The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) was a Adventure - Drama Film directed by David Lean and produced by Sam Spiegel.
The film was based on the novel The Bridge over the River Kwai written by Pierre Boulle published in 1952.
Directed by the now-legendary David Lean, The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) is an epic WWII war film starring Alec Guinness, Sessue Hayakawa and William Holden. The film was adapted from the 1952 best-selling novel, Le Pont de la Riviere Kwai, by?Pierre Boulle, which, although largely fictitious, was based on Boulle?s own war experiences and also pulls historical context from the construction of the POW-built 1942-43 Burma-Siam railway.
The film is set in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in Burma (filmed in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka), where camp commandant Colonel Saito (Sessue Hayakawa) and newly-arrived prisoner, British officer Lieutenant Colonel Nicholson (Alec Guinness), clash over Saito?s insistence that POW officers work as laborers to build a railway bridge. This begins an intense battle of wills that ultimately leads to an ironic outcome as Nicholson tasks himself, and his men (officers included), with building the bridge - not only a bridge, but a ?proper bridge? ? to raise morale and showcase British superiority to the Japanese. Meanwhile, American prisoner, Commander Shears (William Holden), manages to escape the un-escapable camp, but is later coerced into joining a British-led commando team that must return to the camp and destroy the bridge. Now, I don?t want to spoil the ending of this exquisite and powerful film for you, so suffice it to say, that the iconic last line of the movie captures it all: ?Madness! Madness!?
(Source: article by Annmarie Gatti for Classic Movie Hub.
The Bridge on the River Kwai was inducted into the National Film Registry in 1997.
Academy Awards 1957 --- Ceremony Number 30 (source: AMPAS)
|Best Actor||Alec Guinness||Won|
|Best Supporting Actor||Sessue Hayakawa||Nominated|
|Best Cinematography||Jack Hildyard||Won|
|Best Director||David Lean||Won|
|Best Film Editing||Peter Taylor||Won|
|Best Music - Scoring||Malcolm Arnold||Won|
|Best Picture||Sam Spiegel, Producer||Won|
|Best Writing||Michael Wilson, Carl Foreman, Pierre Boulle||Won|
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Shears: You make me sick with your heroics! There's a stench of death about you. You carry it in your pack like the plague. Explosives and L-pills - they go well together, don't they? And with you it's just one thing or the other: destroy a bridge or destroy yourself. This is just a game, this war! You and Colonel Nicholson, you're two of a kind, crazy with courage. For what? How to die like a gentleman... how to die by the rules - when the only important thing is how to live like a human being.
Maj. Clipton: The fact is, what we're doing could be construed as - forgive me sir - collaboration with the enemy. Perhaps even as treasonable activity. Must we work so well? Must we build them a better bridge than they could have built for themselves?
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For the scene when Colonel Nicholson emerges from the oven after several days confined there, Alec Guinness based his faltering walk on that of his son Matthew Guinness when he was recovering from polio. Guinness regarded this one tiny scene as some of the finest work he did throughout his entire career.
Alec Guinness was always the first choice to play Colonel Nicholson, although he actually turned the part down when first offered it as he disliked the character and thought Pierre Boulle's original novel to be anti-British. Charles Laughton, James Mason, Ralph Richardson, Noel Coward and Anthony Quayle were all approached. It was only after Jack Hawkins had been cast in the part of Major Warden that Guinness reconsidered his position, largely at Hawkins' instigation.
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