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: I'd say the odds against a successful escape are about 100 to one. But may I add another word, Colonel? The odds against survival in this camp are even worse.
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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Ian Watts, longtime professor of English at Stanford, and author of the landmark "The Rise of the Novel", was a prisoner in the camp, helped with the construction of the bridge, and served as an advisor during the making of the film.
The film's eight months of shooting began in October 1956. A scouting expedition of the real river Kwai had shown that it was an unsuitable location for filming, as it appeared to be nothing more than a trickling stream. The production finally settled on a tiny village called Kitulgula in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). The site was remote, so a compound of bungalows had to be built for the film crew.
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