The Bridge on the River Kwai details
|Formats:||PG DVD, Blu-ray|
|Starring:||Geoffrey Horne, Jack Hawkins, James Donald, Andre Morrell, William Holden, Percy Herbert, Alec Guinness, Sessue Hayakawa|
|Genres:||Action/Adventure - War, Drama - War|
|Studio:||COLUMBIA TRI-STAR HOME VIDEO|
|Collections:||100 must-see movies, American Film Institute's top 100, Best Picture Oscar Winners, Full English|
The Bridge on the River Kwai
The Bridge On The River Kwai - Bonus Disc
|Run time:||2 hours 35 minutes|
|Rental release:||04 Dec 2000|
|Subtitles:||Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish, Turkish|
Most helpful review
Luxuriant classic with great Alex Guinness roleBy wreeve (60 reviews) from London NW3 , 23 Oct 2005
[Highly rated reviewer]This is, as expected, a film about the futility of war, the horrendous treatment of Allied prisoners by the Japanese, and tales of daring and bravery.
What I had not expected is a depiction of the morality of obeying the law, and of obsession.
The film comprises three acts.
In the first act, we see the Allied prisoners set to work building The Bridge, and a power struggle between Alex Guinness' Allied commanding officer, and the Japanese camp commander. Guinness' character wants the Japanese to obey the Geneva conventions that officers (not their men) may not do manual labour.
In the second act, Guinness 'wins' after enduring much subhuman treatment. But his behaviour evolves in an unexpected way: he determines to show the Japanese, now that they are complying with the Geneva Convention, how effective this will make the British men. He sets the men to work on building the bridge in double quick time. And in so doing he fails to see the conflict inherent in aiding the enemy, instead concentrating just on getting the job done 'with honour'.
In the third act the Americans come along to save the day. A commando raid sets off to bomb the bridge on the day of its grand opening. The insertion of the Americans is all rather daft but the climactic scene works very well nonetheless and twists several times in unexpected ways.
The great irony here is that the brutal Japanese commander (played by Hayakawa) fails to achieve his ends by his own means, but once he uses Guinness' means, achieves his desired ends in double time. Guinness' victory in the first act is essentially Phyrric, and his insistence on the principle of following orders means his men fail to hit home with their valid concerns about aiding the enemy.
The scenery, and The Bridge, are stunning, and have been repurposed digitally to great effect. The sound too is surprisingly good, working well in 5.1 surround. But the highlight is the interplay between Guinness and Hayakawa - whose characters are richly developed. The film is at least 30 minutes too long - most of the scenes with Americans in should have been dropped - but overall you can see why this film won seven Academy Awards.
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A British ClassicBy Abby88 (167 reviews) from Bognor Regis , 31 Dec 2012This is a great adventure film loosely based on a true story of POW's who built a bridge on the river Kwai. Slightly overlong but engaging.
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Bridge on the River Kwai or a bridge too far...By dom_nan_87 (1 review) from Stafford , 25 Apr 2012As this classic war time movie appears frequently in top 10 & 20 must see movie lists and also as I am quite a fan of this genre, it was about time I sat down and gave this longer than other war movies a chance.
Although one cannot quibble that the subject matter adds a certain amount of gravitas to the film in its entirety, I have to admit that other less well known films of this type are far more encapsulating. The Bridge on the River Kwai's plot was, dare I say, predictable and this too could be said about the character developments of most of the main roles. This is not too say that the acting was by no means terrible, on the contrary Alec Guiness and Jack Hawkins are, as always, superb! However if you want to watch a war movie with depth and insight why not give a film such as, The Cruel Sea a go. Such an emotional rollercoaster cannot be denied such well deserved acclaim. Even if you were to go for something a little more light hearted in this genre then I could easily recommend The Devil's Brigade.
Despite this one should not be put off from viewing this effort. It reminds us all of the sacrifice and endurance which Japanese prisoners of war had to encounter whilst in captivity. Such accounts should not be forgotten and we will remember them.
British ClassicBy Chalky86 (11 reviews) , 20 Apr 2012Time-less. Alec Guinness is pure magic!!
Endurance and discipline is the order of the day as you watch British and American POW's endure brutal treatment at the hands of the Japanese.
It's a master class is many ways but to cut a long story short a must see.
If you rely on CGI for kicks this probably isn't for you but if you like history, good acting, a storey line and class then this ticks all the boxes.
A Proper Film.
Obi Wan goes to BurhmaBy a customer , 09 Jan 2012Absolutly brilliant. A classic war film showing true British stiff upper lip-ness. Even more beautiful on Blu-ray. Alec Guiness' character shows just what it means to be a leader of men in war time.
Not true to lifeBy lola_kud (6 reviews) , 09 Dec 2011I have been to the Kwai in Thailand and having watched the film as a child I was excited to watch it again.
Alec Gusiness is great in this along with all the actors, the story is unrealistic though. It certainly does not reflect the reality of what life was like as a POW there, which was disappointing. The film is worth a watch but not for its historic content.