Wednesday, May 12, 2010

#113 Bridge on the River Kwai: Be happy in your work

1957. dir David Lean, starring William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Sessue Hayakawa.

Seen it before? No.

Looking at the list, 1957 was an absolutely loaded year: 7 movies, compared to 1 in 1956 and 2 in 1958. This is that year's Best Picture winner, and it does not disappoint.

It seems like half of these movies are in some way related to World War II... anyway here we are in a Japanese prison camp near the River Kwai (which is in Thailand, I guess?) The prisoners are tasked by the cruel Colonel Saito (Sessue Hayakawa) with constructing a bridge over the river. There's two prisoners of note: the American Commander Shears (William Holden), who escapes from the prison, and the British Colonel Nicholson (Alec Guinness), who decides to make the best bridge he possibly can, to keep up the morale of the prisoners. Shears then leads a commando raid back to the bridge to blow it up. Heh.

This reminded me of The African Queen, in that it has a very similar plot, and was also filmed on location in a jungle. It's a good movie but kinda long. Oh and they keep whistling the "Colonel Bogey" march, which they made us play in high school band, and MAN is it annoying.

Position on the list: 69
Another movie this reminded me of: The General, particularly the ending. Kabooms! Oh, uh, spoilers.

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