MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 222 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 120,817 users  
Reviews: 251 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

Editors' Spotlight

Unbroken: An interview with Angelina Jolie

IMDb's Arno Kazarian chats with Angelina Jolie about working with cinematographer Roger Deakins and harnessing Jack O'Connell's fire

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 40 titles
created 30 Apr 2012
 
a list of 37 titles
created 17 Aug 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 27 Oct 2012
 
a list of 43 titles
created 30 Dec 2012
 
a list of 35 titles
created 5 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 #126 | Won 7 Oscars. Another 25 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A flamboyant and controversial British military figure and his conflicted loyalties during his World War I service in the Middle East.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Allied P.O.W.s plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough
Ben-Hur (1959)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb
The Sting (1973)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In 1930s Chicago, a young con man seeking revenge for his murdered partner teams up with a master of the big con to win a fortune from a criminal banker.

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw
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
Certificate: M Biography | Crime | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Two Western bank/train robbers flee to Bolivia when the law gets too close.

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A man refuses to conform to life in a rural prison.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Stars: Paul Newman, George Kennedy, Strother Martin
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Fred Dobbs and Bob Curtin, two Americans searching for work in Mexico, convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A manipulative Southern belle carries on a turbulent affair with a blockade runner during the American Civil War.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason
Casablanca (1942)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Set in unoccupied Africa during the early days of World War II: An American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen complications.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Geoffrey Horne ...
...
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

Writer Pierre Boulle, who had been a prisoner of war in Thailand, created Colonel Nicholson as an amalgamation of his memories of collaborating French officers. He strongly denied the claim that the book was anti-British, although many involved in the film itself (including Alec Guinness, who played Nicholson) felt otherwise. See more »

Goofs

Many Japanese POW camp commandants equipped their guards with British equipment because of an abundance of British ordnance after the fall of Singapore in 1942 and the difficulties in equipping main line troops with new equipment so far from Japan, much less camp guards who would not be near the fighting and would not require constant resupply. The warring nations equipped prison camp guards with second hand equipment. As such, it is not a goof that the Japanese soldiers do not have Japanese weapons. See more »

Quotes

Commander Shears: You mean, you intend to uphold the letter of the law, no matter what it costs?
Colonel Nicholson: Without law, Commander, there is no civilization.
Commander Shears: That's just my point; here, there is no civilization.
Colonel Nicholson: Then we have the opportunity to introduce it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

and introducing Geoffrey Horne See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Wayne and Shuster Years (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

If You Were the Only Girl in the World
(1916) (uncredited)
Music by Nat Ayer
Lyrics by Clifford Grey
Performed by Percy Herbert and Harold Goodwin at the Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Far Ahead of Its Time
14 August 1998 | by (Norfolk, VA) – See all my reviews

First off, what is so amazing about this film is that, for the time that it was made, how modern it looks. David Lean certainly had the eye of any modern director and managed to direct a visual masterpiece at a time when many films were still being shot in black and white.

William Holden gives one of his finest performances as a cynic of warfare , citing for us the insanity and absurdity that the combatants often convey. And he hates the war, but he cannot avoid been thrown back into it again and again. We wish he could stay on the beach with his nurse lover, but he is a man destined for a tragic doom for his country, whether he wants to or not.

Alec Guiness also delivers a fine performance as a bold general whose own pride is, at the same time, his most noble quality as well as his greatest fault. He is uncompromising, yet when the Japanese submit to his demands, he begins overseeing the construction of the bridge with great esteem. Eventually, for him, the bridge becomes a manifestation of his belief of the superiority of the British Army, which he follows like a religion. And in putting all his pride into this bridge, he loses sight of even the British's own true agenda. Truly, his sense of overwhelming honor is, at the same time, his downfall in a descent to a loss of morality, and a sense of good and evil.

And yes, by the end of this film, we learn a great lesson of the horrors of war. Not only does it take the lives of many good men, but the utter failure and despair that accompany it make it an unbearable existence. And this message has only recently been re-evaluated with the also-brilliant masterpiece "Saving Private Ryan." But, keep in mind that it took forty years to regain the power that this film inspired so long ago.


71 of 103 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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

Contribute to This Page