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The Bridge on the River Kwai

The Bridge on the River Kwai(1957)

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  • Not themselves

    • Jeff Boston
    • 6/15/18

    The hot box got to Guiness' character and Holden's character went back to help blow up the bridge to avoid incarceration for impersonating an officer. This film is top notch in every way, except in real life the Brit would have been done in by his fellow officers and we would not have had such a great ending.

  • Implausible Script

    • David H.
    • 5/28/18

    In The Bridge on the River Kwai, I was impressed by the cinematography and set design. However, besides the confused ending what sinks the film for me was its unrealistic plot of Alec Guinness' Nicholson going from standing up to the Japanese to co-operating with them as well as William Holden's Shears escaping from the prison camp then coerced into going back and the explanations for their changes in character were inadequate. Other Oscar-nominated dramas in 1957 had much better scripts to work from than does The Bridge on the River Kwai.

  • lean was mean and clean with this movie.

    • a.morris
    • 2/28/18

    a story that shows how will and determination can either save you ..or in an ironic way destroy you. from david lean..the pride of the british film world.

  • One of my favorites of mine & mom's

    • Judy Walker
    • 4/3/16

    I rarely ever watched films with my mother but this film, "The Best Years of Our Lives", and "Sayonara", were amongst the three films that both my mom & I did watch together; & it was in these films, that I learned a lot of my mom's history before she met my dad. She was a young Okinawan working in the PX when she told me that she met Mr. Sessue Hayakawa and had come to browse in the shop. She said that they spoke very briefly and then he left. That story, among many others associated with the films of her youth, gave me a fresh perspective of my mom, the life she had before my dad, and her journey to the United States after their marriage. This film, whenever we would watch it, would resurface those memories of her meeting with this actor and it made watching it together all the more special. In addition, this is one film before the computerized generation of films, which gives more of its impact of what true cinematography can capture and the brilliance of not only the cinematography, but also of its direction, its actors and assemblage of all of it together can create such a masterpiece. It is one of my favorite war-time films and it ranks up for me as one of the great war-time epics of all time. My mom has since passed away but whenever this film is shown on TCM it's like she is still with me & watching alongside. Thanks TCM for providing the airing of this film a little bit of my heritage of what my mom & I experienced and continues on whenever it is shown.

  • Warden's (Hawkins) lines at the very end

    • James
    • 3/7/16

    This synopsis seems inconsistent. Warden says to the Siamese helpers, "I had to do it. They (Joyce and Shears) might have been captured alive". Was it Warden or the Japanese who killed Joyce and Shears??? Anyone???

  • The Bridge on the River kwai

    • Michael Whitty
    • 1/7/16

    British filmmaker David Lean started his big hits with "The Bridge on the River kwai" and then later "Lawrence of Arabia", "Doctor Zhivago", and "A Passage to India". With "River kwai" British prisoners are thrown into a Japanese prison camp in World War II and are told they have to build a bridge which they don't do untill peace is made between British officer Colonel Nicholson and Japanese officer Colonel Saito. The British do build a better bridge than the Japs could. Throughout William Holden excells as the American prisoner who escapes but is asked to return to blow up the bridge. Alec Guiness leads the British charge. The musical score with its famous march tune and the photography on the island of Ceylon work some wonders.

  • bridge

    • jomo
    • 9/2/14

    people never fail to live up to their lack of we have one of the finest movies in the history of film and somehow it cant get 4 stars FOR ANYTHING!LOL...

  • One of the best war films

    • Mark Caomhánach
    • 9/8/13

    This is a masterpiece of a film and I'll touch on some points without explaining the entire story. The film contains two stories within one bigger story. The first is about Holden's character and the second focuses on a struggle between Guinness and Hayakawa. Holden starts out as a malingering, weaselly cynic doing everything and anything to survive Saito's POW labor camp. He barely escapes the camp with his life and ends up recovering at a British base in Sri Lanka. All has paid off it seems as he swims and gets tanned with a cute little blond nurse. ( who provides some "horizontal refreshment") Then he gets Shanghaied into an elite unit destined to return to Saito's camp and blow the eponymous bridge. How can he possibly return to that jungle hell hole? He wouldn't go back there if they told him there was a mountain of gold and 30 hot blonds waiting for him. Stangely, by the end of the film, he has morphed into a gung ho, high-speed low-drag grunt willing to do anything to a accomplish the mission even though he has resisted it the whole way. At the beginning of the film and throughout the story you can cut his cynicism with a rusty bayonet. The other half of the story pits Guinness against Saito over the issue of British officers doing manual labor. They butt heads so hard that when Guinness finally "wins" the argument, you wonder what did he really win? Guinness' officers and enlisted men build Saito's bridge much better than Saito ever could, so again, what was won? They are like two men pulling a rope in a tug-of-war. They pull so hard, they both end up on opposite sides it seems. The best lines are at the end by spoken by Guinness : "My God, what have I done?" The British medical officer ends the film by exclaiming "Madness . . . . Madness !!"

  • The Bridge on the River Kwai

    • John
    • 8/4/13

    Overall-3 1/2 out of 5Lead Performers-4/5Supporting Cast-4/5Director-4/5Score-4/5Screenplay-3/5Cinematography-3/5Importance-3/5Recommendation for fans of genre-3/5

  • agreeing with "Steve of 2011"

    • r
    • 5/28/13

    Yes... a great film. I recall playing the "Colonel Bogey March" in the high school band...when it was new & thrilling.But...TCM: Please rest this movie...limit its showing to once a year or even less. It's being worn threadbare!

  • Excellent

    • Michael
    • 2/24/13

    Thoroughly enjoyable... Sheer "Madness"..

  • A true classic

    • douglas mccarther
    • 5/11/12

    This picture has a realistic set and great acting throughout. There are times I almost think I'm back in my uniform and saving the world again. Of all the great war movies this may be the best because of its psychological portrayal of its main characters. Ruling a prison camp with an iron fist yet having no fences or barb wire. Demanding justice for prisoners but protecting the enemies interests. Escaping from the insanity then returning through dense jungle only to meet certain death. WOW! I would never expect my men to perform these tasks. But the most intriguing of all is Lt. Joyce who volunteers for the dangerous mission then fails to use his knife training to take out an enemy soldier. Inexcusable! One of the greatest movies of all time but it reminds me of how much I miss the South Pacific and southeast Asia. I shall return!

  • The Bridge on the River Kwai

    • Dashiell Barnes
    • 5/6/12

    An wonderfully- made, epic war film from Lean. Guinness won an Academy Award for playing a stubborn Col. who believes that the Japanese treat him & his men with decency. The film is filled with tons of details in every scene & Malcolm Arnold's score is now iconic. A great war film that won six additional 'Oscars,' including 'Best Picture.' I give it a 4.5/5.

  • Masterpiece

    • Adventure
    • 10/4/11

    A great film from Columbia Pictures. William Holden was overlooked in this film because Alec Guiness gave such a towering performance, but both stars deserve equal praise for their fine work. Director David Lean creates a tension filled film worthy of the worldwide praise it received including the Oscar for Best Picture and Guiness as Best Actor. Producer Sam Spiegel deserved credit for producing this film in then Ceylon now Sri Lanka and sparing no expense. Spiegel and Lean would reunited a few years later for another Masterpiece that also won an Oscar, Lawrence of Arabia also at Columbia.

  • Enough Already!

    • Steve
    • 2/4/11

    I used to like this movie until TCM decided to show on a near weekly basis. Put this film back in the vaults and don't bring it back out until 2015. There are so many other great, lesser known films to show, I wonder why we are served this one again and again. I haven't seen any film noir for a long time, and when was the last time we got to view a Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck or Joan Crawford film before 3am? I'd put any one of these three greats up against the Axis anytime!

  • Highly overrated!

    • Dave
    • 6/12/10

    Other than the fact this movie is visually inoressive it's plot is rather weak, unbelievable, and cliche. I found it hard to even finish watching the movie. Must have been a weak year for pictures if this one won the best Oscar, It's got to be the worst movie to ever win the best picture Oscar.

  • A well deserved Best Picture Oscar

    • Jeff Boston
    • 2/2/10

    Excellent film in every way - screenplay, direction, acting, cinematography. I have watched it several times. Only disagreements are the Japanese were far more ruthless (to everyone) and the fate of Obi Wan would have occurred much earlier - in his sleep by his own officers (of course, that would have shortended one of the best movies ever made). I think it's better than Lean's Lawrence of Arabia, also one of the best ever.

  • Unsung Hero

    • Bob Hendrick
    • 2/15/09

    Great movie! Alec Guiness delivers a beautifully underplayed performance, and probably deserved the Oscar. However, Willim Holden's performance was much underrated in this film. His character was more animated and diverse than Guiness' character. But, that's Hollywood!

  • #1 on my list...

    • Fritz
    • 10/16/07

    While this may not be the best movie ever produced, though I think it may be, I find it more and more intriguing each time I view it.The heat of the yard is stiffling, the train whistle haunting and underlying compassion very powerful.A must have for any library.


    • WILSON
    • 7/31/07


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