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 71 | slideshow) Videos (see all 3)
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:
8.2/10   161,156 votes »
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Popularity: ?
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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 25 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A powerful film experience See more (283 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

William Holden ... Shears

Alec Guinness ... Colonel Nicholson

Jack Hawkins ... Major Warden

Sessue Hayakawa ... Colonel Saito

James Donald ... Major Clipton

Geoffrey Horne ... Lieutenant Joyce

André Morell ... Colonel Green (as Andre Morell)
Peter Williams ... Captain Reeves
John Boxer ... Major Hughes

Percy Herbert ... Grogan

Harold Goodwin ... Baker

Ann Sears ... Nurse
Heihachirô Ôkawa ... Captain Kanematsu (as Henry Okawa)
Keiichirô Katsumoto ... Lieutenant Miura (also as K. Katsumoto) (as Keiichiro Katsumoto)
M.R.B. Chakrabandhu ... Yai (in opening credits) (as M.R.B. Chakrabandhu {Col. Broome})
Vilaiwan Seeboonreaung ... Siamese Girl
Ngamta Suphaphongs ... Siamese Girl
Javanart Punynchoti ... Siamese Girl
Kannikar Dowklee ... Siamese Girl
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Tsai Chin ... Tokyo Rose (voice) (uncredited)
Herbert Nelson ... Bit part (uncredited)

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)
Charlie Parfitt .... props (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)
Malcolm Stewart .... sound (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Frank Howard .... stunts (uncredited)
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)
Abdus Samad .... apprentice cinematographer (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)
John Scott .... musician: piccolo and flute (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 | Australia:G (Original rating) | Brazil:12 | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:K-16 | Iceland:12 | Ireland:G | Ireland:PG (re-rating) | 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 (PCA #18737) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | USA:PG (certificate #31588) (re-rating) (1991) | West Germany:12 (w)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The film was edited in Paris as David Lean was facing punitive divorce costs from the dissolution of his marriage to Ann Todd at the time in his native England.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: Set in 1943, a 1946 Chrysler was shown as a military staff car.See more »
Quotes:
Commander Shears:[referring to Col. Saito, who had a machine gun brought up to threaten Col. Nicholson and his officers] He's going to do it, believe me, he's really going to do it!See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
For He's a Jolly Good FellowSee more »

FAQ

What tune are the men whistling?
What is 'The Bridge on the River Kwai' about?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
See more »
99 out of 131 people found the following review useful.
A powerful film experience, 10 December 1999
Author: Wormtongue1 from Columbus, Ohio

I heard a film critic once say that there really aren't "war movies"; there are only "anti-war" movies. I'm still not sure what I think of that claim, but having seen - The Bridge on the River Kwai- enough times in the past several years, I think I'm persuaded that it's at least half right. -Kwai-, I believe, is both a "war" and "anti-war" movie, and, in my view, it succeeds admirably at both.

There is almost no element of -Kwai- that is not praise-worthy. David Lean's direction is tight and evocative. The cinematography is great (even though the color seems increasingly drained in film versions that I have seen). The acting is top-notch. I honestly believe that this is Alec Guiness's best performance, and Sessue Hayakawa is also highly sympathetic and believable. William Holden and Jack Hawkins round out the cast nicely.

The musical score is also right on. Simply put, -Kwai- is an excellently constructed film made by people who obviously cared a great deal about it. As a result, the viewer comes to care a great deal about it as well.

Clearly -Kwai- is an anti-war film. There is no glorification here. War is brutal, period. It's brutality is not captured here in terms of gory carnage or senseless battles. Instead, the psychological dimension of brutality comes across clearly. Yet, -Kwai- also shows the resilience of the human spirit as well as its complexity. One is left wondering if participation in World War II not only psychologically brutalized the characters played by Guiness, Hayakawa, and Holden but also if it simultaneously uplifted them. The paradox is striking to me each time I view this film. War can act both as a positive and negative catalyst, and it can do both of these things at the same instant.

So, is -The Bridge on the River Kwai- a war movie or an anti-war movie? I think Lean clearly preferred the latter, but the subject matter and his approach to it may have landed somewhere in between.

Regardless, -Kwai- is a fantastic film experience and is not to be missed. It is, simply put, my very favorite film--bar none.

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