• The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

The Bridge on the River Kwai

Release Date: December 18th, 1957

DVD Release Date: November 21st, 2000

PG |2 hr 41 min

Plot Summary

Adaptation of the Pierre Bouelle novel about POWs in Burma forced to build a bridge to aid the war effort of their Japanese captors. British and American officers plot to blow up the structure, but the commander of the bridge's construction has different plans.

Cast: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Sessue Hayakawa, Jack Hawkins, James Donald, Geoffrey Horne, Andre Morrell, Peter Williams

Director: David Lean

Genres: Drama , War

Production Co: Horizon Films, Columbia Pictures

Distributors: Columbia Pictures

Keywords: Soldier, Quest, Gritty, Rivalry, 1940s, Revenge

Ratings & Reviews

  • 100
    Richard RoeperChicago Sun-Times

    The story in the jungle moves ahead neatly, economically, powerfully. show more

  • 100
    Slant Magazine

    Whereas Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago feel more pictorial than cinematic, The Bridge on the River Kwai carefully builds its psychological tension until it erupts in a blinding flash of sulfur and flame. show more

  • 100
    James BerardinelliReelViews

    The post-World War II cinematic landscape is littered with big-budget movies about the conflict and the toll it took upon those who participated. Some of those pictures have become timeless classics and some are nearly forgotten. Few, if any, are as simultaneously thrilling, awe-inspiring, and tragic as The Bridge on the River Kwai show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Winner Film Editing
Winner Best Director - Motion Picture
Winner Best Motion Picture - Drama
Winner Music (Scoring)
Winner Best Motion Picture
Winner Directing
Winner British Screenplay
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1958)
Winner Cinematography
Winner Film and British Film
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1958)
Winner Writing (Screenplay - Based on Material From Another Medium)