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Columbia/TriStar should be proud of the job they have done on the Bridge on the River Kwai two-disc set. Though there is a single-disc version without any significant features also available, fans of this film should feel obligated to purchase this supplement-heavy edition. Before getting to the extras though, the image on this title, framed at 2.35:1 and anamorphic, is extremely good but not without some issues. The main problem is an often-evident lack of sharpness and detail. While not present throughout the film, since the majority looks magnificent, the imperfections do stand out. The sound, with both English and French 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks, is also less than perfect. There is next to no surround material, but fortunately the dialogue is centered up front and is distortion free. Also available are two-channel surround tracks in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Optional English, Korean, Thai, and French subtitles are also available. As for the extras, they are as impressive as the movie. The sole extra feature on the first disc is an isolated music track in stereo. It is the second disc that holds the majority of supplemental material. The main point of interest is an excellently detailed making-of documentary that runs nearly an hour. Also included is a brief promotional short called "Rise and Fall of a Jungle Giant" and a USC short film on appreciating the art of movie making (featuring The Bridge On The River Kwai in particular), hosted by William Holden. Enthusiastic director John Milius, a great fan of this film, offers his personal insights in a short featurette. Finally, along with a lengthy sampling of posters and lobby cards from around the world, are four theatrical trailers, some selective talent files, and a number of DVD-ROM features. An outstanding DVD set for a very impressive film.
Digitally mastered audio and anamorphic video
English 5.1 [Dolby Digital] and 2-channel [Dolby Surround], French, Spanish, Portuguese
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, and Thai
Isolated music score
Trivia: "Experience Building the Bridge"
Maps and military strategy
Screensavers from original movie art
Exclusive documentary: adaptation of Boulle's novel, casting, history of production, score, release, restoration
Original featurette: "Rise and Fall of a Jungle Giant"