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The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 movie about Prisoners of War that build a magnificent bridge while in captivity.


  • Starring: William Holden, Alec Guinness
  • Rated: PG for mild war related material.
  • Released: 1957
  • Genre: Drama, War
  • My Opinion: It was okay


When a British Colonel and his soldiers are sent to a Japanese POW camp, they are forced to build a bridge across…you guessed it…the River Kwai. Instead of letting his men sabotage the building of the bridge, the Colonel demands perfection and discipline from his men, thus instilling a sense of pride in them. This accomplished a couple of things: one, they were building something that would outlast each and every one of them. And two, that even when you are in the worst of circumstances, you have the ability to bring forth your integrity, to be honest and hard working, which is more to be proud of than anything you could build. The movie does have a second story line, which is vital, but I won’t spoil it for those of you that haven’t seen it. I’ll let you enjoy the ending, which really is the best part of the entire movie.


Am I going to get a ton of grief for saying this movie was only okay? Probably. The Bridge on the River Kwai is on every variety of the Top 100 Movies Ever Made list. It was a good movie, don’t get me wrong, I just don’t think I’d ever sit through the 161 minutes of it again. And it’s just so OLD. I’m not a fan of movies older than 1990 in general, and 1957, in my opinion, had some very cheesy acting. Aahhh, I’m going to get bashed for saying that too. Although it is old, The Bridge on the River Kwai is one I’d recommend watching at least once. It doesn’t get onto all those lists without being a powerful movie.


  • Did you know The Bridge on the River Kwai won 7 Oscars? Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Music, Best Film Editing and Best Cinematography. It was also nominated for several other awards.
  • The Bridge on the River Kwai is loosely based on the construction of the Burma Railway. Read more about this at Wikipedia.
  • You can watch a documentary about Lt. Col. Philip Toosey, the British officer portrayed in the film, on Netflix.
  • In 1997, The Bridge on the River Kwai was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and selected for preservation in the United States Library of Congress National Film Registry.



If you enjoyed The Bridge on the River Kwai, you will probably also like The Great Escape about POWs that stage a breakout from an escape proof German prison camp.