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Purchase The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) Movie Online and Download - David Lean 🎥
Year:
1957
Country:
USA, UK
Genre:
Drama, Adventure, War
IMDB rating:
8.3
Director:
David Lean
William Holden as Shears
Alec Guinness as Colonel Nicholson
Jack Hawkins as Major Warden
Sessue Hayakawa as Colonel Saito
James Donald as Major Clipton
Geoffrey Horne as Lieutenant Joyce
André Morell as Colonel Green (as Andre Morell)
Peter Williams as Captain Reeves
John Boxer as Major Hughes
Percy Herbert as Grogan
Ann Sears as Nurse
Heihachiro Okawa as Captain Kanematsu (as Henry Okawa)
Keiichirô Katsumoto as Lieutenant Miura (as K. Katsumoto)
Storyline: The film deals with the situation of British prisoners of war during World War II who are ordered to build a bridge to accommodate the Burma-Siam railway. Their instinct is to sabotage the bridge but, under the leadership of Colonel Nicholson, they are persuaded that the bridge should be constructed as a symbol of British morale, spirit and dignity in adverse circumstances. At first, the prisoners admire Nicholson when he bravely endures torture rather than compromise his principles for the benefit of the Japanese commandant Saito. He is an honorable but arrogant man, who is slowly revealed to be a deluded obsessive. He convinces himself that the bridge is a monument to British character, but actually is a monument to himself, and his insistence on its construction becomes a subtle form of collaboration with the enemy. Unknown to him, the Allies have sent a mission into the jungle, led by Warden and an American, Shears, to blow up the bridge.
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
1080p 1920x752 px 19103 Mb h264 128 Kbps mkv Purchase
HQ DVD-rip 608x256 px 1796 Mb mpeg4 439 Kbps avi Purchase
Reviews
one of the quintessential POW/WW2 movies, with unforgettable characterizations
What does it mean to be a solider versus a prisoner? How about the meaning of a Colonel's duty, pride, and everything in a male-centric view in times of war? And really, what everything seems to come down to- in the case of The Bridge on the River Kwai- is that priorities end up being eschewed with moral ambiguity and heroism in the oddest circumstances. David's Lean's masterpiece takes a compelling look at men who wont give in, and when they do they somehow lose a piece of themselves in the process- a big part really depending on point of view &/or country- and how being ultra-tough and stubborn and headstrong may get you killed for the wrong reasons. Colonel Nicholson (Sir Alec Guiness in a very well deserved Oscar winning turn) and Colonel Saito (Sessue Hayakawa, who is actually a really great actor as well) both don't want to give in when Nicholson arrives at Saito's camp, and refuses adamantly to work alongside the fellow soldiers on the bridge- he sees it's against the Geneva conventions, and makes it a point of principle not to do it. He's put away for a while, but then finally Saito can't take the stubbornness any more- as he knows he's been evenly matched perhaps- and has no choice (ala seppuku if not achieved) but to let him direct the building of the bridge. But what this turns into for Nicholson, as a further elongation of the principle of the matter for his men and the situation, into a really mad situation.

So in this there is also the other main section of the story, where the idea of what it is to have principles starts to pick up via 'Major' Shears (William Holden, the conventional 'star' who grows more interesting in the second half). He's not really a major, but he's done in a quasi-cowardly quasi-pragmatic move to take a major's place when taken prisoner in the camp. When he achieves escape, however, he's caught between a rock and a hard place when he has to go with Major Warden (also a headstrong, 'war is a game' character played by Jack Hawkins), otherwise he'll be dishonorably discharged as an impersonator, already with a criminal record. There's a pivotal scene when he and Warden are on their way to the bridge, which undercuts the whole bond between Nicholson and Saito, when Warden wants to be left for dead after injuring his foot. Does it make more sense to hold one's own sense of duty to a mission, or to one's self, or not? What becomes Shears's gain- a sense of obligation as opposed to being a 'have no choice' scenario- becomes Nicholson's loss. The bridge to Nicholson becomes something abstracted from what is really going on, and his original ideal of not giving in to being a prisoner becomes muddled, leading up to that incredibly tense, maddening climax where his final words punctuate it all: "what have I done?"

But it's not all completely a serious endeavor, and what's so brilliant about Lean's approach to Boulle's material is that it's also a grand old entertainment, where the characters are rich and fully engrossing (albeit with Shears's/Holden given an obligatory "I'm the star" scene with a blond on a beach that seems from a different movie), and with a scope and direction that is just as ambitious in its own right as Lawrence of Arabia. Lean occasionally lets some visual metaphors in that do work very well (the huge flock of birds flying around, and the bridge itself being a metaphor in itself of colonial interests). But for the most part he lets the atmosphere of a war-time adventure work by itself, with the cinematography and editing sometimes working in ultra-suspenseful ways (particularly with the setting up of the wires around the bridge, and 'go time'), and in a traditional way of solid storytelling. He lets the themes work through the characters, which gives the actors a lot more to work with than with pushing it down the viewer's throat. There's a sense that the boundaries of the typical POW/war movie, particularly from a British viewpoint, are stretched and expanded, questioning the means of the main characters while still showing them, in spurts, to have great merit.

And if for nothing else, the acting's really what stands out, especially in the subtle notes and turns that seem over-the-top like with Hayakawa but are really nuanced too (he, especially, has a crux to deal with in suddenly losing his own sense of duty to country as a Brit takes over his job essentially). Guiness, meanwhile, gives something extraordinary in practically every scene, when he's either reserved or having to finally break down and show emotion (it's not the first bridge he's over-seen, hence the extra amount of pride that it'll be a "British-built" bridge). As Shears notes, there's something dangerous to a man like Nicholson who wont give in, and Guiness undercuts this dangerous quality with the elegance that he's perfect at, and then lets it become full-circle when he meets his all-too-ironic end. Holden, by the way, is also quite good here, if sort of given the almost thankless role of the star who's typically cocky, and only when finally on the mission is there some opening up in relation to Hawkins's Warden; his speech to Warden is especially engrossing.

Featuring the catchiest of all whistling in the movies, and a dynamite cast and graceful and distinctively superlative directorial vision, this is one of those rare films about war where character takes precedence over action (compared to the common war movies of the period, it's only sporadic and more suggestive in the violence), not to mention in big-budget splendor, and ends up truly memorable.
2007-01-27
Super Film
I watched this movie with my grandma at night she was over, everyone else was gone to bed and we were looking through Netflix for a movie to watch. After some looking we stumbled across Bridge on The River Kwai. Being an elder person herself she remembered it from her childhood, so we watched it. The film is slow, yes. But that doesn't harm it, even though it's 160 minutes long, it "only" feels as it is 2 hours long. This length gives you the ability to care about our principal cast. And the ending, though without grand dramatic music is extremely intense. And grandma and I where both at the edge of our seats. I've read that this movie is not completely historically accurate, this does not bother me as this isn't a documentary but a work of fiction to enjoyed. Definitely recommend to anyone with a love for film making, and it does sadden me that this film isn't rated higher, an all time classic.
2016-12-18
fraud in movies
I have seen this movie in 1958, and now I have seen it again after 53 years, and I have liked it the same as before. the only thing I was disgusted was the party they made after the bridge is finished, I found this ridiculous for soldiers, I say this because I serve for 7 years in the Legion, and we never will do this sort of ridiculous fiesta. the real history is nothing to do with the movie. of course I understand the producers that looks very much for the money, instead of the reallity, and I disagree totally with this matter, I prefer movies made accordingly with the true history, and the Hollywood movies they are plenty of this fiction movies, but not reality and you become very disappointed when you take acquaintance of the real history.
2011-03-08
The madness of war
Looking at this movie as a whole, it works brilliantly in conveying its theme of the madness of war, and how it drives good men to do bad things. Great direction, acting across the board, and cinematography all add a lot to the movie.

**** SPOILERS *****

As I was watching the movie, for the first hour I felt increasingly annoyed by Col. Nicholson's "play by the rules and do what you're told" philosophy. Then as the movie went on, and we follow the British plan to blow up the bridge, I realised that this was how the movie wanted me to feel, and then the finale pulled off a brilliant reversal, and a sort of redemption for Nicholson. Standout scenes are the killing of the Japanese soldiers while clouds of bats whirl over the jungle, and, of course, the incredibly tense and powerful finale.
2012-03-10
Far Ahead of Its Time
First off, what is so amazing about this film is that, for the time that it was made, how modern it looks. David Lean certainly had the eye of any modern director and managed to direct a visual masterpiece at a time when many films were still being shot in black and white.

William Holden gives one of his finest performances as a cynic of warfare , citing for us the insanity and absurdity that the combatants often convey. And he hates the war, but he cannot avoid been thrown back into it again and again. We wish he could stay on the beach with his nurse lover, but he is a man destined for a tragic doom for his country, whether he wants to or not.

Alec Guiness also delivers a fine performance as a bold general whose own pride is, at the same time, his most noble quality as well as his greatest fault. He is uncompromising, yet when the Japanese submit to his demands, he begins overseeing the construction of the bridge with great esteem. Eventually, for him, the bridge becomes a manifestation of his belief of the superiority of the British Army, which he follows like a religion. And in putting all his pride into this bridge, he loses sight of even the British's own true agenda. Truly, his sense of overwhelming honor is, at the same time, his downfall in a descent to a loss of morality, and a sense of good and evil.

And yes, by the end of this film, we learn a great lesson of the horrors of war. Not only does it take the lives of many good men, but the utter failure and despair that accompany it make it an unbearable existence. And this message has only recently been re-evaluated with the also-brilliant masterpiece "Saving Private Ryan." But, keep in mind that it took forty years to regain the power that this film inspired so long ago.
1998-08-14
The madness of war and of the men who wage it
One of my Top Ten films. This film was remarkable in 1957 because it followed a long line of "war movies" after World War 2 which glorified war and the soldiers who fought. This film displays the absurdity of war, and the corresponding absurdities of humanity, and toys with the notion that the two are firmly linked. Many may compare it to the more recent Saving Private Ryan, but the two films have completely different lessons. Bridge is about the absurdity of war and the irrationality of those who fight, whereas Ryan is about the way in which brave men deal with the horrors of war, and the debt owed by all of us for their sacrifice.

This film shares many of the same undercurrents as another one of my personal Top Ten motion pictures, Planet of the Apes (1968). I was surprised to recently learn that both films are based on novels by the same French writer, Pierre Boulle. The screenplay for Planet of the Apes was written by Rod Serling (TV's Twilight Zone) and bears his unique style. If you have not seen either of these films, and like films that make you think, watch Bridge first, then Planet, and note the similarities.
1999-06-26
One of Cinema's All-time Greatest Achievements
Wow this is still a powerful work. The Bridge on the River Kwai is David Lean's WW2 epic made several years before his masterpiece Lawrence of Arabia. It's not on that level of perfection, but it's still a damned great movie. They don't make films like this anymore. I remember being shown this film in a movie appreciation segment by a teacher in elementary school. I then would watch it every chance I got as I grew older. Alec Guinness and William Holden give what may be their best performances. Younger people raised on fast-paced CGI hyper-edited ADHD movies would probably complain that this is boring. Their loss, and dead wrong. THIS is how films should be made. Take your time with location work and character development. There is one particular shot in the jungle where the commandos are hunting a stray Japanese solder. They startle hundreds of bats from sleep, and the bats fill the sky. The shadows of the bats flicker on the jungle below, making the search even more difficult due to the eye being drawn all around to the shadows flickering on the leaves. Brilliant scene. If you haven't seen this movie, you owe it to yourself to watch it. "Madness."
2017-02-10
Historically inaccurate but great film.
While this film is loaded with historical inaccuracies it nonetheless remains a great motion picture. Many fine performances and the dual story line make it the picture that it is. However don't view it for historic purposes. The true story of the bridge and railway built by POW's is more brutal and horrifying than what is presented here. The History Channel has an excellent presentation about the actual story. By all means watch this film but don't pass up learning the real story.
2000-05-03
A must see with an interesting plot and character development.
The Bridge on the River Kwai is an excellent movie and definitely one of the best of it's time. Yes, it's another world war 2 story, however, it's completely different from all the rest and shows us some of the events that took place elsewhere during this time of war.

As many of you probably know, this movie is based on real life events. In many ways, I believe that the message being portrayed throughout the film shows us the "other" harsh realities of war, not just soldiers dying in battle, but soldiers fighting to survive under harsh conditions, the pride of a captain who stands by his code, the pride of a Japanese captain and overall how both parties realise that war is what it is and we have to make the best out of each situation to survive.

When I first decided to see this movie, I thought it was going to be very mediocre and plain. It was not. On several occasions they managed to keep the plot interesting and create new character developments from both the leading actors as well as the supporting actors that made the story enjoyable to watch. And on a final note, you can really tell that they tried to put a lot of detail and "special effects" into their shots which is impressive for the time.

Don't miss out on this one.
2015-03-23
Has the world gone mad?
8.5 / 10 IMDb points? 66.th best IMDb movie? Many reviewers' favourite movie of all times bar none? Has the world gone quite mad? To me it's a highly forgettable movie. I'm not really addressing those lost souls who actually enjoyed this, to quote Bill Hicks, p. o. s. film, but to warn those impressionable souls who still haven't seen it: beware! Beware this p. o. s. film!

As for the plot, this movie falls roughly into two halves; in the first we follow a contingent of British soldiers in Japanese captivity in Burma during World War II (the one with the funny mustaches). When the dastardly Saito orders the officers to work alongside their regulars -- a breach of the Geneva Convention -- he is faced off by the impeccable colonel Nicholson. Eventually Saito gives in and the British soldiers build him a magnificent railway bridge.

In the second half of the movie we follow an American soldier, Shears, who has managed to escape from Saito's jungle camp. Against his will he is sent back on a secret mission to blow up that very bridge.

At the climax, two men are pitched against each other: Nicholson, to whom the bridge is a symbol of his perseverance and supremacy, and the American, who has gone through hell and back to destroy it and do damage to the Japs.

My major problem with the movie is that colonel Nicholson is obviously a complete idiot. His nemesis Saito may be an evil sadist, but at least he has a weak and human side as well. He is a pudgy little fellow who's been to art school, but now has to make do as a CO. My heart went out to him, whereas I fail to see how anyone can sympathise with the blimpish Nicholson.

It's only after the bridge has been completed that a single officer mildly questions the wisdom of building the most magnificent bridge of all times for the Japanese, who are, after all, not exactly their allies. And I never saw what was so unethical about officers working alongside their troops in the first place.

Apart from that, it's a pretty conventional, John-Wayne-style war movie. The enemy is inscrutable and evil, Asian women are almond-eyed, servile foxes, the soldiers are undyingly loyal and war is hell but fun (in a rough, it's-a-man's-world sort of way). The production is excellent but overall it's a very dated movie. I'm surprised how anyone would consider this a classic rather than just an old movie. Its only benefit is that it allowed director David Lean to make Lawrence Of Arabia.
2008-11-25
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