• Frys.com #6613194
  • Manufacturer: Sony Pictures
  • UPC #043396379695
  • Model #37969



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    Detailed Description
    (Manufacturer # 37969 )

      The Bridge on the River Kwai opens in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in Burma in 1943, where a battle of wills rages between camp commander Colonel Saito (Sessue Hayakawa) and newly arrived British colonel Nicholson (Alec Guinness). Saito insists that Nicholson order his men to build a bridge over the river Kwai, which will be used to transport Japanese munitions. Nicholson refuses, despite all the various "persuasive" devices at Saito's disposal. Finally, Nicholson agrees, not so much to cooperate with his captor as to provide a morale-boosting project for the military engineers under his command. The colonel will prove that, by building a better bridge than Saito's men could build, the British soldier is a superior being even when under the thumb of the enemy. As the bridge goes up, Nicholson becomes obsessed with completing it to perfection, eventually losing sight of the fact that it will benefit the Japanese. Meanwhile, American POW Shears (William Holden), having escaped from the camp, agrees to save himself from a court martial by leading a group of British soldiers back to the camp to destroy Nicholson's bridge. Upon his return, Shears realizes that Nicholson's mania to complete his project has driven him mad. Filmed in Ceylon, Bridge on the River Kwai won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for the legendary British filmmaker David Lean, and Best Actor for Guinness. It also won Best Screenplay for Pierre Boulle, the author of the novel on which the film was based, even though the actual writers were blacklisted writers Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson, who were given their Oscars under the table. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
    Movie Type
      Drama, War
    Movie Level Themes
      Culture Clash, Fighting the System
    Movie Level Tones
      Menacing, Rousing, Gritty, Sweeping

    DVD Features

    • William Holden and Alec Guinness on The Steve Allen Show
    • Archival audio of Willliams Holden narrating The Bride on the River Kwai premiere
    • Crossing the Bridge: Picture-in-graphics track
    • 1957--National Board of Review, Alec Guinness-Winner
    • 1957--Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Jack Hildyard-Winner
    • 1957--Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Peter Taylor-Winner
    • 1957--British Academy of Film and Television Arts, David Lean-Winner
    • 1957--Directors Guild of America, David Lean-Winner
    • 1957--National Board of Review, David Lean-Winner
    • 1957--National Board of Review, Sessue Hayakawa-Winner
    • 1957--Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Sam Spiegel-Winner
    • 1957--Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Carl Foreman-Winner
    AMG Rating


      The Bridge on the River Kwai ranks as one of the greatest films of all time and arguably director David Lean's best film. At the heart of the film is the performance of Alec Guinness as the obsessively principled Colonel Nicholson. In a lesser film, his character might be simplified into a heroic martyr, but The Bridge on the River Kwai revels in its moral ambiguity: no significant character is either purely a hero or purely a villain. Filmed in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), the film features brutal prisoner-of-war work camps that are nonetheless considerably nicer than their historical counterparts, a good decision since it frees the audience to focus on the battle of wills, at first between Nicholson and Saito (Sessue Hayakawa), later between Shears (William Holden) and Warden (Jack Hawkins). The film's closing line ("Madness... Madness") is among the best-known and most enigmatic closings in screen history. The film received seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor (Guinness). ~ Richard Gilliam, Rovi


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