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Still shot from the movie: The Bridge on the River Kwai.

The Bridge on the River Kwai

During WWII, the Japanese forced Allied POWs to build a railroad, which included constructing a bridge on the River Kwai. This movie focuses on the clash between the military ethics of a British Colonel, the cultural expectations of a Japanese commander, and a plot to sabotage the structure. Get the movie review and more. »


Overall: B+
Violence: C+
Sexual Content: B+
Language: A
Drugs/Alcohol: B
Run Time: 161
Theater Release: 18 Dec 1957
Video Release: 02 Nov 2010
MPAA Rating: PG
See Canadian Ratings
How We Determine Our Grades

For other films about World War Two, try Tora, Tora, Tora, or South Pacific. Alec Guinness can also be seen in Star Wars, as Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Home Video Extra Features

Blu-ray Notes: The Bridge on the River Kwai

Release Date: 2 November 2010

The Bridge on the River Kwai releases to Blu-ray with the following bonus extras:

- DVD and Blu-ray copies of the film.

- William Holden and Alec Guinness on The Steve Allen Show

- The Bridge on the River Kwai Premiere, Narrated by William Holden

- Crossing the Bridge:Picture-in-Graphics Track

- Four Featurettes: Making of The Bridge on the River Kwai, USC short film introduced by William Holden, An Appreciation by Filmmaker John Milius and Rise and Fall of a Jungle Giant.

- Photo Gallery

- Replicas of the original theatrical lobby cards

- 35 page book with stories and photos from the production

DVD Notes:The Bridge on the River Kwai

Release Date: November 21, 2000

If you don’t yet appreciate the differences between the “aspect ratios” of a typical VHS tape and a DVD, then check this classic out on the shiny disc. The film was shot in a super-wide 1:2.55 ratio (most movies are 1:1.85 or 1:2.35). Unfortunately, we could only get our hands on the standard release which features a 1:2.35 “crop” of the original. Still, it was wonderful to see this award winning work of art in its widescreen splendor.

For the absolute purist, look for the Limited Edition release which features a two disc set and the movie in it’s complete 1:2.55 ratio. Amazingly, it sells on Amazon at this moment (June 2002) for only 3 cents more than the standard edition!
DVD notes by Rod Gustafson

DVD Release Information (Limited Edition):
  • Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
  • Theatrical release date: December 18, 1957
  • DVD release date: November 21, 2000
  • Runtime: 162 minutes
  • Production company: Columbia Tri-Star
  • Package type: Keep Case
  • Aspect ratio: Widescreen anamorphic - 2.55:1
  • DVD encoding: Region 1
  • Available audio tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono).
  • Available subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Thai
DVD Extras:
  • Theatrical trailer(s)
  • Two-discs
  • Exclusive Documentary: “The Making of the Bridge on the River Kwai”
  • Original Featurette: “The Rise and Fall of a Jungle Giant”
  • USC Short Film Narrated by William Holden
  • An Appreciation and Discussion by Filmmaker John Milius
  • Talent files for David Lean, Alec Guiness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins and Sessue Hayakawa
  • Photo Montage (International Posters and Lobby Cards)
  • Behind the Scenes Footage

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About the Reviewer: Donna Gustafson

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