The Bridge on the River Kwai opens in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in Burma in 1943, where a battle of wills rages between camp commander Colonel Saito (Sessue Hayakawa) and newly arrived British colonel Nicholson (Alec Guinness). Saito insists that Nicholson order his men to build a bridge over the river Kwai, which will be used to transport Japanese munitions. Nicholson refuses, despite all the various "persuasive" devices at Saito's disposal. Finally, Nicholson agrees, not so much to cooperate with his captor as to provide a morale-boosting project for the military engineers under his command. The colonel will prove that, by building a better bridge than Saito's men could build, the British soldier is a superior being even when under the thumb of the enemy. As the bridge goes up, Nicholson becomes obsessed with completing it to perfection, eventually losing sight of the fact that it will benefit the Japanese. Meanwhile, American POW Shears (William Holden), having escaped from the camp, agrees to save himself from a court martial by leading a group of British soldiers back to the camp to destroy Nicholson's bridge. Upon his return, Shears realizes that Nicholson's mania to complete his project has driven him mad. Filmed in Ceylon, Bridge on the River Kwai won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for the legendary British filmmaker David Lean, and Best Actor for Guinness. It also won Best Screenplay for Pierre Boulle, the author of the novel on which the film was based, even though the actual writers were blacklisted writers Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson, who were given their Oscars under the table. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi~Erin Demers
William Holden and Alec Guinness on The Steve Allen Show
Archival audio of Willliams Holden narrating The Bride on the River Kwai premiere
Movies like this are the reason to upgrade to 4k. Be aware that there is noticeable film grain in the image, but that's because this movie was shot on film. So owning this disk is essentially having a perfectly preserved 35mm print of the film at your disposal to watch at any time. It is glorious, especially when considering that there are no special effects or miniatures on display here. Everything you see is what the camera operators saw, full scale, during shooting. A classic.
Excellent war movie. Watching the prisoners build the bridge and whistling while they worked kept my interest in the movie.
I would recommend this to a friend
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Great, great great movie! Odd choice for Sony.
Although Kwai is one of the greatest movies ever made and this is the best looking version of it any of us will ever see, I can't figure out who at Sony thought this the best choice for their first old classic film to be issued on 4K bluray. I would have thought they'd want to blow people away with their first such release! Kwai. Although an incredible movie, it is a film plagued by image quality issues. Equipment problems and a faulty prime lens (which could not be replaced in time to be of any help) resulted in sharpness issues in many scenes. Excessive film grain problems are only enhanced in 4K. Sony also owns another classic masterpiece by the same director, David Lean (and it too won the Best Picture Oscar), and which was filmed in 65mm (the equivalent of roughly 11k!) and looks amazing. They even have a 4K transfer which I've seen and it is SPECTACULAR! The grain structure of this film shot on large format film as practically microscopic and the sharpness in eye boggling! It would have made a far more impressive choice to usher in Sony classics on 4K bluray than the image flawed Kwai. If you love this film as I do, you will never see a better version available--buy it. But it is still a very weird choice for this format--and one which will blow nobody away.
I made the decision to buy the 4K version of the classic THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, and I am so glad I did.
I watched this great movie in 4K using a 4K TV and a 4K blu ray player. It was almost as if you were there in the jungle with the actors.
The Bridge on the River Kwai in 4K is a must see. Thanks Best Buy!