IMDb > The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
The Bridge on the River Kwai
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

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   117,981 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
No change 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 25 wins & 5 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(180 articles)
War Films at the Oscars
 (From Scott Feinberg. 13 October 2014, 8:30 AM, PDT)

Which is the greatest British film in history? No one seems to be in agreement
 (From Alt Film Guide. 11 October 2014, 5:32 PM, PDT)

Who is Miyavi?
 (From Scott Feinberg. 9 October 2014, 9:06 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A powerful film experience See more (246 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


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

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:
Revealing mistakes: Although the explosives were planted at the bases of the bridge piers, when the bridge is blown up, multiple explosions are also seen at track level, far above and away from where the explosives were actually planted.See more »
Quotes:
Colonel Nicholson:Queer bird... even for an American.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Short Circuit (1986)See more »
Soundtrack:
OvertureSee more »

FAQ

Was a real bridge used for the blowup scene?
Did Saito intend to commit seppeku?
Why was this film controversial when it was released?
See more »
83 out of 112 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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (246 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
'In Singapore we were ordered to surrender by Command Headquarters' waynejoseph
Transport of Sick and Wounded Barney-Robel
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
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
To End All Wars Lawrence of Arabia The Great Raid Force 10 from Navarone The Great Escape
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb top 250 movies IMDb Adventure section
IMDb UK section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.