MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 307 this week

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

8.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.3/10 from 115,256 users  
Reviews: 246 user | 114 critic

After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 40 titles
created 08 Aug 2011
 
a list of 42 titles
created 13 Nov 2011
 
a list of 49 titles
created 09 Jun 2012
 
a list of 31 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 26 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) on IMDb 8.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Bridge on the River Kwai.

User Polls

Top 250 #123 | Won 7 Oscars. Another 25 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Stalag 17 (1953)
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

When two escaping American World War II prisoners are killed, the German POW camp barracks black marketeer, J.J. Sefton, is suspected of being an informer.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A British team is sent to cross occupied Greek territory and destroy the massive German gun emplacement that commands a key sea channel.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: David Niven, Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

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.

Director: Michael Cimino
Stars: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A group of army personnel and nurses attempt a dangerous and arduous trek across the deserts of North Africa during the second world war. The leader of the team dreams of his ice cold beer ... See full summary »

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: John Mills, Anthony Quayle, Sylvia Syms
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with a theatre owner's vengeful plans for the same.

Directors: Quentin Tarantino, Eli Roth
Stars: Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth
Destroyer (1943)
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Flagwaving story of a new American destroyer, the JOHN PAUL JONES, from the day her keel is laid, to what was very nearly her last voyage. Among the crew, is Steve Boleslavski, a shipyard ... See full summary »

Directors: William A. Seiter, Ray Enright
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Glenn Ford, Marguerite Chapman
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

During the Vietnam War, a soldier finds himself the outsider of his own squad when they unnecessarily kidnap a female villager.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Sean Penn, Don Harvey
Certificate: M Action | Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Allied agents stage a daring raid on a castle where the Nazis are holding an American General prisoner... but that's not all that's really going on.

Director: Brian G. Hutton
Stars: Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, Mary Ure
Adventure | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In Africa during WW1, a gin-swilling riverboat owner/captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

During the Napoleonic Wars, a brash British captain pushes his ship and crew to their limits in pursuit of a formidable French war vessel around South America.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Billy Boyd
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A British officer resigns his post just before battle and subsequently receives four white feathers from his friends and fiancee as symbols of what they believe to be his cowardice.

Director: Shekhar Kapur
Stars: Heath Ledger, Wes Bentley, Kate Hudson
Gallipoli (1981)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two Australian sprinters face the brutal realities of war when they are sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during World War I.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Mel Gibson, Mark Lee, Bill Kerr
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Colonel Green (as Andre Morell)
Peter Williams ...
John Boxer ...
...
Harold Goodwin ...
Ann Sears ...
Heihachirô Ôkawa ...
Captain Kanematsu (as Henry Okawa)
Keiichirô Katsumoto ...
Lieutenant Miura (as Keiichiro Katsumoto) (as K. Katsumoto)
M.R.B. Chakrabandhu ...
Yai (as M.R.B. Chakrabandhu {Col. Broome})
Edit

Storyline

The film deals with the situation of British prisoners of war during World War II who are ordered to build a bridge to accommodate the Burma-Siam railway. Their instinct is to sabotage the bridge but, under the leadership of Colonel Nicholson, they are persuaded that the bridge should be constructed as a symbol of British morale, spirit and dignity in adverse circumstances. At first, the prisoners admire Nicholson when he bravely endures torture rather than compromise his principles for the benefit of the Japanese commandant Saito. He is an honorable but arrogant man, who is slowly revealed to be a deluded obsessive. He convinces himself that the bridge is a monument to British character, but actually is a monument to himself, and his insistence on its construction becomes a subtle form of collaboration with the enemy. Unknown to him, the Allies have sent a mission into the jungle, led by Warden and an American, Shears, to blow up the bridge. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It spans a whole new world of entertainment!

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild war violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

14 December 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El puente sobre el río Kwai  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$27,200,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints) (RCA Sound Recording)| (35 mm prints) (RCA Sound Recording)| (Linear PCM)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Ian Watts, longtime professor of English at Stanford, and author of the landmark "The Rise of the Novel", was a prisoner in the camp, helped with the construction of the bridge, and served as an advisor during the making of the film. See more »

Goofs

As Major Shears and the others are parachuting, the POV is the audience looking up at them coming down. There are some white clouds, and a lot of clear sky. Cut to their guide waiting on the ground, watching the men for a few seconds. Cut back to the audience POV looking up, and the sky is now all dark clouds. See more »

Quotes

Commander Shears: I'm getting worse, you know. Sometimes I think I'm Admiral Halsey.
See more »

Crazy Credits

and introducing Geoffrey Horne See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Day of the Jackal (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Sunset
(uncredited)
Performed by Malcolm Arnold
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Good film, but a travesty of history
29 June 2002 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

I am normally an admirer of David Lean. But it is difficult to understand why he chose to base this film on a real event at the River Kwai, as it grossly misrepresents the real "Colonel Nicholson" and caused considerable distress to both him and the River Kwai veterans.

The Colonel Nicholson character is based on the allied camp commander, Lieutenant Colonel Philip Toosey, who was a remarkable officer by any standards.

Awarded the DSO for heroism during the defence of Singapore, he refused an order to join the evacuation so he could remain with his men during captivity. In the hellish conditions of the camp, he worked courageously to ensure that as many of his men as possible would survive. He endured regular beatings when he complained of ill-treatment of prisoners, but as a skilled negotiator he was able to win many concessions from the Japanese by convincing them that this would speed the completion of the work. Behind their backs, however, he did everything possible to delay and sabotage the construction without endangering his men, and also helped organise a daring escape, at considerable cost to himself. For his conduct in the camp, he won the undying respect of his men.

After the war, he showed great generosity of spirit by saving the life of Colonel Saito, second in command at the camp and a relatively decent officer, when he spoke up for him at the war crimes tribunal. He worked for the veterans all his life, and became President of the National Federation of Far Eastern Prisoners of War.

He refused repeated requests by the veterans to speak out against the film, being much too modest to seek any glory or recognition for himself. However you will find his achievements documented in a book by Professor Peter Davies entitled "The Man Behind the Bridge".

Toosey hoped that no one watching the film would believe a British Army officer could be so stupid in real life. But with the film being rated on this site as one of the top 50 movies of all time, this hope may have been misplaced. Enjoy the film by all means as a work of fiction, but it is surely important to set the record straight and recognise the heroism of the real man involved.


280 of 430 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Not Liking The Look Of DVD. Different Versions? mail-2217
The Geneva Conventions rule seems incredibly elitist. HardCore88
Suggestion of seppuku? Max_Planck
Just fell out of the Top 100. Really?? SpaceMonkey-Mafioso
Nicholson deliberately set off the explosives internetnicknamehere-178-30027
'In Singapore we were ordered to surrender by Command Headquarters' waynejoseph
Discuss The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page