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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the most part, a sparkling restoration
If further proof be needed that when it comes to Blu-ray, the old ones are the best ones, along comes this superb version of The Bridge on the River Kwai.

Occasionally in HD/Blu-ray forums I read ill-informed comments that such and such a film will look rubbish on Blu-ray because it 'pre-dates HD'. Well this one was released in 1957: see for yourselves. The...
Published on 16 Jun 2011 by Chris White

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bridge over the River Kwai - which version?!
Bridge on River Kwai [Blu-ray] [1957] [US Import]

Be sure you know what you're buying. The picture and title are of the US blu-ray version.
The description and reviews refer to the DVD version
The UK Blu-ray version is released later 2011 for the same price.
Better wait for that and be sure?!
Published on 22 April 2011 by B. Kumar


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'A REMARKABLE 'MOVIE' ACHIEVEMENT FROM YESTER-YEAR', 19 May 2014
By 
rbmusicman (U.K) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Bridge on the River Kwai [Blu-ray] [2011] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Must admit, I bought the 'collector's edition' a while back, a treasured possession indeed.
The film itself shows the dreadful conditions that prisoners had to tollerate in camps such as this.
It also tells of one man's determination not to for-go his principles despite the punishment directed at him. ( Colonel Nicholson )
He becomes determined to finish the task his men has been directed to do, however it becomes an obsession, it almost seemed that he forgotten who's side he's really on.
There is also a matter of a small team on the way to destroy the achievement the men of
the camp who had laboured at a grave cost to build.
The film has many great performances within, esspecially 'Alec Guinness's portrayel of the colonel.
the restoration in both picture quality and sound is really pretty good for the '1957' classic, wish all film companies done the same.....................great film.............a must see
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "With you it's one thing or the other, destroy the bridge or destroy yourself!", 12 Dec 2007
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
"Take a good look, Clifton. One day the war will be over. And I hope that the people who use this bridge in years to come will remember how it was built and who built it - not a gang of slaves, but soldiers, British soldiers, Clifton, even in captivity."

Still one of David Lean's very best films despite its faults, unlike most of his epics, the plot of The Bridge on the River Kwai is focused enough to allow the film its debate on the nature of heroism and command without seeming forced, and is divided clearly into two halves. The first is a battle of wills between two madmen and their respective codes of honour; the British Colonel Nicholson, who seeks to turn defeat into victory, and the Japanese Colonel Saito, whose cruelty comes from his inability to see his lack of shame over their surrender.

Nicholson is so determined to use the building of the bridge as a weapon against his Japanese captors to rebuild his troops' morale that he is blind to the strategic consequences ("I hope these Japanese appreciate what we're doing for them." mutters Donald's medical officer). As Nicholson exceeds his requirements, he assumes Saito's role, even to the point of forcing officers and those on the sick list to work - the very points they had earlier clashed over - forcing the Japanese Colonel to face a surrender of his own. Ultimately reduced to the meek voice of acquiescence at one of their conferences, he alone achieves his objective but only at the cost of his self-respect. He alone realises what he has become.

The second half is more standard adventure fare, as anti-heroic escaped prisoner Holden (his casting clearly based on his similar role in Stalag 17) is press-ganged into returning to the bridge with gung-ho masochist Jack Hawkins to blow it up. If at the camp Donald is the voice of common sense, Holden is the voice of the common man. Faced with the wounded Hawkins' self-sacrificing heroics, he responds with a tirade against everything he stands for; ("With you it's one thing or the other, destroy the bridge or destroy yourself!"). But though he rejects the insanity of heroic codes and proclaims that the only true dignity lies in survival, he dies upholding just such an ideal. This is just one of the contradictions of an undeniably problematic ending, which opts for the spectacular at the cost of much of the substance of the film.

In reality, the bridge was never destroyed, but Lean discards history to give the audience the large explosion they've been waiting for. Depicted with intriguing ambiguity as to Guinness' motives, it nonetheless tends to obliterate the assertion of Pierre Boulle's novel that all the suffering has been in vain by allowing a victory, albeit at hideous cost. War is no longer a pointless and vainglorious farce played with human lives, but a place where even a cynic and an unwitting collaborator can redeem themselves through the nobility of self-sacrifice.

Yet if ultimately the film lacks the commitment of Bryan Forbes astonishly bleak King Rat or even Spielberg's dark Empire of the Sun, there is still much to admire, not least a quartet of great performances from Guinness and the under-appreciated Holden, Hawkins and Hayakawa. Lean is much more in control of his narrative than when he started making love stories with casts of thousands, his masterful use of the Scope frame coming over particularly well in this restored version (no new footage but a cleaned-up print) which finally gives blacklisted writers Michael Wilson and Carl Foreman their screen credits.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Savage, Biting and Cruel Satire, 29 Dec 2007
By 
Gwyn "howlingwolf" (Leigh-on-Sea, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Not all satire is funny - this isn't. The film is a masterpiece by a master film maker. Other reviewers will tell you how good it is. That said, I should imagine if you were a Japanese prisoner of war who worked on the Death Railway and saw this film in 1957, you possibly found it to be extremely offensive.

The author of the book Pierre Boulle realised that the juxtaposition of British Upper-class stiff upper lip and the Japanese Bashido sense of honour were two sides of the same coin. Both the book and this film exploit this. For a start, both postulate the fact that the Japanese were poor engineers and even worse bridge builders. Neither of these facts were true.

The first half of the film deals with the stand off brought about by the two entrenched positions just described. Eventually, though sheer pluck and dogged determination, the British have their way and effectively take control over the building of the bridge themselves - thus aiding the Japanese war effort! In fact, they make such a good job of building the bridge that the allies, lead by William Holden, then have to mount an expedition to destroy it. It is this premise that returning P.O.W.'s might have found so offensive.

The Japanese did not sign the Hague Convention on Human Rights. Their code of honour stipulated that the defeated enemy should act honourably and commit suicide. The fact that the British surrendered instead meant they were seen as beneath contempt in Japanese eyes who treated them accordingly - 16,000 died making this railway. Think about that as yiou watch the film. Enjoy it by all means - it is a great film, but it is also a travesty of what actually happened.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 8 July 2014
One of the greatest movies of all time. Alec Guinness (the actor's actor) was superb. I've watched this movie quite a few times over the years and it never fails to impress. The music for the movie was written by the late Sir Malcolm Arnold, and portrays the very best of British movie-making music. All in all, it's as impressive as they come.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 July 2014
recieved in good time, can't wait to watch it. Thank you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD DAVID LEAN FILM., 28 April 2014
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As I've mentioned before I'm a massive DAVID LEAN fan, and this film did not disappoint.Saw it at the cinema many years ago and now I noticed little touches of his that I didn't notice in my youth! Will certainly watch it again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, 22 April 2014
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I bought this as a gift for someone so am not able to give a review about the content of the DVD. However the service of the seller is very good and recommended
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Brisge on the River Kwai - Blu Ray, 17 April 2014
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This review is from: The Bridge on the River Kwai [Blu-ray] [2011] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
This is a very good Blu Ray - not the best picture quality by today's standards but far superior to previous versions of the film. Buy it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars History about Bridge on the river Kwai, 11 Mar 2014
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Excellent original film about the building of the Bridge over the River Kwai, my girl-friend and l only just visited this area last month while on holiday in Thailand, highly recommend film. Excellent delivery time and good value for money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 1 Mar 2014
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Ms. Sarah M. Jordison "book owl" (North east england) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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Amazing just as I remembered all those Years ago on a Sunday afternoons. The extras are well worth it too.
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