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 »

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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   111,135 votes »
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Down 9% 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 24 wins & 5 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(163 articles)
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User Reviews:
Still Stirring Wartime Adventure and Compelling Psychological Drama Exhibit David Lean at His Peak See more (245 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
 
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:
Around the time that he was offered The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), David Lean had little money and was very much in need of a new project. He was contracted for $150,000 to be paid in installments. As soon as he signed, Lean borrowed $2000 from Columbia Pictures to get his teeth fixed.See more »
Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): At the first officers' meeting, Col Nicholson says Jennings' name right, then he says it as Jenning.See more »
Quotes:
Colonel Nicholson:I'm adamant. I will not have an officer from my battalion working as a coolie.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004) (VG)See more »
Soundtrack:
Working on the BridgeSee more »

FAQ

How does the movie end?
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Is 'The Bridge on the River Kwai' based on a book?
See more »
30 out of 34 people found the following review useful.
Still Stirring Wartime Adventure and Compelling Psychological Drama Exhibit David Lean at His Peak, 1 June 2006
Author: Ed Uyeshima from San Francisco, CA, USA

After years of more intimate British films and just discovering the joys of location shooting with 1955's "Summertime", master director David Lean made his first actual widescreen epic with 1957's "The Bridge on the River Kwai", an acknowledged classic that deserves attention from a new generation of viewers and another visit from the rest of us who love perfectly executed films by an unparalleled craftsman. Recently, this movie has been overshadowed by his 1962 follow-up epic, the comparatively more elaborate "Lawrence of Arabia", but this richly textured WWII-set adventure is special enough on its own terms. While it has its share of action and suspense presented in exacting detail, the film is even more resonant as a psychological drama about the test of wills between mission-driven officers amid the perils of wartime survival.

The plot takes place in 1943 when after surrendering in Singapore, Col. Nicholson marches his ragged British company into a Japanese prisoner work camp in the Burmese jungle (this is where the famous whistling of "Colonel Bogey March" is first heard). The erudite Col. Saito runs the camp and demands that the new prisoners build a massive railway bridge, a critical juncture between Rangoon and Malaysia. In a classic stand-off, Nicholson finally forces Saito to respect Geneva Convention and not allow his officers to do manual labor on the construction. Upon his ironic Pyrrhic victory, Nicholson slowly descends into the madness of seeing the completed bridge as a potential morale booster for his battle-weary men. Meanwhile, shortly after Nicholson's arrival, U.S. Navy Cmdr. Shears escapes from the camp only to be later blackmailed into joining a British commando mission led by do-or-die Maj. Warden and hesitant Lt. Joyce with the sole goal of blowing up the bridge. Through Peter Taylor's thoughtful film editing, the movie breathlessly alternates between the parallel story lines of the bridge construction and the jungle commando mission until the exciting climax.

Lean's accomplishments are many with this memorable film - the authenticity of the Burmese jungle locations (filmed in Sri Lanka), the seamless integration of the two story lines, the masterful handing of the final scenes, and in particular, the gradual metamorphosis of Nicholson from a by-the-book British officer to Saito's willing collaborator. A frequent participant in Lean's films, Alec Guinness gives his career-best performance as Nicholson providing all sorts of unexpected shades to his complex characterization. As Shears, William Holden does what he did best in the 1950's, concurrently exude natural bravado and a conflicted soul and then added a layer of cynicism that dares to challenge the viewer to support him. The 68-year old Sessue Hayakawa came out of retirement to play Saito and delivers a subtle performance of unbending discipline and pained humiliation. Jack Hawkins and Geoffrey Horne lend sturdy support as Warden and Joyce respectively. With the same expert eye he lent to "Summertime", Jack Hildyard provides the superbly expressive and composed cinematography. Michael Wilson and Carl Foreman, both blacklisted at the time, wrote the brilliantly developed screenplay. This is essential viewing.

The two-disc 2000 Limited Edition DVD set has a pristine print transfer with great sound making the entire experience feel surprisingly fresh upon viewing. There is a nearly hour-long documentary on Disc Two, "The Making of The Bridge on the River Kwai", produced for the DVD and full of intriguing insight into the production logistics. There are a couple of shorter featurettes produced around the time of the film's original release, the first is a black-and-white teaser for the film itself and the second a rather pedestrian lesson in Film 101 produced by USC grad students and introduced by Holden. Director John Milius provides a respectful tribute to the film in another short.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (245 total) »

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
Older entries? jtdeclercq
Nicholson deliberately set off the explosives internetnicknamehere-178-30027
The Geneva Conventions rule seems incredibly elitist. HardCore88
Just fell out of the Top 100. Really?? SpaceMonkey-Mafioso
Suggestion of seppuku? Max_Planck
Language mistake lmh-10
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