For many, its their first exposure to the horrors prisoners of wars suffered in the Far East. While the story is fiction, the broader setting--including the construction of the Burmese railway--is based on historical events. Return trains are 12.55 and 15.15. He wanders into a Burmese village, is nursed back to health, and eventually reaches the British colony of Ceylon. The adventure war film The Bridge on the River Kwai may have swept the board of awards and attracted acclaim as one best films of the 20th century, but the War Office was very nervous "it would . David Lean himself also claimed that producer Sam Spiegel cheated him out of his rightful part in the credits since he had had a major hand in the script. In 1985, the Academy officially recognized Foreman and Wilson as the screenwriters and posthumously awarded the Oscar to them. Wrote Guinness: "I felt like turning around and getting back on the plane and paying my own fare home!" [citation needed], Julie Summers, in her book The Colonel of Tamarkan, writes that Boulle, who had been a prisoner of war in Thailand, created the fictional Nicholson character as an amalgam of his memories of collaborating French officers. David Lean's 1957 epic Bridge on the River Kwai is regarded as one of the all-time great war films. All but a small section of the route was built in dense, malarial jungles, in sweltering heat and monsoon rains. 16- "You make me sick with your heroics! Civilian workmen suffered terribly too, with their casualties far outstripping the military personnel. The cast includes William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, and . Starring Alec Guinness, William Holden, and Sessue Hayakawa, among others, it paints an . An estimated 80,000 to 100,000 civilians also died in the course of the project, chiefly forced labour brought from Malaya and the Dutch East Indies, or conscripted in Siam (Thailand) and Burma. [60] The 167-minute film was first telecast, uncut, in colour, on the evening of 25 September 1966, as a three hours-plus ABC Movie Special. Nicholson objects, informing Saito the Geneva Convention exempts officers from manual labour. Casualties commemorated at Chungkai are mostly men who died in the field hospital set up by prisoners. Here is 'Minder' telling me to get the timber off the base and start cutting up the dowels. The ending of that was sort of the story of life. 21. The movie is based on the novel Le Pont de la Riviere Kwai by Pierre Boulle. Spiegel sent the screenplay to the Japanese government ahead of time, hoping to get their cooperation with the production. 15- "All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.". Joyce, manning the detonator, breaks cover and stabs Saito to death. It was the highest-grossing film of 1957 and received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics. [40] Boulle had never been to the bridge. During its construction, approximately 13,000 prisoners of war died and were buried along the railway. He served as an adviser during the making of the movie. The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 epic war film directed by David Lean and based on the 1952 novel written by Pierre Boulle.Although the film uses the historical setting of the construction of the Burma Railway in 1942-1943, the plot and characters of Boulle's novel and the screenplay are almost entirely fictional. Although the obvious link was by sea, Allied submarines controlling the region made it too treacherous. Two labour forces, one based in Siam and the other in Burma, worked from opposite ends of the line towards the centre. 2023 Commonwealth War Graves Commission. In fact, there were two: one a wooden railway bridge and the other a ferroconcrete structure built using imported bridge sections from Japanese-controlled Java. The trials of Australian Army Lieutenant George Hamilton Lamb reflected the mens awful experience building the Burma-Siam Death Railway. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. In early 1943, a contingent of British prisoners of war, led by Lt. [Ronald Searle, To the Kwai and Back: War drawings 1939-45, London, Collins, 1986, 104] 'The Bridge on the River Kwai' is now the best-known site on the Burma-Thailand railway but its fame is due more to a fictional film than its significance in World War II. Concurrently, Shears, after a harrowing journey in which he nearly loses his life more than once, is rescued by the British and then required to lead a group of commandoes headed by Major Warden (Jack Hawkins) back to the POW camp that he escaped from in order to blow up the bridge. WILLIAM HOLDEN JACK HAWKINS 1957 BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI 8X10 PHOTO. You can also take a boat down the Kwai River . Bridge over the River Kwai, Kanchanaburi, Thailand. And a bloke called George Siegatz[29] an expert whistlerbegan to whistle Colonel Bogey, and a hit was born.". The Bridge on the River Kwai Facts for Kids. It stars Alec Guinness, Sessue Hayakawa, Jack Hawkins and William Holden. Its construction came about because Japan needed another supply route to link Singapore and Malaysia to its possessions in Burma following Singapores fall in February 1942. [13], Many directors were considered for the project, among them John Ford, William Wyler, Howard Hawks, Fred Zinnemann, and Orson Welles (who was also offered a starring role). 6. For one sunset scene, David Lean specifically traveled 150 miles to capture it. In 1999, the British Film Institute voted The Bridge on the River Kwai the 11th greatest British film of the 20th Century. They write new content and verify and edit content received from contributors. Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson have written the screenplay for this film. He created the railroad. Laughton would die (of cancer) five years later, at the age of 63. It was the highest-grossing film of 1957 in the United States and Canada and was also the most popular film at the British box office that year. The place is regarded as "The Symbol of Peace". 2. Along with 1,250 other POWs, he died while in transit from Singapore to Japan aboard the Rakuyo Maro transport ship after it was torpedoed by a US submarine. A Cholera epidemic swept through Nieke Camp between May-June 1943. Lean feared Guinness' public persona had changed so much that audiences wouldn't buy him in this very dramatic role, but came around to the idea when the Laughton plan didn't work. Death Railway was bombed heavily by the Allies from 1943 onwards. Only in 1984 did the Academy rectify the situation by retroactively awarding the Oscar to Foreman and Wilson, posthumously in both cases. Disease was a huge killer among railway workers, but so was brutality. (There were other verses, too, which treated in more depth the number, location, and status of Hitler's anatomy, but you get the idea.) This meant that some of the British prisoners were actually natives of the region wearing make-up to appear Caucasian. $ 3 million (estimated) The Bridge on the River Kwai is a British 1957 movie from Columbia Pictures, based on Pierre Boulle 's 1952 book The Bridge over the River Kwai ( French: Le Pont de la Rivire Kwai ). The movie, based on the novel Le Pont de la rivire Kwa (1952) by French novelist Pierre Boulle, was adapted for the screen by Michael Wilson and Carl Foreman, who were both at the time on the Hollywood blacklist. It is close to, but not over the country's border with Myanmar. It was released in the US on December 14, 1957, taking in a reported $17M+, which made it the highest-grossing film of 1957. The real swamps in Ceylon were deemed to be too dangerous. A sketch of that bridge was used as the basis for the fictional one. However, cameraman Freddy Ford was unable to get out of the way of the explosion in time, and Lean had to stop filming. In the setting of World War II, a defeated unit British Soldiers is marched into a Japanese prison camp in western Thailand, with the purpose of constructing a bridge over the River Kwai to carry a new railway line to invade Burma. 17. The cemetery itself is located just outside the town of Kanchanaburi at the point where the Kwai splits into the Mae Khlong and Kwai Noi rivers. But I am writing a factual account, and in justice to these menliving and deadwho worked on that bridge, I must make it clear that we never did so willingly. The Bridge on the River Kwai, British-American war film, released in 1957 and directed by David Lean, that was both a critical and popular success and became an enduring classic. Within 16 months the bridge was completed but it took another two years to complete the entire rail line. The filming of the bridge explosion was to be done on 10 March 1957, in the presence of S.W.R.D. In fact, the cemetery is the original burial ground started by the prisoners themselves. The camp commander, Colonel Saito (Sessue Hayakawa), informs the prisoners that they will all begin working on the building of a railway bridge the following day. Initial estimates from Japanese engineers suggested it would take five years. Young: "Donald, did anyone whistle Colonel Bogey as they did in the film?" Boulle was given sole credit on the film and was awarded the Oscar for best screenplay. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Today, he rests alongside his fellow POWs in Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery in Burma (Myanmar). 's working to build and/or destroy a bridge for the Japanese during World War II. The film is a work of fiction but borrows the construction of the Burma Railway in 1942-43 for its historical setting. During WW II, Japan constructed the meter-gauge railway line from Ban Pong, Thailand to Thanbyuzayat, Burma. He'd just been through a costly divorce from actress Ann Todd. 27. English / Japanese / Thai. The bridge is still in everyday use as part of the Bangkok-Nam Tok line. [54] Slant magazine gave the film four out of five stars. Some Japanese viewers resented the movie's depiction of their engineers' capabilities as inferior and less advanced than they were in reality. In 1942 Japan seized Myanmar from British control and quickly decided to build a rail link to Thailand in order to maintain a secure supply route to their forces. Bought 4 and 6 mm dowel wood for bridge piers. See some of the commonly asked questions about the Special Committee. The deaths of the Asian workers and the prisoners were real events, but most of the book and the movie are not true. In early 1943, World War II British prisoners arrive by train at a Japanese prison camp in Burma. The commandoes arrive for their mission as the finishing touches are being put on the bridge. The prisoners of war who had . [41] According to Variety, the film earned estimated domestic box office revenues of $18,000,000[42] although this was revised downwards the following year to $15,000,000, which was still the biggest for 1958 and Columbia's highest-grossing film at the time. The Bridge Over the River Kwai won seven Academy Awards (including Best Picture) in 1958. The film won seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor (Guinness), not to mention a handful of Golden Globes, BAFTAs, and even a Grammy nomination for its soundtrack. After Saito cuts a ceremonial ribbon, Nicholson spots a detonator wire. Take a look below for 28 more fun and interesting facts about The Bridge on the River Kwai. [27] Gavin Young[28] recounts meeting Donald Wise, a former prisoner of the Japanese who had worked on the Burma Railway. He, Shears, and Joyce reach the river in time with the assistance of Siamese women bearers and their village chief, Khun Yai. Himmler 13. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) is an epic World War II adventure/action, anti-war drama. California Doubling: The film is set in Thailand, but was filmed in Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka), a distinction the publicity of the time didn't see fit to make clear.Instead, it raved about the movie being shot in Ceylon in a way which implied the real-life River Kwai was located there. A make-up man was also badly injured in the same accident. The real Bridge over the River Kwai is bridge 277 of the Burma-Siam Railway. The railway ran for 250 miles from Ban Pong, Thailand to Thanbyuzayat, Burma and is now known as the Death Railway. In the meantime, Shears manages to escape. The River Kwai, also known as Khwae Noi or Khwae Sai Yok is a river located in the western region of Thailand. 5. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). No visit to the Western Front is complete without a trip to The CWGC Visitor Centre. Kanchanaburi, in Myanmar border, is home to the famous Bridge River Kwai. They remain standing at attention throughout the day. The Bridge On The River Kwai Film Facts. Unique to this film, in some ways, were other issues related to poorly made optical dissolves, the original camera lens and a malfunctioning camera. On 16 October 1943, the two ends of the Burma-Thailand railway were joined at Konkoita in Thailand. This was an entertaining story. Kanburi wasnt a work camp as such. The steel bridge was repaired and is still in use today. While the British prisoners celebrate their accomplishment that night, the commandoes wire the bridge with explosives to be detonated by a plunger operated by a hidden soldier, timed to collapse the bridge just as an inaugural train carrying Japanese dignitaries is crossing it. Thanbyuzayat is in Myanmar. The bridge depicted in the film is most definitely real. THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI takes place in Japan-occupied Siam (later Thailand) in 1943, after the Imperial Japanese Empire has conquered vast territories of Asia. Boulle nonetheless enjoyed the film version though he disagreed with its climax. That evening, the officers are placed in a punishment hut, while Nicholson is beaten and locked in an iron box. Mortally wounded, he falls onto the plunger, the bridge is blown up, and the train with the dignitaries falls into the river. Lean wanted to use the tune in Kwai, figured those lyrics wouldn't pass the censors (or the approval of the composer's widow), and opted to have the troops whistle it instead. Rather than start building at two ends and meet in the middle, as per normal railway construction, the Japanese created hundreds of camps across its lengths. The Bridge Over the River Kwai. According to one biographer, he was "broke and needed work; he had even pawned his gold cigarette case." Toosey was very different from Nicholson and was certainly not a collaborator who felt obliged to work with the Japanese. Warden, Shears, and two other commandos parachute into Thailand; one, Chapman, dies after falling into a tree, and Warden is wounded in an encounter with a Japanese patrol and must be carried on a litter. Contact us, Image: Rows of graves at Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Image: Kanchanaburi Dutch Memorial commemorates Dutch POWs who died building Death Railway, Image: Chungkai War Cemetery's Cross of Sacrifice, Image: The Pavilion at Chungkai War Cemetery, Image: The cemetery's horticulture gives Chungkai a sense of serenity, Image: The Stone of Remembrance at Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery, Image: Headstones and horticulture at Thanbyuzayat, Get the latest CWGC news and see some of our recent work, Report of the Special Committee to review historical inequalities in Commemoration, Discover world war casualties who lived in your area, The True Story of the Bridge over the River Kwai, Why and how were restoring the Menin Gate: What you need to know about this amazing project, A push through the desert: How The Allies Captured Jericho in 1918, Visit Commonwealth war graves in Arras, France. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) Addeddate 2021-08-19 15:12:20 Identifier the-bridge-on-the-river-kwai_202108 Scanner Internet Archive HTML5 Uploader 1.6.4. plus-circle Add Review. One of the iconic war films of its time, the Bridge on the River Kwai has shone a spotlight on POWs suffering. The Colonel Bogey March" was composed in 1914 by Kenneth Alford, a military band conductor. Their taskmasters were relentless. When, the next morning, Saito orders all the British prisoners to begin building the bridge under the command of a Japanese engineer, Nicholson and the other officers refuse, even when Saito threatens to kill them. First Joyce and then Shears are killed in the ensuing gunfire. Check here to see our open positions and volunteer roles. Holy oil to be used to anoint King during coronation made sacred in Jerusalem, Arctic Monkeys and Guns N Roses complete Glastonbury headliners line-up, Nine rare cream-colored phone boxes receive listed status, King and Queen Consort to make first state visits to France and Germany, Hollywood stars and cruise ship passenger memories feature in Cunard digital photo exhibition, Woman completes aim to sample a scone at every possible National Trust location, Filming of Star Wars series Andor and other shows brings boost to Scotland, Friendliest street to be rewarded with Eden Project garden to mark coronation, King expresses shock and sadness over Greeces deadliest train crash, Ultimate List of Funny British Place Names, Our Love Affair with Shaftesbury Dorset Explained, Brit Telly 101: Understanding British Police Ranks, Finding Downton: Our Journey to Highclere Castle, Titanic: 10 Famous People Who Died On The Titanic, 33 British Slang Words and Phrases Youll Want to Start Using Regularly Today Because Theyre Awesome, A Very Winston Christmas: Chartwell at Christmas, Lauras Britain: A Visit to Idyllic Ightham Mote National Trust in Kent, A Church in Wales: The Housesitting Edition Update on Welsh Church Conversion, Caroline of Brunswick: The Tabloid Princess of the Regency Era. The movie garnered seven Academy Awards, including that for best picture, as well as three Golden Globe Awards and four BAFTA awards. Victims were cremated and their remains are buried in the aforementioned graves. In 1997, the movie was deemed culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress. Also, in the novel, the bridge is not destroyed: the train plummets into the river from a secondary charge placed by Warden, but Nicholson (never realising "what have I done?") Search by location, regiment, nationality, and more fields to find the war dead involved in building the blood-soaked Burma-Siam Railway. The Bridge on the River Kwai. Has something sim'lar As the train approaches, they hurry down to the riverbank to investigate. About Press Copyright Contact us Creators Advertise Developers Terms Privacy Policy & Safety How YouTube works Test new features NFL Sunday Ticket Press Copyright . pacelli catholic high school,