The Bridge on the River Kwai

The Bridge on the River Kwai

Director: David Lean Cast: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins

DVD (Wide Screen)

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The Bridge on the River Kwai, one of the greatest films ever made, is given the appropriate reverential treatment by Columbia TriStar on the two-disc DVD of director David Lean's World War II prisoner of war epic that netted seven Oscars. For a film nearly half a century old, the transfer on the first disc is absolutely gorgeous. The jungle colors pop out so vividly it seems like the film was shot yesterday. The movie is presented in a special widescreen version that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. As for the soundtrack, the jungle never sounded so good; the soundtrack has been remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Disc one also contains an isolated musical score and special DVD-ROM components. The second disc is nothing but special features, including a making-of documentary, a period feature about the making of the film, and a short film narrated by star William Holden that compares and contrasts movies with novels. A photo gallery, talent files, and an homage by filmmaker John Milius completes disc two. A collectible booklet accompanies the double-disc set.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/21/2000
UPC: 0043396052789
Original Release: 1957
Rating: PG
Source: Sony Pictures
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [Wide Screen]
Sound: [Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time: 2:42:00
Sales rank: 7,376

Special Features

Digitally mastered audio and anamorphic video; Audio: English 5.1 [Dolby Digital] and 2-channel [Dolby Surround], French, Spanish, Portuguese; Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, and Thai; Interactive and animated menus; Scene selections with motion; Theatrical trailers; Talent files

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
William Holden Shears
Alec Guinness Col. Nicholson
Jack Hawkins Maj. Warden
Sessue Hayakawa Col. Saito
Geoffrey Horne Lieutenant Joyce
James Donald Maj. Clipton
Andre Morell Col. Green
Peter Williams Capt. Reeves
John Boxer Maj. Hughes
Percy Herbert Pvt. Grogan
Harold Goodwin Pvt. Baker
Ann Sears Nurse
Henry Okawa Capt. Kanematsu

Technical Credits
David Lean Director
Gus Agosti Asst. Director
Malcolm Arnold Score Composer
Donald M. Ashton Art Director
Pierre Boulle Screenwriter
John Cox Sound/Sound Designer
Cecil F. Ford Production Manager
Carl Foreman Screenwriter
Stuart Freeborn Makeup
Jack Hildyard Cinematographer
Peter Newbrook Camera Operator
George Partleton Makeup
Sam Spiegel Producer
Ted Sturgis Asst. Director
Peter Taylor Editor
Michael Wilson Screenwriter

Scene Index

Side #1
0. Scene Selections
1. Start
2. "Colonel Bogey March"
3. "I am Colonedl Saito."
4. Nicholson meets Shears
5. Officers' meeting
6. A point of difference
7. The oven
8. Right moment & company
9. How not to build a bridge
10. Five minutes with Nicholson
11. A successful escape
12. A late supper with Saito
13. Shears leaves paradise
14. Victory & defeat
15. Inspection
16. Setting Saito straight
17. Shears meets Warden
18. The commando school
19. Warden's plan
20. The truth about Shears
21. Building a proper bridge
22. Fourth team member
23. The mission begins
24. A change of route
25. Jungle trek
26. Radio repair
27. Facing a crisis
28. Bathing with the enemy
29. Superficially chipped bone
30. Reconnaissance
31. Attack plan
32. "A first-rate job."
33. Setting the charges
34. A few words from Nicholson
35. Final preparations
36. "The river's gone down."
37. "Something odd's going on."
38. Leading them right to it
39. "Blow up the bridge?"
40. Mission accomplished

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The Bridge on the River Kwai 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well, this isn’t another war movie, but a very special one, over all considering it’s from 1957. Colonel Nicholson is a stubborn chief of the British Army. His enemy, the Japanese Col. Saito I think isn’t so stiff. It’s mostly the Bushido code that speaks for him and furthermore, he manages brutally the concentration camp, but Saito has a problem: he must build a bridge over the Kwai river and his engineers are unable to do these task. So, Nicholson, who seems to think in spite of his temporal defeat the Japanese are inferior to the British, with the excuse of preserve the moral of his men, decides to collaborate in the making of the bridge. That has to cost Nicholson to fall in treason, as his affection for codes and rules predominates over the main duty of a soldier: destroy the enemy. In effect, Nicholson is a sort of product of the Victorian and British colonial era, and he speaks with affect of his service time in India, a country by then, near to independence. So, when the tricky but vital soldier played by William Holden exposes the disastrous conditions of the camp, Nicholson is astonished: “This man is an eccentric, even considering he’s an American”, says. Holden is a man with a more modern and civil ideas. Nicholson and Saito are the past, but WW II is yet a modern war, not a colonial restricted one. So, with these antecedents, you can understand better the strange madness in what Nicholson falls: he’s by career, by nature or both, an obsessive man, and so, becomes obsessed with the bridge in itself and forgets he’s working for the enemy. A commando attack is made following the information provided by Holden, and Nicholson recovers the reason only a few seconds before he’s killed. The allied commando is directed curiously by a scholar from Cambridge played by Jack Hawkins, and Holden also perceives something lethal in his character. Effectively WW II gave pass to today’s high rate violent crime. David Lean had in this film a surprising instinct unequalled in his other works, also very good, but this is for me the best.
MEEJT More than 1 year ago
starting out with the famous river kwai march, this movie greatly details the lives of allied prisoners in japanesw pow camps. it also greatly represents the mental strain one can suffer there, specifically the character played by alec guiness. he gives a better than ever preformance, and it has arguably the best ending in cinema history. without a doubt, watch this movie, you wont regret it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is easily one of the finest films ever, not just as a war movie, but as a motion picture in general. Sir Alec Guinness is simply brilliant as the British commander who tries so stubbornly to stand up to the Japanese but ends up collaborating with them. William Holden's character shows the stark contrast between the British military tradition and the American way of war. The Brits are trying to keep up a proud tradition and the honor of their regiment. To the Yanks the war was much more basic. I know many vets from both armies and the Americans had a more pragmatic view of the war. Lean shows this in the film. While Guinness stands up for his unit's honor and tradition, Holden is there for only one thing; to defeat the enemy. This was a true reflection on the two nations way of fighting. We Americans were there only to win. No matter what had to be done. This often caused strain between the Allies. The Brits often looked at things in shades of gray, the Yanks usually just in black and white. The ending reflects this contrast as Guinness realizes that his good intentions have gone far awry. A true masterpiece.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
As the author of the epic hi-fantasy BLOODSPILLER, now available at and soon here at, I have long since adored intelligent epics, both in book form and in movies. As with most David Lean movies of the 1950's and 1960's, this film is a visual stunner, but also a joy to the ear. No word of dialogue is wasted, the script brimming with typical British irony and a sense that the world, is indeed, mad. William Holden's acting persona had always been well-suited to cynical throw-away lines, and in Bridge he revels in it when confronted by a force greater than his own---the indomitable British will and discipline, the steely-nerved soldier who had ruled most of the world for a hundred years against much greater numbers. Who can forget the Battle of Omdurman, in which the British square of 10,000 men under Lord Kitchener, held off and defeated 100,000 Sudanese and finally broke the back of their rebellion.It is this mindset that controls Alec Guiness, his sense of misplaced honor in this instance, that sets him upon the task of building the bridge in that steaming, Burmese jungle. That he drives Sesu Hayakawa literally to madness, is exquisite. Folks, this is a fabulous movie for the thinking-man's fan, a mere warm-up for the greatest movie of all time which he would direct in 1962, starring Peter O'toole ( I'm not telling! )If you haven't seen bridge, I won't give away the ending, cause it will knock your socks off, This has been for many. many years one of my favorate movies. Buy it! You'l love it1 I promise!!!
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