a blu ray version of the film, a dvd version, and a few other things.
First up is the small production book. Actually in comparison with the material you get from other digibooks (which are usually scant on information), these few pages are full of notes and events during filming, almost a quick documentary in itself. It's nice to see a version of this book-within-case that is heavy on words and light on pictures, which are still nice on a few pages.
Second are the... Read more
Allegory of Empire,
This review is from: The Bridge On The River Kwai (Amazon Video)One of the finest films ever made. Easy to watch. Difficult to understand. An allegory of imperial power. In World War II, both the Japanese and British Empires were in decline. Building the Bridge on the River Kwai amounted to erecting a monument to both the Japanese and British Empires. Though enemies, the two Empires share responsibility for building the Bridge, and the two Empires share responsibility for its destruction. After the War, both Empires ceased to exist; the fate of the Bridge in the film is the same as the fate of the Japanese and British Empires in history. A decade after the War's end, when the film was made and released, the demise of the two Empires was a prominent part of current events in the minds of the film's director and his audience. It is harder half a century later to comprehend the film's allegorical transparency. The editing of the climactic scene of the film has been criticized as confusing and inept because it is impossible for the audience... Read more
This review is from: The Bridge On The River Kwai (Amazon Video)
Such a great movie. The theme of the hero, who really had no interest in being hero, and the English commander Nicholson, who thought he was a hero but in fact was the opposite. Simulated Major Shears, played by William Holden was outstanding. The cynic who becomes the hero. If i could give it another star, i would
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Summary: there are a lot of typically-cheesy "50's" moments ("Lovely!"), but there is a great deal more introspection and commentary on the entire methodology with which we fight most wars, and a lot about the people involved and the so-called rules they're supposed to play by.