“There is no barbed wire, no stockade, no watch towers. They are not necessary. We are on an island in the jungle… Escape is impossible.”
When British POWs build a vital railway bridge in enemy-occupied Burma, Allied commandos are assigned to destroy it in David Lean’s epic World War II adventure The Bridge on the Rive Kwai.
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), the memorable, epic World War II adventure/action, anti-war drama, was the first of director David Lean’s major multi-million dollar, wide-screen super-spectaculars (his later epics included Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Doctor Zhivago (1965).
Based on the novel of the same name, and starring William Holden, Alec Guinness and Jack Hawkins, the film builds to a genuinely thrilling climax in its story of the construction of a great bridge across a jungle river during World War II. Set in Thailand, although filmed in the spectacular beauty of Ceylon, the story fascinatingly weaves together the facts and philosophies of three remarkable men, and the daring feats during the Japanese occupation of the peninsula.
Spectacularly produced, The Bridge on the River Kwai captured the imagination of the public and won seven 1957 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Alec Guinness), and Best Director. Even it’s theme song, an old WWII whistling tune, the “Colonel Bogey March,” became a massive hit.
The Bridge on the River Kwai continues today as one of the most memorable cinematic experiences of all time.
‘Rise and Fall of a Jungle Giant’ (1958, 6 Mins). This is the film’s original period featurette, made after ‘Kwai’ won all the Academy Awards.
- ‘USC Short Film \”On Seeing Film…\” Introduced by William Holden’, (16 mins). A 1950s \”How Film Can Broaden Your Horizons\” instruction guide, produced by the Department of Cinema/University of Southern California and featuring behind-the-scenes shots from Kwai.
- ‘An Appreciation by Filmmaker John Milius’, (8 mins). John Milius talks about The Bridge on the River Kwai, and takes us through why Kwai works so well.
- A 22-minute “edited-for-television” version, ©2010, first aired on the Turner Classic Movies cable channel at 12:03am (eastern time) on 06 November 2010.
- It was broadcast in conjunction with the film’s release in Blu-ray Disc format on 02 November 2010.
- This documentary is featured on the Limited Edition 2-disc DVD for The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), released in 2000.
Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Laurent Bouzereau.
- Producer(s): Laurent Bouzereau.
- Writer(s): Laurent Bouzereau.
- Music: Malcolm Arnold.
- Cinematography: Jeff Denesyk.
- Editor(s): Jeffery Gross.
- Production: Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment.
- Distributor(s): Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment.
- Release Date: 2000.
- Running Time: 30 minutes (total running time).
- Rating: Unknown.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.