Genre Grandeur – The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) – Encore Review 2 – MovieRob

For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Prison Films, here’s a review of The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) by me

Thanks again to Jay of Life Vs. Film for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Ryan of Ten Stars or Less.  We will be reviewing our favorite Boston Film(s).

According to Ryan’s research, this is probably the best list of movies set in Boston

Here is what appears to be the official/unofficial list of everything related to Boston movies

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Apr by sending them to

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Ryan!

Let’s see what I thought of this movie:


“I’d say the odds against a successful escape are about 100 to one. But may I add another word, Colonel? The odds against survival in this camp are even worse. ” – Commander Shears

Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (on video, DVD, 21 May 2013, 19 Feb 2016 and 29 Mar 2017)

Link to original reviewHere and Here

Brief Synopsis – During World War II, a battalion of British soldiers who were ordered to surrender must live and work in a prison camp run by a sadistic commander who wants them to build a bridge across a nearby river to help the supply route of the Japanese troops.

My Take on it – This is a movie that I fell in love with years ago and can watch it over and over and never get bored with it.

When Jay chose this months genre, this was the first movie that I thought of because it is such a complex story that is presented in a simplistic way that it is so easy to enjoy.

Obviously, the idea of this being a prison movie is quite clear due to the fact that we are given a tale of three differnet men living in a Japanese Prisoner of War camp at the height of World War II; an American Naval officer, a Brith Battalion Commander and a Japanese Colonel who is the commandant of the camp.

Each of these men are prisoners in some way and they all look at their predicaments in very diverse ways.

The decisions that each of them make during the course of the movie all go clearly in line with the way they see their future, each wishing in a different way to somehow escape from their current situation.

The story is built up so well and we quickly learn who each of these three men are and what they stand for.

They are all stubborn and set in their ways and never wish for anyone to try and make them change their minds.

Willaim Holden, Alec Guinness and Sessue Hayakawa play the three men and each gave an Oscar worthy performance here.

Director David Lean does a wonderful job keeping focus on the overall storyline but still manages to move between the three specific stories of these men extremely efficiently.

This film moves me every time I see it because it is put together so well.

It is quite deserving of it’s 7 Oscars including Best Picture, Director and Actor for Guinness.

The music is extremely iconic here and it’s so easy to spontaneously begin whistling the song.

Here’s a version of it:

Bottom Line – Amazing movie that still moves me every time I see it.  The story is built so well that we get a clear understanding of the scope of the entire plot and it’s effect on the war effort of both sides.  The cast is superb and Lean does a great job moving between the three sides of the overall story while still keeping focus on the overall storyline.  The characters are all developed extremely well and we easily understand the motivation of all three main characters and how they wish to further the war effort for themselves in the enormous scope of the ways of war. Iconic music helps this story move in a way most people couldn’t even imagine.  Loved how each of the three main characters looks at the idea of imprisonment in different ways and each is a prisoner to their own way of life. Very deserving of it’s 7 Oscars including Best Picture.  One of the greatest films ever made IMHO. Highly Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia –  For the scene when Col. Nicholson emerges from the oven after several days confined there, Alec Guinness based his faltering walk on that of his son Matthew Guinness when he was recovering from polio. Guinness regarded this one tiny scene as some of the finest work he did throughout his entire career. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (no change from original review)


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To see my reviews of Oscar Winning Performances check out this link

To see my reviews of all Oscar Best Picture Winners click here (now complete)

Here is a link to my movie index A-Z

13 thoughts on “Genre Grandeur – The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) – Encore Review 2 – MovieRob

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