The Bridge On The River Kwai – 1957 – English. With William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Sessue Hayakawa.  Some consider the film to be an insulting parody of Toosey. The separate dialogue, music and effects were located and remixed with newly recorded "atmospheric" sound effects. But the reality was a bit different than the movie. But the unusual move paid off for ABC—the telecast drew huge ratings with a record audience of 72 million and a Nielsen rating of 38.3 and an audience share of 61%. The bridge that was used to shoot the movie in 1956 and 1957 no longer exists, as it was dismantled once filming had concluded in order to protect the ecology of the surrounding environment. Bandaranaike, then Prime Minister of Ceylon, and a team of government dignitaries. The screenwriters, Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson, were on the Hollywood blacklist and, even though living in exile in England, could only work on the film in secret. That evening, the officers are placed in a punishment hut, while Nicholson is locked in an iron box after getting beaten as punishment. Warden fires a mortar, wounding Nicholson. However, cameraman Freddy Ford was unable to get out of the way of the explosion in time, and Lean had to stop filming. The film won seven Academy Awards (including Best Picture) at the 30th Academy Awards. The filming location for Bridge on the River Kwai is today indicated by a discreet, rusted piece of metal on which directions to the area have been painted. And a bloke called George Siegatz ... —an expert whistler—began to whistle Colonel Bogey, and a hit was born.". It was still highly unusual at that time for a television network to show such a long film in one evening; most films of that length were still generally split into two parts and shown over two evenings. He described the music for The Bridge on the River Kwai as the "worst job I ever had in my life" from the point of view of time.  Guinness later reflected on the scene, calling it the "finest piece of work" he had ever done. Nicholson is shocked by the poor job being done by his men. The documentary itself was described by one newspaper reviewer when it was shown on Boxing Day 1974 (The Bridge on the River Kwai had been shown on BBC1 on Christmas Day 1974) as "Following the movie, this is a rerun of the antidote.". MHM’s movie summary, film and plot synopsis of The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) starring William Holden, Alec Guinness, and Jack Hawkins.  Gavin Young recounts meeting Donald Wise, a former prisoner of the Japanese who had worked on the Burma Railway. Shears, who is a British commando officer like Warden in the novel, became an American sailor who escapes from the POW camp. It was initially scripted by screenwriter Carl Foreman, who was later replaced by Michael Wilson. The 1957 award winning British-American war film The Bridge on the River Kwai was based on the novel Le Pont de la Rivière Kwai (1952) which brought these struggles of the survivors to light. Thailand's Kanchanaburi. Recently, the Tourist Board of Sri Lanka has considered installing a replica of the bridge from the film to promote further interest in Kitulgala and its surrounding rainforests to visiting tourists. Spike from the Burma Railroad. At the morning assembly, Nicholson orders his officers to remain behind when the enlisted men march off to work. Over the protests of some of his officers, he orders Captain Reeves and Major Hughes to build a proper bridge, in order to maintain his men's morale and pride in their professionalism. "The Bridge on the River Kwai" (1957) is one of the few that focuses not on larger rights and wrongs but on individuals. These problems resulted in a number of anomalies that were very difficult to correct, like a ghosting effect in many scenes that resembles colour mis-registration, and a tick-like effect with the image jumping or jerking side-to-side. Toosey later defended him in his war crimes trial after the war, and the two became friends. When he asks that their Japanese counterparts pitch in as well, a resigned Saito replies that he already gave the order. Nicholson erects a sign commemorating the bridge's construction by the British Army. , Director David Lean clashed with his cast members on multiple occasions, particularly Alec Guinness and James Donald, who thought the novel was anti-British. Directed by David Lean. This was an incorrect assumption. Many historical inaccuracies in the film have often been noted by eyewitnesses to the building of the real Burma Railway and historians. A train carrying important dignitaries and soldiers is scheduled to be the first to cross the bridge the following day, so Warden waits to destroy both. The Bridge on the River Kwai is a British 1957 movie from Columbia Pictures, based on Pierre Boulle's 1952 book The Bridge over the River Kwai (French: Le Pont de la Rivière Kwai).The movie was mainly filmed in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and also in England.. David Lean himself also claimed that producer Sam Spiegel cheated him out of his rightful part in the credits since he had had a major hand in the script. Most importantly, there were nowhere to escape from the camp as it was surrounded by jungle. In early 1943, British POWs arrive at a Japanese prison camp in Burma. Visit Kitulgala during the peak season of January to March, as the climate is cooler and with less rainfall; it’s the ideal time to partake in a variety of water sports in the area. Joyce, manning the detonator, breaks cover and stabs Saito to death. In 1997, the film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress.  William Holden was also credited for his acting, he was said to give a solid characterization and was "easy, credible and always likeable in a role that is the pivot point of the story". He created the railroad. , British composer Malcolm Arnold recalled that he had "ten days to write around forty-five minutes worth of music" - much less time than he was used to. In fact, two bridges were built: a temporary wooden bridge and a permanent steel/concrete bridge a few months later. " Significant praise was also given to the actors especially Alec Guinness, Variety said that "the film is unquestionably Guinness'". The official credit was given to Pierre Boulle (who did not speak English), and the resulting Oscar for Best Screenplay (Adaptation) was awarded to him. , The film was re-released in 1964 and earned a further estimated $2.6 million at the box office in the United States and Canada but the following year its revised total US and Canadian revenues were reported by Variety as $17,195,000. The major railway bridge described in the novel and film didn't actually cross the river known at the time as the Kwai. He, Shears, and Canadian Lieutenant Joyce reach the river in time with the assistance of Siamese women bearers and their village chief, Khun Yai. The British Film Institute placed The Bridge on the River Kwai as the 11th greatest British film. , The film initially received generally positive reviews, with Guinness being widely praised for his performance. Warden is wounded in an encounter with a Japanese patrol and has to be carried on a litter. It was the highest-grossing film of 1957 in the United States and Canada and was also the most popular film at the British box office that year. When the Japanese launched their lightning attacks in December 1941, they not only targeted the American fleet and its island bases, but … The movie was based on the 1952 novel by Pierre Boulle. , The plot and characters of Boulle's novel and the screenplay were almost entirely fictional.. He wanders half-dead into a Siamese village, where he is nursed back to health before completing his escape to the British colony of Ceylon. , Roger Ebert gives the film four out of four stars. Discover this hidden gem set away from the crowds. The dazed colonel stumbles towards the detonator and collapses on the plunger, blowing up the bridge and send the train hurtling into the river. For him, its completion will exemplify the ingenuity and hard work of the British Army. As the Japanese engineers chose a poor site, a new bridge is begun downstream. Like Robert Graves' World War I memoir, Goodbye to All That, it shows men grimly hanging onto military discipline and pride in their units as a way of clinging to sanity. The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 epic war film directed by David Lean and based on the 1952 novel written by Pierre Boulle. The movie, exploring the lives of British prisoners of war being held at a Japanese prison camp in Burma, was filmed in Sri Lanka (then called Ceylon) near the town of Kitulgala, which is known for its rainforests, adventure sports and activities. ", The screenwriters, Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson, were on the Hollywood blacklist and, even though living in exile in England, could only work on the film in secret.  Ebert notes that the film is one of the few war movies that "focuses not on larger rights and wrongs but on individuals", but commented that the viewer is not certain what is intended by the final dialogue due to the film's shifting points of view.  He strongly denied the claim that the book was anti-British, although many involved in the film itself (including Alec Guinness) felt otherwise. What I Learned From Watching: The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) YouTube Video A video essay written, edited, and narrated by Tyler Knudsen about the production of “River Kwai” and some film …  On a BBC Timewatch programme, a former prisoner at the camp states that it is unlikely that a man like the fictional Nicholson could have risen to the rank of lieutenant colonel, and, if he had, due to his collaboration he would have been "quietly eliminated" by the other prisoners. Only in 1984 did the Academy rectify the situation by retroactively awarding the Oscar to Foreman and Wilson, posthumously in both cases. It stresses the importance of duty, but Kwai is quick to show how adherence to duty for the wrong reasons (pride, for example) can tempt disaster.This film may look like another glossy World War II film from the late 1950s, but it is in a class all by itself. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film received an approval rating of 95% based on 58 reviews, with an average rating of 9.33/10. Nicholson forbids any escape attempts because they were ordered by headquarters to surrender, and escapes could be seen as defiance of orders. The senior British officer, Lieutenant Colonel Nicholson, informs Saito that the Geneva Conventions exempts officers from manual labour. Both bridges were used for two years, until they were destroyed by Allied bombing. Madness! The wooden bridge over the River Kwae Yai, which in Boulle’s book was called the River Kwai, was completed in February 1943, followed by a concrete and steel bridge completed in June 1943. Young: "Donald, did anyone whistle Colonel Bogey ... as they did in the film?" Saito threatens to have them shot, but Nicholson refuses to back down.  Slant stated that "the 1957 epic subtly develops its themes about the irrationality of honor and the hypocrisy of Britain's class system without ever compromising its thrilling war narrative", and in comparing to other films of the time said that Bridge on the River Kwai "carefully builds its psychological tension until it erupts in a blinding flash of sulfur and flame. Whether via VHS, widescreen VHS, LaserDisc, DVD, or even high-definition Blu-ray, it has long been plagued by an overly contrasty, crushed, murky look that didn’t quash its emotional impact but nonetheless seemed like a missed opportunity, especially given the film’s lush setting. Both writers had to work in secret, as they were on the Hollywood blacklist and had fled to the UK in order to continue working. Discover this hidden gem set away from the crowds. , The film was restored in 1992 by Columbia Pictures. The film was made in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). In March 1958, The Bridge on the River Kwai swept seven Academy Awards including the award for Best Picture. swept seven Academy Awards including the award for Best Picture. Toosey in fact did as much as possible to delay the building of the bridge. When Joyce is mortally wounded by Japanese fire, Shears swims across the river, but is himself shot. The conditions to which POW and civilian labourers were subjected were far worse than the film depicted. , The film was an international co-production between companies in Britain and the United States. , Warren Buffett said it was his favorite movie. , This article is about the film. This was an entertaining story. In 1941 the Japanese Army invaded Thailand.They built a railway to link Bangkok to Rangoon.Thousands of Asian workers and POWs …  According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission: The notorious Burma-Siam railway, built by Commonwealth, Dutch and American prisoners of war, was a Japanese project driven by the need for improved communications to support the large Japanese army in Burma. The Bridge on the River Kwai has never been a great-looking film. The filming location for Bridge on the River Kwai is today indicated by a discreet, rusted piece of metal on which directions to the area have been painted. With a fantastic cast and absolutely beautiful cinematography, David Lean crafts a pretty unforgettable film. In reality, Risaburo Saito was respected by his prisoners for being comparatively merciful and fair towards them. These issues, running throughout the film, were addressed to a lesser extent on various previous DVD releases of the film and might not have been so obvious in standard definition. The movie, exploring the lives of British prisoners of war being held at a Japanese prison camp in Burma, was filmed in Sri Lanka (then called Ceylon) near the town of Kitulgala, which is known for its rainforests, adventure sports and activities. Mitch Miller had a hit with a recording of both marches. , Many directors were considered for the project, among them John Ford, William Wyler, Howard Hawks, Fred Zinnemann, and Orson Welles (who was also offered a starring role). Wise: "I never heard it in Thailand.  The original negative for the feature was scanned at 4k (roughly four times the resolution in High Definition), and the colour correction and digital restoration were also completed at 4k. “The Bridge on the River Kwai” won Best Picture and six other Oscar nods from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences at the 1958 Academy Awards. ABC, sponsored by Ford, paid a record $1.8 million for the television rights for two screenings in the United States. I mean, at least not in my lifetime.  According to Variety, the film earned estimated domestic box office revenues of $18,000,000 although this was revised downwards the following year to $15,000,000, which was still the biggest for 1958 and Columbia's highest-grossing film at the time. , On 2 November 2010 Columbia Pictures released a newly restored The Bridge on the River Kwai for the first time on Blu-ray. Nicholson drives his men hard to complete the bridge on time. Discussions over building a replica of the bridge are currently underway. Nicholson spots the wire and brings it to Saito's attention. The fourth film in our blog series is ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’ (1957) directed by David Lean. Shears is so appalled at going back he confesses he is not an officer; he impersonated one, expecting better treatment from the Japanese. Usually, the correspondence centres on requests for support from the War Office. Two are shot dead, but United States Navy Lieutenant Commander Shears gets away. ", A 1969 BBC television documentary, Return to the River Kwai, made by former POW John Coast, sought to highlight the real history behind the film (partly through getting ex-POWs to question its factual basis, for example Dr Hugh de Wardener and Lt-Col Alfred Knights), which angered many former POWs. Despite this, he won an Oscar and a Grammy. Realising he has no choice, Shears "volunteers". Only in 1984 did the Academyrectify the situation by retroactively awarding the Oscar t… Witnessing the carnage, Clipton shakes his head, muttering, "Madness! Boulle based his novel, published in 1952, on his … While Nicholson disapproves of acts of sabotage and other deliberate attempts to delay progress, Toosey encouraged this: termites were collected in large numbers to eat the wooden structures, and the concrete was badly mixed. In the film, a Colonel Saito is camp commandant. Unique to this film, in some ways, were other issues related to poorly made optical dissolves, the original camera lens and a malfunctioning camera. , Slant Magazine gave the film four out of five stars. British POWs are forced to build a railway bridge across the river Kwai for their Japanese captors, not knowing that the allied forces are planning to destroy it. However, in 1943 a railway bridge was built by Allied POWs over the Mae Klong river – renamed Khwae Yai in the 1960s as a result of the film – at Tha Ma Kham, five kilometres from Kanchanaburi, Thailand. When the bridge was built, the water beneath it was actually the Mae Klong River, although it did join the Khwae Noi River elsewhere. , Lean nearly drowned when he was swept away by the river current during a break from filming.. Toosey was very different from Nicholson and was certainly not a collaborator who felt obliged to work with the Japanese. On February 1, 2021, MHM's Film Reviews will only be available on our YouTube Channel. The march was written in 1914 by Kenneth J. Alford, a pseudonym of British Bandmaster Frederick J. Ricketts.  In 1999, the British Film Institute voted The Bridge on the River Kwai the 11th greatest British film of the 20th century. The Bridge on the River Kwai, British-American war film, released in 1957 and directed by David Lean, that was both a critical and popular success and became an enduring classic. The train crashed into a generator on the other side of the bridge and was wrecked. , Lieutenant Colonel Philip Toosey of the British Army was the real senior Allied officer at the bridge in question. As the train approaches, they hurry down to the riverbank to investigate. In many tense, dramatic scenes, only the sounds of nature are used. By daybreak the river level has dropped, exposing the wire connecting the explosives to the detonator. The film was directed by David Lean and starred William Holding, Jack … Some of the characters in the film use the names of real people who were involved in the Burma Railway. To the producers' horror, the film containers were found a week later on an airport tarmac in Cairo, sitting in the hot sun. But I am writing a factual account, and in justice to these men—living and dead—who worked on that bridge, I must make it clear that we never did so willingly. Guinness later said that he subconsciously based his walk while emerging from "the Oven" on that of his eleven-year-old son Matthew, who was recovering from polio at the time, a disease that left him temporarily paralyzed from the waist down. The film uses the historical setting of the construction of the Burma Railway in 1942–1943. Attention! Both bridges were destroyed by Allied bombers on 2 April 1945, although they had been damaged and repaired several times before. does not fall onto the plunger, and the bridge suffers only minor damage. Should Saito fail to meet his deadline, he would be obliged to commit ritual suicide. The Bridge on the River Kwai, British-American war film, released in 1957 and directed by David Lean, that was both a critical and popular success and became an enduring classic. Also, in the novel, the bridge is not destroyed: the train plummets into the river from a secondary charge placed by Warden, but Nicholson (never realising "what have I done?") , The producers nearly suffered a catastrophe following the filming of the bridge explosion. War film directed in 1958 by David Lean, and starring William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, James Donald, Sessue Hayakawa, André Morell, Geoffrey Horne, Peter Williams, John Boxer, Percy Herbert, Harold Goodwin, Ann Sears, Heihachiro Okawa… The novel was made into the 1957 film The Bridge on the River Kwai, directed by David Lean, which won the 1957 Academy Award for Best Picture. From Bangkok:There's something not right about taking a bus to see the Death Railway and Bridge on the River Kwai. As a result, Boulle, who did not speak English, was credited and received the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay; many years later, Foreman and Wilson posthumously received the Academy Award.. For the novel, see, 1957 World War II film directed by David Lean, American theatrical release poster, "Style A", A transcript of the interview and the documentary as a whole can be found in the new edition of John Coast's book, Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, 11th greatest British film of the 20th century, the highest-grossing film of 1957 in the United States and Canada, Best Screenplay – Based on Material from Another Medium, Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures, Best Sound Track Album, Dramatic Picture Score or Original Cast, AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition), "Complete National Film Registry Listing | Film Registry | National Film Preservation Board | Programs at the Library of Congress | Library of Congress", "New to the National Film Registry (December 1997) - Library of Congress Information Bulletin", "Flashback: A look back at this day in film history (, "How Father Brown Led Sir Alec Guinness to the Church", "links for research, Allied POWs under the Japanese", "The Colonel of Tamarkan: Philip Toosey and the, "Once-Stupendous-Now-Modest $2,700,000 Budget Kept Secret; 'River Kwai's' Sockfull Gross", "Balu Mahendra, who made his visuals speak, dies at 74", "Warren Buffett carries an American Express card and about $400 in cash", The Colonel of Tamarkan: Philip Toosey and the Bridge on the River Kwai, "Movies | Disc & Digital | Sony Pictures", "Wayne and Shuster Show, The Episode Guide (1954–1990) (series)", Lost and Found: The Story of Cook's Anchor, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama, National Board of Review Award for Best Film, New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Film, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Bridge_on_the_River_Kwai&oldid=992497779, Films featuring a Best Actor Academy Award-winning performance, Films featuring a Best Drama Actor Golden Globe winning performance, Films whose cinematographer won the Best Cinematography Academy Award, Films whose director won the Best Directing Academy Award, Films whose director won the Best Director Golden Globe, Films whose editor won the Best Film Editing Academy Award, Films whose writer won the Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award, Films that won the Best Original Score Academy Award, United States National Film Registry films, Films with screenplays by Michael Wilson (writer), Short description is different from Wikidata, Album articles lacking alt text for covers, Wikipedia articles with CANTIC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, $30.6 million (worldwide rentals from initial release), Best DVD Original Retrospective Documentary/Featurette, This page was last edited on 5 December 2020, at 16:08. 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