A true story about four Allied POWs who endure harsh treatment from their Japanese captors during World War II while being forced to build a railroad through the Burmese jungle. Ultimately ...
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A true story about four Allied POWs who endure harsh treatment from their Japanese captors during World War II while being forced to build a railroad through the Burmese jungle. Ultimately they find true freedom by forgiving their enemies. Based on the true story of Ernest Gordon.Written by
During the funeral scene for the Colonel, a piper begins to play a rendition of "Amazing Grace". While this hymn was published in 1779, it was not performed on bagpipes until 1972 by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. See more »
[to a freshly-beaten Gordon]
Ah. Looks like you didn't bow. Always bow before a guard, Korean or Jap. And *never* look 'em in the eyes when they pass you: that's pure defiance. Always look away. Rules of Bushido.
Lt. Jim Reardon:
Yeah. Their kind of chivalry. Respect and obligation. If you don't respect them, they feel obligated to beat you. Nothing personal.
Well, it sure as bloody hell feels personal.
Yeah, well, it works both ways. They do the same to their own.
Lt. Jim Reardon:
Now there's a comfort.
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It was not until the end of the film that I discovered that this was a real life account of the horrors suffered by the allied POW's building the Burma railroad.
No film can ever show how terrible it was, despite the attempt to film in sequence with the actors dieting in order to lose weight as time went on. The actors would have had to do three years manual labor in the jungle heat for 18 hours a day on 1,000 (or less) calorie meatless slop, while suffering dysentery, beri beri, pellagra, tropical ulcers, regular beatings and other cruelty, all the time unaware of what was happening at home or how the war was going. They lived under the constant fear of being killed once they were no longer useful. By the time they were liberated the survivors were walking skeletons.
It is a credit to the filmmakers that this relatively low budget movie conveys this terrible period so well and the fo. This should be a "must see" in school history classes.
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