David Lean's The Bridge on the River Kwai is as much an enduring classic today as it was when it opened over 50 years ago. Despite the fact that it's a nearly 3-hour WWII drama with very little action, it currently holds a place on the IMDb's top 100 films, and seems very currently in the hearts and minds of film buffs everywhere. This week it opens in a miraculous, digitally restored print that corrects several problems, including a few that couldn't have been corrected back in 1957.
According to a press release, the original negative was newly scanned at 4K, and from there all the restoration work was completed. The color was corrected, scratches and dirt were removed, and rips and tears were mended. In addition, some mismatched dissolves were also corrected. Apparently there was even a malfunctioning camera that resulted in a few unwanted effects that have all been corrected. Now, thanks to the digital transfer, the film can be shown in is proper aspect ratio of 2.55:1 instead of being cropped for 2.35:1. Finally, the real screenwriting credits are restored, including the formerly blacklisted Michael Wilson and Carl Foreman.