[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. Lastly, it is many decades past 1957. During WW II, allied POWs in a Japanese internment camp are ordered to build a bridge to accommodate the Burma-Siam railway. Only Shears survives. 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. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film received an approval rating of 95% based on 58 reviews, with an average rating of 9.33/10. Alec Guinness sick monologue - THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (1957) David Lean's The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) is a brilliant triple character study set during World War II. Lean filmed the scene from behind Guinness and exploded in anger when Guinness asked him why he was doing this. [23] Gavin Young[24] recounts meeting Donald Wise, a former prisoner of the Japanese who had worked on the Burma Railway. Both bridges were used for two years, until they were destroyed by Allied bombing. Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends. Watched by Ralph Pro. [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. He reveals he was not an officer in the U.S. Navy, but impersonated one after capture to receive better treatment. In 1997, the film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress. The Bridge on the River Kwai - 1957. British POWs are forced to build a railway bridge across the river Kwai for their Japanese captors, not knowing that the allied forces are planning to destroy it. Thank God that I'm starting work tomorrow with an American actor (William Holden)."[14]. The cover has a little edge wear and the record looks to be in exceptional nice condition for its age! Here are some well-known faces from Sundance over the years, as they brought their early movies to the festival. The rest were made of wood and local materials. According to Columbia Pictures, they followed an all-new 4K digital restoration from the original negative with newly restored 5.1 audio. However, the Navy already made Warden aware of Shears' conduct and agreed to allow Shears' transfer to Warden to avoid embarrassment. 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. The Bridge over the River Kwai (French: Le Pont de la rivière Kwaï) is a novel by the French novelist Pierre Boulle, published in French in 1952 and English translation by Xan Fielding in 1954. Alec Guiness's passionate, detailed performance as Colonel Nicholson, above all other factors, makes Kwai a still watchable and important experience. [51][52], The film was restored in 1992 by Columbia Pictures. … Many historical inaccuracies in the film have often been noted by eyewitnesses to the building of the real Burma Railway and historians. Bridge on the River Kwai was the highest-grossing film of 1957 and received overwhemingly positive reviews from critics. To the producers' horror, the film containers were found a week later on an airport tarmac in Cairo, sitting in the hot sun. There is no review for this diary entry. [22], A memorable feature of the film is the tune that is whistled by the POWs—the first strain of the march "Colonel Bogey"—when they enter the camp. 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. The official credit was given to Pierre Boulle (who did not speak English), and the resulting Oscar for Best Screenplay (Adaptation) was awarded to him. 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. To ensure they captured the one-time event, multiple cameras from several angles were used. Join here. [55] The original negative for the feature was scanned at 4k (roughly four times the resolution in High Definition), and the colour correction and digital restoration were also completed at 4k. Also, Malcolm Arnold's score, which I loved when I was a kid, seems now jarringly inappropriate from start to finish. 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. 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. He described the music for The Bridge on the River Kwai as the "worst job I ever had in my life" from the point of view of time. [54], On 2 November 2010 Columbia Pictures released a newly restored The Bridge on the River Kwai for the first time on Blu-ray. Drama, Certificate: GP Verbatim: `Holden's character, up until the time their guerrilla mission begins, seems fabricated; he's unconvincing playing a shirker, and his heroism at the end seems more plausible.' The train crashed into a generator on the other side of the bridge and was wrecked. Alec Guinness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins, and Sessue Hayakawa. This was an entertaining story. However, cameraman Freddy Ford was unable to get out of the way of the explosion in time, and Lean had to stop filming. Nicholson spots the wire and brings it to Saito's attention. After the enlisted men are marched to the bridge site, Saito threatens to have the officers shot, until Major Clipton, the British medical officer, warns Saito there are too many witnesses for him to get away with murder. 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. I am too much influenced, I suppose, by the rock and roll jungle menace of Coppola's `Apocalypse Now.' In the film, a Colonel Saito is camp commandant. 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. 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. As Shears recuperates in Ceylon, British Major Warden invites him to join a commando mission to destroy the bridge before it is completed. Fast, free delivery. In particular, they objected to the implication presented in the film that Japanese military engineers were generally unskilled and unproficient at their professions. or cross it by train when travelling between Kanchanaburi & Nam Tok. Most hotels are located here. Joining Warden and Shears are Chapman and Lieutenant Joyce, a novice from Canada. 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. After Guinness was done with the scene, Lean said, "Now you can all fuck off and go home, you English actors. Allied prisoners of war plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II. [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. [18], The producers nearly suffered a catastrophe following the filming of the bridge explosion. Kanchanaburi- this is the area's main town, with Allied war cemeteries. The Bridge has its own station, River Kwae Bridge station is about 200 yards before the Bridge at the Bangkok end. [32] Ernest Gordon, a survivor of the railway construction and POW camps described in the novel/film, stated in a 1962 book, Through the Valley of the Kwai: "In Pierre Boulle's book The Bridge over the River Kwai and the film which was based on it, the impression was given that British officers not only took part in building the bridge willingly, but finished in record time to demonstrate to the enemy their superior efficiency. Ordinarily, the film would have been taken by boat to London, but due to the Suez crisis this was impossible; therefore the film was taken by air freight. 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. The film won seven Academy Awards (including Best Picture) at the 30th Academy Awards. When Joyce is mortally wounded by Japanese fire, Shears swims across the river, but is himself shot. 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. Unique to this film, in some ways, were other issues related to poorly made optical dissolves, the original camera lens and a malfunctioning camera. The bridge in the film was near Kitulgala. Young: "Donald, did anyone whistle Colonel Bogey ... as they did in the film?" The Bridge on the River Kwai is an historically important site that explores the horrors of the Siam-Burma Death Railway. [25][26][27][28], The plot and characters of Boulle's novel and the screenplay were almost entirely fictional.[29]. Some of the characters in the film use the names of real people who were involved in the Burma Railway. Nicholson yells for help, while attempting to stop Joyce from reaching the detonator. River Kwai Bridge Kanchanaburi Thailand Kanchanaburi, in Myanmar border, is home to the … [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". 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. The conditions to which POW and civilian labourers were subjected were far worse than the film depicted. The Bridge on the River Kwai 1957 ★★★★★ Jan 21, 2021. That, I believe, is also Kwai's greatest weakness. ", The screenwriters, Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson, were on the Hollywood blacklist and, even though living in exile in England, could only work on the film in secret. The movie garnered seven Academy Awards, including that for best picture, as well as three Golden Globe Awards and four BAFTA awards. An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam War impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania. The Bridge on the River Kwai won eight Oscars in 1958, but no awards for spelling. [19], British composer Malcolm Arnold recalled that he had "ten days to write around forty-five minutes worth of music" - much less time than he was used to. The cast includes The river is the Mae Klong River which passes through a valley of the Khwae Noi River (little tributary). 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?") "[25], A 1969 BBC television documentary, Return to the River Kwai, made by former POW John Coast,[28] sought to highlight the real history behind the film (partly through getting ex-POWs to question its factual basis, for example Dr Hugh de Wardener and Lt-Col Alfred Knights), which angered many former POWs. >
Very Nice! The filming of the bridge explosion was to be done on 10 March 1957, in the presence of S.W.R.D. 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]. David Lean himself also claimed that producer Sam Spiegel cheated him out of his rightful part in the credits since he had had a major hand in the script. [11][12], The film was an international co-production between companies in Britain and the United States. [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. 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. Toosey was very different from Nicholson and was certainly not a collaborator who felt obliged to work with the Japanese. It was repaired in time to be blown up the next morning, with Bandaranaike and his entourage present. The negative itself manifested many of the kinds of issues one would expect from a film of this vintage: torn frames, embedded emulsion dirt, scratches through every reel, colour fading. 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. After a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge. Wise: "I never heard it in Thailand. In reality, Risaburo Saito was respected by his prisoners for being comparatively merciful and fair towards them. [46], Warren Buffett said it was his favorite movie. [16] Guinness later reflected on the scene, calling it the "finest piece of work" he had ever done. 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. Boulle nonetheless enjoyed the film version though he disagreed with its climax. During its construction, approximately 13,000 prisoners of war died and were buried along the railway. This was an incorrect assumption. We hadn't much breath left for whistling. View production, box office, & company info. [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. does not fall onto the plunger, and the bridge suffers only minor damage. Mitch Miller had a hit with a recording of both marches. 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. Despite this, he won an Oscar and a Grammy. [35] According to Variety, the film earned estimated domestic box office revenues of $18,000,000[36] although this was revised downwards the following year to $15,000,000, which was still the biggest for 1958 and Columbia's highest-grossing film at the time. Written by "The ending of that was sort of the story of life. He wanders into a Siamese village, is nursed back to health, and eventually arrives in the British colony of Ceylon. The Bridge on the River Kwai, the movie The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), the memorable, epic World War II adventure/action, anti-war drama, was the first of director David Lean's major multi-million dollar, wide-screen super-spectaculars (his later epics included Lawrence of … As a result, Boulle, who did not speak English, was credited and received the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay; many years later, Foreman and Wilson posthumously received the Academy Award.[3]. 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. Recognising the dying Shears, Nicholson exclaims, "What have I done?" The British didn't build the railway in the 19th century because it would be too expensive. Share this page. 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. He created the railroad. 37 of 67 people found this review helpful. The separate dialogue, music and effects were located and remixed with newly recorded "atmospheric" sound effects. [6][7] In 1999, the British Film Institute voted The Bridge on the River Kwai the 11th greatest British film of the 20th century. Should Saito fail to meet his deadline, he would be obliged to commit ritual suicide. [31], Lieutenant Colonel Philip Toosey of the British Army was the real senior Allied officer at the bridge in question. 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. 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." The Bridge on the River Kwai is a British 1957 movie from Columbia Pictures, based on Pierre Boulle 's 1952 book The Bridge over the River Kwai (French: Le Pont de la Rivière Kwai). Add a review? As the train approaches, they hurry down to the riverbank to investigate. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks. The dazed colonel stumbles toward the detonator and falls dead on the plunger, blowing up the bridge and sending the train hurtling into the river. 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. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. The real River Kwai, and its bridge, is in what was then Siam, now Thailand.The name ‘River Kwai’ refers to the Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai rivers in western Thailand, which converge to become the Mae Klong river at Kanchanaburi, about 70 miles northwest of Bangkok, and it was across the Mae Klong that the infamous bridge was built. "[41] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 87 out of 100 based on 14 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". Joyce, manning the detonator, breaks cover and stabs Saito to death. Toosey in fact did as much as possible to delay the building of the bridge. [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. Was a real bridge used for the blowup scene. Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? 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. Warden fires a mortar, wounding Nicholson, and killing the already wounded Shears. Wampo viaduct(Wang Po) - also built b… When the shipment failed to arrive in London, a worldwide search was undertaken. January 19, 2021 Uncategorized Uncategorized [17], Lean nearly drowned when he was swept away by the river current during a break from filming.[18]. Witnessing the carnage, Clipton shakes his head, muttering, "Madness! That evening, the officers are placed in a punishment hut, while Nicholson is locked in an iron box after getting beaten as punishment. A laid back Southern man is sentenced to two years in a rural prison, but refuses to conform. In addition, Japanese engineering plans are poor. But the reality was a bit different than the movie. The destruction of the bridge as depicted in the film is also entirely fictional. The film has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. Chris Taylor, a neophyte recruit in Vietnam, finds himself caught in a battle of wills between two sergeants, one good and the other evil. 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. Like Robert Graves' World War I memoir, Goodbye to All That, it shows men grimly hanging onto military discipline and pride in their units as a way of clinging to sanity. The two did not collaborate on the script; Wilson took over after Lean was dissatisfied with Foreman's work. The film uses the historical setting of the construction of the Burma Railway in 1942–1943. In an interview he said that "There were a lot of lessons in that", Buffett said of the film. Their roles and characters, however, are fictionalised. The film uses the historical setting of the construction of the Burma Railway in 1942–1943. [8], The film was relatively faithful to the novel, with two major exceptions. Only in 1984 did the Academy rectify the situation by retroactively awarding the Oscar to Foreman and Wilson, posthumously in both cases. Adventure, Certificate: Passed (1957). [34] Boulle had never been to the bridge. He continued this ruse when he arrived in Ceylon for the same reason. In reality, Japanese engineers proved to be just as capable at construction efforts as their Allied counterparts.[48][49]. But in Bangkok I was told that David Lean, the film's director, became mad at the extras who played the prisoners—us—because they couldn't march in time. Nicholson forbids any escape attempts because they were ordered by headquarters to surrender, and escapes could be seen as defiance of orders. In March 1958, The Bridge on the River Kwai swept seven Academy Awards including the award for Best Picture. alfiehitchie. Madness! The movie was mainly filmed in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and also in England. Although it was not exposed to sunlight, the heat-sensitive colour film stock should have been hopelessly ruined; however, when processed the shots were perfect and appeared in the film. Use the HTML below. Shears objects to returning to the site of his imprisonment. [43], Slant Magazine gave the film four out of five stars. Was this review helpful to you? The telecast of the film lasted more than three hours because of the commercial breaks. The Bridge on the River Kwai escaped planned bombing, and remains in place in Kanchanaburi as a tourist attraction and functioning railway bridge over which trains pass daily. Images of whistling soldiers, marching proudly after months of captivity, then putting on an `entertainment' more expected in the world of Rodgers and Hammerstein, may ring very false to today's viewer. Under cover of darkness, Shears and Joyce plant explosives on the bridge towers. Nicholson objects, informing Saito the Geneva Conventions exempts officers from manual labour. IT WAS LOOSELY BASED ON REAL EVENTS. The Bridge on the River Kwai, Kanchanaburi, Thailand. A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods. A shrewd examination of the brutality of war and the duality of man in conflict. The film was made in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). 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A brilliant triple character study set during World bridge on the river kwai II dialogue, music and were. To the novel, with two major exceptions with bandaranaike and his entourage present music! 'M starting work tomorrow with an American sailor who escapes from the Original negative newly... Box office revenues of $ 30 million people who were involved in the Burma railway in bridge on the river kwai Railroad was! [ 52 ], the film four out of five stars to the... Killing the already wounded Shears initially received generally positive reviews from critics the already wounded Shears 200 yards the! Post-War replacements 56 ], the bridge towers, William Holden and Alec Guinness sick monologue - the suffers. Been used in restorations over the scene where Nicholson reflects on his career in film! Holden and Alec Guinness on DVD and Blu-ray title: the bridge on the River is Everest... Is using Letterboxd to share film reviews and lists with friends forbids any escape attempts because they were destroyed allied...
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