The Bridge over the River Kwai

The Bridge over the River Kwai (1952)

Novel: The Bridge over the River Kwai ()
Published/Performed: 1952

Author: Pierre Boulle
Born: Feb 20, 1912 Avignon, France
Passed: Jan 30, 1994 Paris, France

Film: The Bridge on the River Kwai
Released: 1957

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About the Novel The Bridge over the River Kwai:

Pierre Boulle (20 February 1912 ? 30 January 1994) was a French novelist largely known for two famous works, The Bridge over the River Kwai (1952) and Planet of the Apes (1963).

While in Paris, Boulle used his war experiences in writing Le Pont de la rivi?re Kwa? (1952; The Bridge over the River Kwai), which became a multi-million-copy worldwide bestseller, winning the French "Prix Sainte-Beuve". The book was a semi-fictional story based on the real plight of Allied POWs forced to build a 415 km (258 mi) railway that passed over the bridge, and which became known as the "Death Railway". 16,000 prisoners and 100,000 Asian conscripts died during construction of the line. His character of Lt-Col. Nicholson was not based on the real Allied senior officer at the Kwai bridges, Philip Toosey, but was reportedly an amalgam of his memories of collaborating French officers. Both the book and film outraged former prisoners because Toosey did not collaborate with the enemy, unlike the fictional Colonel Nicholson.

David Lean made The Bridge over the River Kwai into a motion picture that won several 1957 Oscars, including the Best Picture, and Best Actor for Alec Guinness. Boulle himself won the award for Best Adapted Screenplay despite not having written the screenplay and, by his own admission, not even speaking English. (He gave what is said to be the shortest acceptance speech in Academy Award history, the single word "Merci".) Boulle had been credited with the screenplay because the film's actual writers, Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson, had been blacklisted as communist sympathizers. Pierre Boulle was neither a Socialist nor a Communist. The Motion Picture Academy added Foreman's and Wilson's names to the award in 1984.

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Featured Cast (Names and Roles) of the Film The Bridge on the River Kwai: