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The Bridge on the River Kwai

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Overview

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 ...
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Percy Herbert, John Boxer, Peter Williams, Andr? Morell, Geoffrey Horne, James Donald, Sessue Hayakawa, Jack Hawkins, Alec... 01/01/2003 DVD New 1957 Run time: 161.

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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 01/01/2003, DVD, Brand New! DVD. Case New. Shrink wrapped! Quality guaranteed! In original artwork/packaging unless otherwise noted.

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Overview

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.
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Special Features

Disc 1:; Digitally mastered audio and anamorphic video; Widescreen presentation; 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; DVD-ROM:; Trivia: "Experience Building the Bridge"; Maps and military strategy; Screensavers from original movie art; Disc 2:; Exclusive documentary: adaptation of Boulle's novel, casting, history of production, score, release, restoration; Original featurette: "Rise and Fall of a Jungle Giant"; U.S.C. short film introduced by William Holden; An appreciation by filmmaker John Milius; Photo gallery; Theatrical trailers; Talent files; Interactive and animated menus; Scene selections; Collectible inserts
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
The Bridge on the River Kwai ranks as one of the greatest films of all time and arguably director David Lean's best film. At the heart of the film is the performance of Alec Guinness as the obsessively principled Colonel Nicholson. In a lesser film, his character might be simplified into a heroic martyr, but The Bridge on the River Kwai revels in its moral ambiguity: no significant character is either purely a hero or purely a villain. Filmed in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), the film features brutal prisoner-of-war work camps that are nonetheless considerably nicer than their historical counterparts, a good decision since it frees the audience to focus on the battle of wills, at first between Nicholson and Saito (Sessue Hayakawa), later between Shears (William Holden) and Warden (Jack Hawkins). The film's closing line ("Madness... Madness") is among the best-known and most enigmatic closings in screen history. The film received seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor (Guinness).
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/21/2000
  • UPC: 043396057470
  • Original Release: 1957
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Dolby 5.1
  • Sound: Dolby Digital
  • Language: English, Français, Español, Portugais
  • Time: 2:42:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
William Holden Shears
Alec Guinness Col. Nicholson
Jack Hawkins Maj. Warden
Sessue Hayakawa Col. Saito
Geoffrey Horne Lieutenant Joyce
James Donald Maj. Clipton
Andre Morell Col. Green
Peter Williams Capt. Reeves
John Boxer Maj. Hughes
Percy Herbert Pvt. Grogan
Harold Goodwin Pvt. Baker
Ann Sears Nurse
Henry Okawa Capt. Kanematsu
Technical Credits
David Lean Director
Gus Agosti Asst. Director
Malcolm Arnold Score Composer
Donald M. Ashton Art Director
Pierre Boulle Screenwriter
John Cox Sound/Sound Designer
Cecil F. Ford Production Manager
Carl Foreman Screenwriter
Stuart Freeborn Makeup
Jack Hildyard Cinematographer
Peter Newbrook Camera Operator
George Partleton Makeup
Sam Spiegel Producer
Ted Sturgis Asst. Director
Peter Taylor Editor
Michael Wilson Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Side #1
0. Scene Selections
1. Start [:03]
2. "Colonel Bogey March" [1:00]
3. "I am Colonel Saito" [:26]
4. Nicholson Meets Shears [1:00]
5. Officers' Meeting [:11]
6. A point of difference [1:00]
7. The oven [:16]
8. Right moment & company [1:00]
9. How not to build a bridge [:10]
10. Five minutes with Nicholson [1:00]
11. A successful escape [:04]
12. A late supper with Saito [1:00]
13. Shears leaves paradise [:14]
14. Victory & defeat [1:00]
15. Inspection [:04]
16. Setting Saito straight [1:00]
17. Shears meets Warden [:06]
18. The commando school [1:00]
19. Warden's plan [:11]
20. The truth about Shears [1:00]
21. Building a proper bridge [:11]
22. Fourth team member [1:00]
23. The mission begins [:11]
24. A change of route [1:00]
25. Jungle trek [:07]
26. Radio repair [1:00]
27. Facing a crisis [:11]
28. Bathing with the enemy [1:00]
29. Superficially chipped bone [:10]
30. Reconnaissance [1:00]
31. Attack plan [:09]
32. "A first-rate job" [1:00]
33. Setting the charges
34. A few words from Nicholson
35. Final preparations
36. "The river's gone down"
37. "Something odd's going on"
38. Leading them right to it
39. "Blow up the bridge?"
40. Mission accomplished
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Menu

Side #1
   Play Movie
   Subtitles
   Audio Set-Up
Side #2
   Exclusive Documentary
      Play Exclusive Documentary
      DOCUMENTARY HIGHLIGHTS: From Novel to Script
      Casting
      Building the Bridge
      Production Stories
      Nicholson and Saito
      Nicholson's Realization
      Blowing-Up the Bridge
      Bird's Eye View
      The Shooting Continues
      Editing
      David Lean and the Critics
      A Masterpiece
   Talent Files
      David Lean (Director)
      William Holden
      Alec Guinness
      Jack Hawkins
      Sessue Hayakawa
   Featurettes & Photos
      Original Featurette: The Rise and Fall of a Jungle Giant
      USC Short Film Introduced by William Holden
      An Appreciation by John Millus
      Photo Montage
   Theatrical Trailers
      The Bridge on the River Kwai Awards Trailer
      The Guns of Navarone Fail Safe
      Lawrence of Arabia
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    arguably the best WWII film ever!

    starting out with the famous river kwai march, this movie greatly details the lives of allied prisoners in japanesw pow camps. it also greatly represents the mental strain one can suffer there, specifically the character played by alec guiness. he gives a better than ever preformance, and it has arguably the best ending in cinema history. without a doubt, watch this movie, you wont regret it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    a bridge to violent times

    Well, this isn’t another war movie, but a very special one, over all considering it’s from 1957. Colonel Nicholson is a stubborn chief of the British Army. His enemy, the Japanese Col. Saito I think isn’t so stiff. It’s mostly the Bushido code that speaks for him and furthermore, he manages brutally the concentration camp, but Saito has a problem: he must build a bridge over the Kwai river and his engineers are unable to do these task. So, Nicholson, who seems to think in spite of his temporal defeat the Japanese are inferior to the British, with the excuse of preserve the moral of his men, decides to collaborate in the making of the bridge. That has to cost Nicholson to fall in treason, as his affection for codes and rules predominates over the main duty of a soldier: destroy the enemy. In effect, Nicholson is a sort of product of the Victorian and British colonial era, and he speaks with affect of his service time in India, a country by then, near to independence. So, when the tricky but vital soldier played by William Holden exposes the disastrous conditions of the camp, Nicholson is astonished: “This man is an eccentric, even considering he’s an American”, says. Holden is a man with a more modern and civil ideas. Nicholson and Saito are the past, but WW II is yet a modern war, not a colonial restricted one. So, with these antecedents, you can understand better the strange madness in what Nicholson falls: he’s by career, by nature or both, an obsessive man, and so, becomes obsessed with the bridge in itself and forgets he’s working for the enemy. A commando attack is made following the information provided by Holden, and Nicholson recovers the reason only a few seconds before he’s killed. The allied commando is directed curiously by a scholar from Cambridge played by Jack Hawkins, and Holden also perceives something lethal in his character. Effectively WW II gave pass to today’s high rate violent crime. David Lean had in this film a surprising instinct unequalled in his other works, also very good, but this is for me the best.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2011

    Brilliant film showing contrast between Allies

    This is easily one of the finest films ever, not just as a war movie, but as a motion picture in general. Sir Alec Guinness is simply brilliant as the British commander who tries so stubbornly to stand up to the Japanese but ends up collaborating with them. William Holden's character shows the stark contrast between the British military tradition and the American way of war. The Brits are trying to keep up a proud tradition and the honor of their regiment. To the Yanks the war was much more basic. I know many vets from both armies and the Americans had a more pragmatic view of the war. Lean shows this in the film. While Guinness stands up for his unit's honor and tradition, Holden is there for only one thing; to defeat the enemy. This was a true reflection on the two nations way of fighting. We Americans were there only to win. No matter what had to be done. This often caused strain between the Allies. The Brits often looked at things in shades of gray, the Yanks usually just in black and white. The ending reflects this contrast as Guinness realizes that his good intentions have gone far awry. A true masterpiece.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A great warm-up to Lawrence of Arabia

    As the author of the epic hi-fantasy BLOODSPILLER, now available at iuniverse.com and soon here at BN.com, I have long since adored intelligent epics, both in book form and in movies. As with most David Lean movies of the 1950's and 1960's, this film is a visual stunner, but also a joy to the ear. No word of dialogue is wasted, the script brimming with typical British irony and a sense that the world, is indeed, mad. William Holden's acting persona had always been well-suited to cynical throw-away lines, and in Bridge he revels in it when confronted by a force greater than his own---the indomitable British will and discipline, the steely-nerved soldier who had ruled most of the world for a hundred years against much greater numbers. Who can forget the Battle of Omdurman, in which the British square of 10,000 men under Lord Kitchener, held off and defeated 100,000 Sudanese and finally broke the back of their rebellion.It is this mindset that controls Alec Guiness, his sense of misplaced honor in this instance, that sets him upon the task of building the bridge in that steaming, Burmese jungle. That he drives Sesu Hayakawa literally to madness, is exquisite. Folks, this is a fabulous movie for the thinking-man's fan, a mere warm-up for the greatest movie of all time which he would direct in 1962, starring Peter O'toole ( I'm not telling! )If you haven't seen bridge, I won't give away the ending, cause it will knock your socks off, This has been for many. many years one of my favorate movies. Buy it! You'l love it1 I promise!!!

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    Posted January 16, 2012

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    Posted July 8, 2009

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    Posted October 26, 2008

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    Posted January 9, 2010

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    Posted January 4, 2011

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    Posted November 1, 2010

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