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
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Terrific war film is a character study of man's ability to overcome any adversity. Hi-def Blu-ray transfer looks & sounds great.,
This review is from: The Bridge on the River Kwai [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)BOTTOM LINE: Ignore the handful of 1 STAR haters and give this flick its due. It is a terrific story of the triumph of the human spirit in adversity, and it's just a magnificent war film. I like this movie very much and acknowledge it's classic status with a solid 4 STAR rating.
THE STORY: British POWs imprisoned in southeast Asia during WWII are forced to build a bridge that will allow the Japanese army to move soldiers & supplies thru the dense Burmese jungle via railway. Main narrative focuses on a war of wills between the determined Japanese prison camp commander (Sessue Hayakawa) and the leader of the Brit regiment (Sir Alec Guiness). Meanwhile, a lone American soldier (William Holden) who escaped the camp is subsequently strong-armed into leading a squad of British commandos back to the bridge in order to blow it up, in an effort to cripple the Japanese military's stranglehold in the region.
THOUGHTS: Well regarded as one of the best war movies ever made,... Read more
264 of 277 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
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A powerful statement on the madness of war,
This review is from: The Bridge On The River Kwai (Amazon Video)Why I waste my time watching all of the newest films that come out (of course, not all of them are bad) when there are plenty of tried-and-true classics waiting to be discovered is something I'll never completely understand. It's not even like I have the excuse that I don't know about them, or even don't have the time (because I do). Still, I do like the feeling of seeing something for the first time and THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI delivered everything I expected and more. The story is set during WWII and is about a group of British POWs who arrive at a Japanese labor camp in the Burmese jungle (modern-day Myanmar). They are tasked with building a bridge over the Kwai River, but initially have difficulty because the camp's commander Colonel Saito (Sessue Hayakawa) has a clash of wills with their own commander, Colonel Nicholson (Alec Guiness). There is also an American POW, Shears (William Holden) who manages to escape but is "recruited" to lead a team back to the jungle to blow up... Read more
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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.