Bridge on the River Kwai (Blu-ray)

Directed By: David Lean Starring: William Holden Alec Guinness

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Product Overview

The picaresque and touching story of the politically incorrect, fully lived life of the impulsive, irascible and fearlessly blunt barney panofsky.


Studio Sony
SKU 220702429
UPC 043396379695
UPC 14 00043396379695
Format Blu-Ray DVD
Release Date 6/7/2011
Rating Rating
Essential Cinema
Theatrical Release
World War II
Editors Note
Note One of the all-time great war films, THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI is yet another classic from the marvelous David Lean (LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, DR. ZHIVAGO). The film is an outstanding, psychologically complex adaptation of Pierre Boulle's 1952 novel, a classic story of English POWs in Burma forced to build a bridge to aid the war effort of their Japanese captors. British and American intelligence officers conspire to blow up the structure, but Col. Nicholson (a fabulous Alec Guinness), the commander who supervised the bridge's construction, has acquired a sense of pride in his creation and tries to foil their plans. Although credited to screenwriter Carl Foreman, the script was actually written by blacklisted writer Michael Wilson. The film garnered seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor (Guinness). The climax is one of the great finales in film history.
Chicago Sun-Times "...Lean handles the climax with precision and suspense..." 04/18/1999 p.5
USA Today "...[A] masterpiece...purely enjoyable..." 11/17/2000 p.13E
Entertainment Weekly "...[A] masterpiece....That rare film about something as seemingly black-and-white as World War II that is colored entirely in shades of gray, and the better for it..." 11/24/2000 p.51
Total Film "...It's certainly weathered well thanks to its novel and ingenious approach to presenting multiple perspectives of the Second World War..." 03/01/2001 p.104,5 stars out of 5 -- "[I]ts combination of sly satire, poignancy and sheer excitement is still astonishing." 06/01/2011
Premiere "...[T]wo compelling stories jelled into one sprawling action film..." 12/01/2003 p.9
Sight and Sound "The absence of button-pushing triumphalism is striking, as indeed is the long game played by Lean's direction." 07/01/2011
David Lean
William Holden
Alec Guinness
Cast & Crew
K. Katsumoto - Star
Peter Williams - Star
Sessue Hayakawa - Star
William Holden - Star
Ann Sears - Star
Andre Morell - Star
Geoffrey Horne - Star
Jack Hawkins - Star
Harold Goodwin - Star
James Donald - Star
Henry Okawa - Star
Percy Herbert - Star
Alec Guinness - Star
Don Ashton - Production Designer
Jack Hildyard - Director of Photography
Calder Willingham - Screenplay Uncredited
Malcolm Arnold - Composer
Carl Foreman - Screenwriter
Michael Henry Wilson - Screenwriter
Sam Spiegel - Producer
Pierre Boulle - Source Writer
Peter Taylor - Editor
David Lean - Director
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1957
UPC 00043396379695
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 162 minutes
Color Color
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  2.55:1
Oscar (1958) Alec Guinness, Winner, Best Actor in a Leading Role,David Lean, Winner, Best Director,Sam Spiegel, Winner, Best Picture
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review Lean also didn't believe in pinching pennies. Despite having generous financial backers, many of Lean's films came in late and overbudget. Viewing pictures like The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia, however, it's hard to find fault with the director's extravagant sensibilities...Debates could rage for hours about which title on his resume represents Lean in top form. The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia both won Lean Best Director and Best Picture Oscars, and the majority of critics would cite those as his best works. As good as both are, however (and they are very good) Bridge is a tighter movie, with a little more meat and less fat. Both get high marks when it comes to "spectacle." Both feature excellent acting, cinematography, and set design. There's not a lot to separate them, but I think The Bridge on the River Kwai is the better movie...For director Lean, this represented a cross-roads between the more intimate, character-driven dramas of his early career and the glorious spectacles that marked his latter years. The Bridge on the River Kwai contains elements of both - the characters are well-drawn and the finale is astonishing - and is all the stronger for it. In my opinion, it is one of the two best films to emerge from a very strong decade of cinema.
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 10
Widescreen, Dolby Digital (5.1), English
Product Attributes
Video Format Blu-Ray
Channel 4 Film Guinness, Lean and British war cinema have never been better.
Ian Nathan, Empire A towering work.
Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide Psychological battle of wills combined with high-powered action sequences make this a blockbuster...
Mike Kaplan, Variety A gripping drama, expertly put together and handled with skill in all departments.
Scott Weinberg, DVD Talk Epic wartime storytelling at its most vibrant and satisfying.

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