4.9/10
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15 user 5 critic

Return from the River Kwai (1989)

PG-13 | | Drama, War | 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:

Drama | War

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 »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

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

Rule Britannia
(uncredited)
Music by Thomas Augustine Arne
Arranged by Lalo Schifrin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Decent Entertainment for War Film Fans
26 February 2005 | by gus81See all my reviews

Though a far cry from the David Lean classic, I thought this film offered reasonable entertainment for anyone with a passing interest in war films. Admittedly, there is not a great deal to say critically in the film's favour, but I think the current voter average is a little too harsh.

The film does suffer from a large dollop of poor acting, a sometimes inane and amateurish script, and often allows itself to become bogged down in clichés. The stilted and often unimaginative direction makes the film seem like a television show. However, at times the director allows the film to shine with some snappy and economical moments. The music is by the great Lalo Schifrin, and though not one of his best works (a little too simplistic and drenched in military cliché) it is quite catchy. But the special effects are too lacklustre to make the action sequences truly exciting.

However, Return from the River Kwai does have at least an interesting premise, and a decent screenplay which helps carry the story well. The on location shooting makes the settings look authentic, and the costumes are fairly decent. The film offers more than enough thrills and spills to keep you amused on a rainy afternoon. And of course it is great to see the always dependable George Takei and Edward Fox, as well as the lovable, late-great, Denholm Elliot on screen.

By no stretch a great movie, but one I am content to pass the time with. I do wish that television stations would program a movie like this for a daytime matinée instead of that made-for-television rubbish about some murderer in Mid-West America. Return from the River Kwai is a much better effort than those kind of movies, and it offers good, simple, lunchtime fare. At least a 5/10.


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