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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.

Director:

Andrew V. McLaglen

Writers:

Joan Blair (book), Clay Blair Jr. (book) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Timothy Bottoms ... Seaman Miller
Nick Tate ... Lt. Commander Hunt
George Takei ... Lieutenant Tanaka
Edward Fox ... Major Benford
Paul Holm Paul Holm ... Benford's Patient
Chris Penn ... Lieutenant Crawford (as Christopher Penn)
Ronnie Lazaro ... Boonrod
Richard Graham Richard Graham ... Sergeant Perry
Tatsuya Nakadai ... Major Harada
Denholm Elliott ... Colonel Grayson
Anna Maria Tirol Anna Maria Tirol ... Meo Girl
Andres Tepongco Andres Tepongco ... Anon
Masato Nagamori Masato Nagamori ... Lieutenant Yamashita
Pierre Valderon Pierre Valderon ... Frenchman in Saigon
Patricia Edmondson 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 April 1989 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

El regreso del río Kwai See more »

Filming Locations:

Malaysia See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (as Dolby Stereo in selected theatres)

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie is not an official sequel to The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957). It does supposedly follow-on from historical events as depicted in that film but the characters in both films are basically different. See more »

Soundtracks

Pack Up Your Troubles
(uncredited)
Written by George Asaf and Felix Powell
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User Reviews

 
Mickey Mouse creeps to the Kwai
16 November 2012 | by drystyxSee all my reviews

If the old guard and war purists thought the epic Guiness-Holden-Hawkins war film was unreal, they'd reconsider that film as being totally credible when compared to this.

One wouldn't think that a film made in 1989 would be devoid of realism in war. The seventies preached "realism", though refused to deliver it, instead trying to con audiences with tawdry, depressing scenes just to be under budget, then claim it was "realism". Nope, Then the eighties came, and producers couldn't get away from the heckling of the literate public, who saw through their con jobs.

However, "Reality" in war was still preached, only now not as contrived for bullets to find only likable characters.

Which makes this Mickey Mouse adventure a puzzle, and makes it even more embarrassing. By 1989, I guarantee you that three out of four people knew the POWs in Japanese camps were beyond malnutrition, and incapable of swinging an axe, let alone taking a knife and thrusting it into guard.

Overcoming Japanese soldiers is so rampant here, that it borders on comedy. True, in "Bataan" American soldiers led by Robert Taylor made a mockery of the enemy, but old timers form the era told me that it wasn't far off the truth, because American soldiers were nourished and strong, and of the Japanese, only the leading Samurai got more than a handful of rice a day. The Japanese soldier was weak from severe hunger.

However, while the soldier was weak from hunger, and mean from hunger, he wasn't in the horrid condition the POW was in.

This movie has POWs that make the POWs in Lean's epic look like skin and bones.

That said, a movie can still be "watchable". This one is slightly "watchable", but don't expect much. In the end, it's pretty much a waste of time, but it doesn't leave you depressed. Just look at it as Bugs Bunny outwitting Elmer Fudd again, or Mickey Mouse squeaking along at the river Kwai.


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