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

Release Date:11/21/2000
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.
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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    84% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (49 out of 58)

    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


    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

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