The Bridge Over the River Kwai by Pierre Boulle1942: Boldly advancing through Asia, the Japanese need a train route from Burma going north. In a prison camp, British POWs are forced into labor. The bridge they build will become a symbol of service and survival to one prisoner, Colonel Nicholson, a proud perfectionist. Pitted against the warden, Colonel Saito, Nicholson will nevertheless, out of a distorted sense of duty, aid his enemy. While on the outside, as the Allies race to destroy the bridge, Nicholson must decide which will be the first casualty: his patriotism or his pride.
The Bridge On The River Kwai (Restored Version)
Even though the story is about British, Japanese, and American soldiers, the original novel was written by a French man named Pierre Boulle. The novel was published in France in and was later published in Britain where it piqued the interest of an American producer and screenwriter named Carl Foreman.
The Real Story Behind ‘The Bridge On The River Kwai’
Sign in. Breakout star Erin Moriarty of " The Boys " shouts out her real-life super squad of actors. Watch now. Title: The Bridge on the River Kwai The story of T. Lawrence , the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks. Allied prisoners of war plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II.
Historical accuracy? My father was a Japanese prisoner of war working on the railway. He watched this film avidly every time it came on TV. He said that it conveyed well, "for a film", the actuality of being a prisoner. The brutality of course, but also the tension between the longing for the satisfaction of building the railway well and the imperative to do it badly. He liked the ending too
The Japanese discovered abandoned British plans from the s that estimated the Burma-Thailand railroad could be built in five years and, because of pressures to finish the bridge and the loss of momentum during World War II, the railroad became a priority to complete in a fraction of that, no matter the cost. Their new prisoners of war POW became their cheap labor force; thousands perished and few lived to tell the real story. The sea route was too vulnerable, so the Japanese High Command in Tokyo ordered the railway, which then ran only 50 miles West of Bangkok, to be extended another miles up through the jungle to Burma. To increase efficiency under the guidance of Japanese engineers — whom the film falsely portrayed as incompetent — camps were spread out to cut through the jungles all along the kilometer , or mile, route connecting Thanbyuzayat, Burma now Myanmar , with Non Pladuk, Thailand. While held in Singapore awaiting transport to the railway, the condition of the POWs was deteriorating fast. Several suffered from dysentery, which further dehydrated their bodies, and struggled to manage their delicate immune systems. The Japanese soldiers were acting on orders, and several decades after the war, many plead for forgiveness for what was to come.
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Production notes and credits
Its potency stems only partly from the boxoffice draw of William Holden and, to a lesser degree, Alec Guinness. A story of the futility of war in general, the underlying message is never permitted to impede. The picture is loaded, but with women to be heard from. Pierre Boulle scripted from his own novel, changing minor story points here and there to make better use of the cinematic medium. Director David Lean picked up where the script left off, guiding his performers through a series of fine portrayals. It is a superior job with fullest use of the background. Latter is the commandant of a Japanese prison camp in which Holden, a Yank sailor posing as a commander, is a prisoner.
Part of the puzzle is caused by the film's shifting points of view. Seen through the eyes of Col. Nicholson Alec Guinness , commanding officer of a battalion of British war prisoners, the war narrows to a single task, building a bridge across the Kwai. For Shears William Holden , an American who escapes from the camp, madness would be returning to the jungle. For Col. Saito Sessue Hayakawa , the Japanese commandant of the camp, madness and suicide are never far away as the British build a better bridge than his own men could. And to Clipton James Donald , the army doctor who says the final words, they could simply mean that the final violent confusion led to unnecessary death.
David Lean, director of such landmark epics as Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago , didn't always make giant movies. Put on your marching boots and whistle a jaunty tune as we investigate some behind-the-scenes facts about this enduring war film. Neither of them got credit, though, as The Bridge on the River Kwai was released during the three-year period when people who'd ever been Communists or who refused to answer questions about it before Congress were ineligible for Academy Awards. He didn't attend the Oscars, either. In , the Academy officially recognized Foreman and Wilson as the screenwriters and posthumously awarded the Oscar to them.