IMDb > The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
The Bridge on the River Kwai
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The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 58 | slideshow) Videos (see all 4)
The Bridge on the River Kwai -- 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.
The Bridge on the River Kwai -- Clip: What have I done
The Bridge on the River Kwai -- Clip: A reasonable type

Overview

User Rating:
8.3/10   116,828 votes »
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Down 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer (WGA):
Contact:
View company contact information for The Bridge on the River Kwai on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 December 1957 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
It spans a whole new world of entertainment!
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 7 Oscars. Another 29 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Good film, but a travesty of history See more (247 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
David Lean 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
Pierre Boulle (novel "Le pont de la rivière Kwaï")

Carl Foreman  screenplay (originally uncredited)
Michael Wilson  screenplay (originally uncredited)

Produced by
Sam Spiegel .... producer
 
Original Music by
Malcolm Arnold 
 
Cinematography by
Jack Hildyard (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Peter Taylor (chief editor)
 
Art Direction by
Donald M. Ashton 
 
Makeup Department
Stuart Freeborn .... makeup artist
George Partleton .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Cecil F. Ford .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gus Agosti .... assistant director
Ted Sturgis .... assistant director
John Kerrison .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Geoffrey Drake .... assistant art director
Peter Dukelow .... construction manager
Eddie Fowlie .... property master (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Pam Bosworth .... additional sound editor
Eric Boyd-Perkins .... additional sound editor
Fred Burnley .... additional sound editor
Rusty Coppleman .... additional sound editor
John Cox .... sound
Teddy Darvas .... additional sound editor
Janet Davidson .... additional sound editor
Norma Hawkes .... additional sound editor
Peter Miller .... additional sound editor
John W. Mitchell .... sound (as John Mitchell)
Winston Ryder .... chief sound editor
Peter Davies .... post-synchronisation (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Nosher Powell .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Archie Dansie .... chief electrician
Peter Newbrook .... camera operator
Ron Drinkwater .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Gerry Fisher .... additional camera operator (uncredited)
Gerry Fisher .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Robert Merry .... lighting technician (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
John Wilson-Apperson .... wardrobe (as John Apperson)
 
Editorial Department
George Hively .... editor (restoration)
William Pine .... color timer (restoration) (as Bill Pine)
Sati Tooray .... colorist (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Malcolm Arnold .... conductor (uncredited)
Charles Camilleri .... additional orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Angela Martelli .... continuity
L.E.M. Perowne .... technical adviser (as Major-Gen. L.E.M. Perowne C.B. C.B.)
William Harrigan Jr. .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Robert Haslam .... consultant: explosives (uncredited)
Robert Haslam .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Grady Johnson .... publicist (uncredited)
Maurice Landsberger .... cashier (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated PG for mild war violence (re-rating) (1991)
Runtime:
161 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) (RCA Sound Recording) | Mono (35 mm prints) (RCA Sound Recording) | 4-Track Stereo (Linear PCM)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Brazil:12 | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Chile:14 | Finland:K-16 | Iceland:12 | Japan:G (2010) | Norway:16 | Portugal:17 | Portugal:M/12 (R-10) (re-release) | South Korea:12 | Spain:T | Sweden:15 | UK:U (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1986) (1992) | USA:Approved | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | USA:PG (re-rating) (1991) | West Germany:12 (w)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
When David Lean agreed to the project, he took on the task of reworking Carl Foreman's script. Lean felt that Foreman's script had discarded the best elements of the book in favor of heavy-handed melodrama and action/adventure. Lean noted that the conflict between Colonel Nicholson and Saito became apparent far too late in the narrative, and that Saito was written like a stock B-picture villain. In terms of message, it was important to Lean that Colonel Nicholson's minor folly of building the bridge mirror the greater folly of the war itself.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Col. Saito leaves Col. Nicholson and the other officers standing in the sun their shadows lengthen during the day. The scene then cuts to a view from inside the 'hospital' and the shadows of the officers are noticeably shorter.See more »
Quotes:
Nurse at Ceylon hospital:What makes you so sure you'll get a medical discharge?
Commander Shears:Because I'm a civilian at heart, lover, and I always follow my heart.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Something to Do with Death (2003) (V)See more »
Soundtrack:
Shear's EscapeSee more »

FAQ

What is 'The Bridge on the River Kwai' about?
Was a real bridge used for the blowup scene?
Why was this film controversial when it was released?
See more »
280 out of 432 people found the following review useful.
Good film, but a travesty of history, 29 June 2002
Author: gcaplan from UK

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.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Transport of Sick and Wounded Barney-Robel
'In Singapore we were ordered to surrender by Command Headquarters' waynejoseph
Colonel Saito and the knife. jerryco99
'Colonel Saito, have you a knife?' BlakeSlayton
Not Liking The Look Of DVD. Different Versions? mail-2217
Music Seems Dated mail-2217
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