PG | | Adventure, Drama, War
After settling his differences with a Japanese P.O.W. camp commander, a British Colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors, while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.
Sir Alec Guinness never saw the bridge blow up. He had completed all of his scenes and returned to England when the explosion was filmed.
The fact is, what we're doing could be construed as - forgive me, sir - collaboration with the enemy. Perhaps even as treasonable activity.
Colonel Nicholson: Are you alright, Clipton? We're prisoners of war, we haven't the right to refuse work.
Major Clipton: I understand that, sir...
While the prisoners are all supposed to be sick and/or mistreated, in fact all look reasonably healthy and even tanned, and none in any kind of starved or emaciated state. In reality, as numerous photographs of actual prisoners of the Japanese show, all prisoners were uniformly emaciated, having lost an enormous amount of weight, starved, and with skeletal frames - conditions noticeably absent from any of the prisoners in the film. However, Saito was based on one of the more humane commandants who was acquitted of war crimes after war's end.
And introducing Geoffrey Horne
Various versions have different main credits. There is the original that gives screenplay credit to Pierre Boulle, there is the restored version in which previously blacklisted Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson are credited and there is the original version that was distributed to cinemas at the time still lacking in CinemaScope equipment in which the Cinema Scope credit is omitted and the credits formatted to fit the smaller frame.
English, Japanese, Thai
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