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Return from the River Kwai (1989)

PG-13 | | War, Drama | 14 April 1989 (UK)
A group of war prisoners from the Kwai bridge building camp undertake a harsh journey to Japan.

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(book), (book) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Seaman Miller
...
Lt. Commander Hunt
...
Lieutenant Tanaka
...
Paul Holm ...
Benford's Patient
...
Lieutenant Crawford (as Christopher Penn)
...
Boonrod
Richard Graham ...
Sergeant Perry
...
...
Colonel Grayson
Anna Maria Tirol ...
Meo Girl
Andres Tepongco ...
Anon
Masato Nagamori ...
Lieutenant Yamashita
Pierre Valderon ...
Frenchman in Saigon
Patricia Edmondson ...
Lady in Saigon
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Storyline

A group of war prisoners has spilt blood, sweat and tears to construct a bridge over the river Kwai in Thailand. Just when the bridge is ready, an American bomber arrives and destroys it. Camp commander Tanaka wants to set an example and orders that some of the prisoners must be executed. Just in time major Harada arrives with orders that the healthiest prisoners must be transported to Japan by train and boat. A treacherous journey since the allied forces keep a close eye on railroads and practically own the seas. The prisoners are thinking of plans to escape. Meanwhile the American bomber has been shot down and its pilot, Leyland Crawford, is being rescued by the indigenous people, the Meo. The Meo have formed a resistance group against the Japanese, led by the British colonel Grayson. Written by Arnoud Tiele (imdb@tiele.nl)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

War | Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

14 April 1989 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

El regreso del río Kwai  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(as Dolby Stereo in selected theatres)

Color:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's opening prologue states: "In February 1945, planes from the 493rd Squadron of the U.S. Army Air Corps bombed and destroyed the bridges on the River Kwai in Japanese-occupied Thailand. This film is based on the true events which happened during that period." See more »

Soundtracks

Waltzing Matilda
Lyrics of "Waltzing Matilda" by A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson (as A.B. Paterson) © Retusa Pty Ltd
Music by Marie Cowan
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User Reviews

 
Nothing for David Lean to have lost any sleep over
23 June 2008 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

When it played originally in the UK, Return From the River Kwai carried a legal disclaimer that the film was in no way related to or a sequel to The Bridge On the River Kwai, to which the only response is "No s***, Sherlock." Where Lean had Alec Guinness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins and Sessue Hayakawa, Andrew V. McLaglen has to make do with Edward Fox, Christopher Penn, Denholm Elliott and George Takei, which should tip you off what to expect. It has a good enough true story to tell – no bridge building this time, but the eventful journey of Allied P.O.W.s being sent to Japan as forced labor as the war neared its end – but while bridges and ships are blown up, planes crash and there are hundreds of extras, it all has a perfunctory feel to it and a lack of vision. Sargon Tamimi and Paul Mayersberg's script tends to be surprisingly repetitive too. It's the kind of film where a character says "We're coming into Phnom Penh," followed by a shot of a train passing a sign reading 'Phnom Penh, followed by another character saying "We can't stay long in Phnom Penh," just in case anyone missed the fact that they're in Phnom Pen… While Fawxx reigns in his self-parodic tendencies for once without ever being particularly good, Elliot is especially disastrously miscast as a commando leading local guerrilla forces. Blinking wildly every time he fires a gun, it's like someone hired the local vicar to play Rambo in the village fete. The Japanese characters naturally come off worse. Tatsuta Nakadai's alcoholic commander fares well enough in his few Japanese scenes but his inability to speak English results in him awkwardly delivering many of his lines in clumsy phonetic Ing-leesh, though he's easily outdone by Takei's abysmal pantomime villain performance as his sadistic second in command that's straight out of a bad WW2 propaganda film (as is Lalo Schifrin's heavy-handed score). While it all plays rather better on the small screen than it did on the big one, it's one of those films you really don't need to see. Shot with one eye firmly on the late 80s video market boom and never released in the US in any form, it's no surprise to see this being given away as another UK newspaper freebie.


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enjoyed it....how's this film so unpopular? moviefiend-1
U.S. release AGrugan
Best not to look at this as a sequel to the David Lean Epic clewis100
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