- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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One of the best war films
- Mark Caomhánach
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
Overall-3 1/2 out of 5 Lead Performers-4/5 Supporting Cast-4/5 Director-4/5 Score-4/5 Screenplay-3/5 Cinematography-3/5 Importance-3/5 Recommendation for fans of genre-3/5
agreeing with "Steve of 2011"
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!
Thoroughly enjoyable... Sheer "Madness"..
A true classic
- douglas mccarther
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
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
- Bob Hendrick
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...
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.
WILLIAM HOLDEN IS GREAT IN THIS FILM.I BELIEVE IT TO BE ONE OF THE MOST MEMORABLE MILITARY PRISON FILMS OF ALL TIME.WHO CAN FORGET ALEC GUINNESS AS COLONEL NICHOLSON.IT IS A CLASSIC.