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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
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How We Determine Our Grades

After watching a movie with your children or students, we encourage parents and teachers to look for education opportunities to teach with movies. Here are a few discussion topics that can help with lesson plans or teaching in the home.

Even though Colonel Nicholson and Colonel Saito are military leaders from opposing sides, what traits do they have in common? How do their characters illustrate the effectiveness of using force or persuasion?

Can you identify some of the personal agendas of the various characters? How did perusing those motivations prevent them from seeing the situation as a whole? What techniques did the moviemakers use that allowed you to feel sympathy sometimes, and abhorrence at other times, for each of their causes?

For more information about the POW’s, the railway, and the bridge, check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma_Railway

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About the Reviewer: Donna Gustafson

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