Wyoming, early 1900s. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid are the leaders of a band of outlaws. After a train robbery goes wrong they find themselves on the run with a posse hard on their heels. Their solution - escape to Bolivia.
George Roy Hill
During WW II, allied POWs in a Japanese internment camp are ordered to build a bridge to accommodate the Burma-Siam railway. Their instinct is to sabotage the bridge, but under the leadership of Colonel Nicholson they're persuaded the bridge should be built to help morale, spirit. At first, the prisoners admire Nicholson when he bravely endures torture rather than compromise his principles for the benefit of Japanese Commandant Colonel Saito, but soon they realise it's a monument to Nicholson, himself, as well as a form of collaboration with the enemy.Written by
The movie's story was loosely based on a true World War II incident, and the real-life character of Lieutenant Colonel Philip Toosey. One of several Allied P.O.W.s, Toosey was in charge of his men from late 1942 through May 1943 when they were ordered to build two River Kwai bridges in Burma (one of steel, one of wood), to help move Japanese supplies and troops from Bangkok to Rangoon. In reality, the bridge took eight months to build (rather than two months), and they were used for two years. They were destroyed in an Allied bombing raid in late June of 1945. Toosey's memoirs were compiled into a 1991 book by Peter Davies, titled "The Man Behind the Bridge". See more »
Major Shears and two others try to escape. It is indicated that two are killed and one drowns (supposedly Shears) but the Japanese carry three bodies back to camp to be buried. The third body is the Japanese guard Shears killed before he vanished into the bushes, and was chased into the river. See more »
Attention, English prisoners! Notice I do not say "English soldiers". From the moment you surrendered, you ceased to be soldiers. You will finish the bridge by the twelfth day of May. You will work under the direction of a Japanese engineer, Lieutenant Mioura. Time is short. All men will work. Your officers will work beside you. This is only just. For it is they who betray you by surrender. Your shame is their dishonor. It is they who told you: "Better to live like a coolie than die like a hero...
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Various versions have different main credits. There is the original that gives screenplay credit to Pierre Boulle, there is the restored version in which previously blacklisted Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson are credited and there is the original version that was distributed to cinemas at the time still lacking in CinemaScope equipment in which the Cinema Scope credit is omitted and the credits formatted to fit the smaller frame. See more »
"It's a matter of principle" - timeless direction by David Lean
"The Bridge on the River Kwai" is a prinoner-of-war drama at its best, masterfully directed by David Lean.
Amazing direction, and the whole approach to making this film is timeless - a study in being ahead of its time. Stunning set pieces and production design - such and effort was put into this. Fantastic cinematography, filled to the brim with pitch-perfect pans, wide-shots, and tracking-shots. Intense and dramatic score, deservedly receiving one of the total of seven Academy Awards. Brilliant cast and in particular Alec Guinness, who perfectly portrays a man of honour.
What is a big shame is the way Colonel Philip Toosey - the original colonel, portrayed through Nicholson - was misrepresented, in that he actually acted very differently and much more courageously than in the film.
Nonetheless, as a look into the historic event that took place in 1943 Burma, it is absolutely brilliant, and although the film does not carry loads of emotional moments, it is technically excellent, and greatly entertaining.
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