Main Content

The Bridge on the River Kwai [DVD] [1957]

  • SKU: 4058539
  • Release Date: 11/21/2000
  • Rating: PG
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.
$9.99

Item Added.View List

Add to List

    No lists found. Create one today.
    Add Item
    Cardmember Offers

    Overview

    Ratings & Reviews


    Overall Customer Rating:
    87% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (46 out of 53)

    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

    Synopsis


    The Bridge on the River Kwai
    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, Rovi

    Cast & Crew


    • William Holden
      William Holden - Shears
    • Alec Guinness
      Alec Guinness - Col. Nicholson
    • Jack Hawkins
      Jack Hawkins - Maj. Warden
    • Sessue Hayakawa
      Sessue Hayakawa - Col. Saito
    • Geoffrey Horne
      Geoffrey Horne - Lieutenant Joyce



    Customer rating

    Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars with 53 reviews

    87%
    would recommend to a friend
    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Bridge On The River Kwai Remastered

      Posted
      reconredneck
      • My Best Buy Premier Silver MemberElite Plus Member
      • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

      This is a great, great film. Very realistic War film dealing with the building of the railroad between Burma & China. The Japanese Imperial Armies treatment of prisoners was quite brutal with many a allied soldier dying along the way. The Japanese expected the project to take 5 years to complete but that was before they realized they had a free labor source, with the use of POW's the rail line was laid in 16 months. Starvation, overloading of work, dismal or absent accommodation and sanitation, and the individual viciousness of Japanese and Korean engineers and guards, took their expected toll. Disease (predominantly dysentery, malaria, beriberi and cholera), brutality (69 men were beaten to death by their guards) and 12 to 18 hour daily work shifts made for a high death rate. In fact, the work went on 24 hours a day with the aid of oil pot lamps and bamboo/wood fires that were kept burning all night long. When looking down on the work area at night it looked like working in the “jaws of hell” - thus the workers gave it the name “Hellfire Pass”. While this film focuses on the building of one bridge on their route to China it still shows realism of the brutality in a realistic manner. This is a film all young people should watch to show them that there is no Glory in war only hardship and death. Video - This is a completely remastered image that has not been cropped as in past releases. The edges have been reincorporated giving this Blu-Ray that extra wide ratio. The Colors are neutral as one would expect a jungle to appear. Flesh tones are healthy and look natural. This is the clearest copy I have ever had the pleasure to watch, blowing the DVD out of the water! Audio - A DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) is very front heavy with little going on in the rear fields, still, this soundtrack is very robust and sounds excellent. I had no problems hearing dialog and could not hear hiss, pops or abnormal inconsistencies in this soundtrack. Not bad considering the source was in mono. Extra's - This Blu-Ray package does not contain the extra's disc that the " Collectors Edition" did so you get a few extra's but not all the trimmings. Heres a list of what you will find on this single disc set. 1.Making of the Bridge On The River Kwai 2.The Steve Allen Show (with Alec Guinness & William Holden) 3.The Bridge narration featuring William Holden 4.Rise And Fall Of A Jungle Giant 5.USC Short Film featuring William Holden 6.An Appreciation by filmmaker John Milius 7.Photo Gallery 8.Bridge Trailers 9.Previews 10.Crossing The Bridge: Picture-In-Graphics track 11.BD-Live Capable. With a great starring cast, impeccable image quality, sound with great clarity and a decent amount of extra's I definitely recommend this Blu-Ray package!

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Great, great great movie! Odd choice for Sony.

      Posted
      bobinator
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      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 would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      One of the absolute best WWII movies ever filmed

      Posted
      bosco11

      I regret another reviewer chose to critique an apparent error in packaging rather than the award winning movie itself. Some may conclude the film is mediocre. Nothing could be further from the truth. I was eight when Bridge was released and can't think of a movie I remember as vividly as this one. It has been indelibly seared in my mind since I first watched it and I have seen it at least five times since. Rarely do I watch a flick more than once. It's my favorite WWII movie, or better put, anti WWII movie. The madness and futility of war is intelligently portrayed. That it is now in Blu-ray format is wonderful. Winner of multiple Academy Awards in 1957, I rank this movie among the best of the best of its genre. Powerful performances and stunningly beautiful photography are the hallmark of this brilliantly crafted epic..

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Beautiful Bridge

      Posted
      TomFlix
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      I have watched the 4K and have compared it to a few scenes on the blu-ray and considering this film was made a little over 60 years ago it looks great. The 4K is clearer and sharper than the blu-ray Backgrounds etc. very grainy on the BD not so much on the 4K. The score and sound effects are strong. One of the best anti-war films made. Still a great fillm after all these years.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Classi Movie

      Posted
      oldman53

      This movie is about real lfe events during WW 2 and if all you care about is computer special effects, don't buy it. But if you like a movie where actors really acted instead of standing in front of a green screen, then get it. This movie is about the men and women who weren't afraid to be in a war and had the courage that is rarely seen. Has great color, sound quality is good and well acted.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Very good WWII classic

      Posted
      Rocky14
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      This movie is based on a true story, but is very different from the actual events. That, however, does not stop it from being great. It's an all-time classic with great performances all around and excellent camera work. David Lean was a master story teller and it shows here. This remastered version looks and sounds amazing. I was very excited to find this on sale at a great price!

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

      Not Bridged Worth 4K

      Posted
      Britannicus
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member
      • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

      Bridge on the River Kwai is an excellent film, but this rating is for the 4K aspect. It is not needed - there does not appear to be any significant improvement to warrant paying more money for 4K. It makes you feel like you have been ripped off.

      No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      A classic Revisited

      Posted
      JarrettBum

      The story is great, the actors are great, simply a classic. I have seen this movie dozens of times and when i saw it on the Blu ray special edition i couldnt believe how much better it looked that all the times id seen it before! They did a great job remastering this!

      I would recommend this to a friend



    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.