The Bridge over the River Kwai taken in June 2004. The round shaped spans are original, the others have been replaced after demolition.

Discover great deals on the many hard to find and one of a kind items available only on ebay!

The Bridge on the River Kwai

The Bridge over the River Kwai (French:Le Pont de la Rivière Kwai) is a novel by Pierre Boulle, published in 1952, that won France's "Prix Ste Beuve. more...

Art FilmsArt Films
12 Angry Men12 Angry Men
All About EveAll About Eve
Butch Cassidy and the...Butch Cassidy and the...
Citizen KaneCitizen Kane
City LightsCity Lights
Double IndemnityDouble Indemnity
Dr. StrangeloveDr. Strangelove
Duck SoupDuck Soup
For a Few Dollars MoreFor a Few Dollars More
Gone with the WindGone with the Wind
High NoonHigh Noon
It Happened One NightIt Happened One Night
It's a Wonderful LifeIt's a Wonderful Life
Kind Hearts and CoronetsKind Hearts and Coronets
Lawrence of ArabiaLawrence of Arabia
Metropolis movieMetropolis movie
Modern TimesModern Times
Mr. Smith Goes to WashingtonMr. Smith Goes to Washington
Nights of CabiriaNights of Cabiria
North by NorthwestNorth by Northwest
On the WaterfrontOn the Waterfront
Once Upon a Time in the WestOnce Upon a Time in the West
Paths of GloryPaths of Glory
Rear WindowRear Window
Shadow of a DoubtShadow of a Doubt
Shichinin no samuraiShichinin no samurai
Singin' in the RainSingin' in the Rain
Some Like It Hot Some Like It Hot
Stalag 17Stalag 17
Strangers on a TrainStrangers on a Train
Sunset BoulevardSunset Boulevard
The Adventures of Robin HoodThe Adventures of Robin Hood
The African QueenThe African Queen
The Best Years of Our LivesThe Best Years of Our Lives
The Bicycle ThiefThe Bicycle Thief
The Big SleepThe Big Sleep
The Bridge on the River KwaiThe Bridge on the River Kwai
The Gold RushThe Gold Rush
The Good, the Bad and the...The Good, the Bad and the...
The Grapes of WrathThe Grapes of Wrath
The Great DictatorThe Great Dictator
The Great EscapeThe Great Escape
The Maltese FalconThe Maltese Falcon
The Night of the HunterThe Night of the Hunter
The Philadelphia StoryThe Philadelphia Story
The Seven SamuraiThe Seven Samurai
The Seventh SealThe Seventh Seal
The Third ManThe Third Man
The Treasure of the...The Treasure of the...
The Wages of FearThe Wages of Fear
The Wizard of OzThe Wizard of Oz
To Kill a MockingbirdTo Kill a Mockingbird
Touch of EvilTouch of Evil
Witness for the ProsecutionWitness for the Prosecution
Movie PropsMovie Props
Sci-Fi / FantasySci-Fi / Fantasy

" It is a fictional story but it is based upon the real plight of Allied prisoners of war during World War II forced to build the 258-mile Death Railway by Japanese forces.

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) was a Anglo-American war film based on the book. It was filmed mostly in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) near Kitulgala (close to a rest-house there today) with a few scenes shot in England.

The story is based on the building in 1943 of one of the railway bridges over the Kwai Yai at a place called Tamarkan five kilometres from the Thai town of Kanchanaburi. This was part of a project to link existing Thai and Burmese railway lines to create a route from Bangkok, Thailand to Rangoon, Burma (now Myanmar) to support the Japanese occupation of Burma. About a hundred thousand conscripted Asian labourers and 16,000 prisoners of war died on the whole project.

The destruction of the bridge in the film was accomplished by blowing up a full-sized bridge as a real train drove over it. This may have been the first time such a scene had been attempted without model shots since the silent film era. (Buster Keaton's The General includes an almost identical scene.)

One memorable feature of the movie is the tune that is whistled by the POW's—the "Colonel Bogey March"—and is now widely associated with the movie, and even sometimes referred to as the "River Kwai March." Besides serving as an example of British fortitude and dignity in the face of privation, it suggested (whether or not intended by the screenwriters) a specific symbol of defiance to many movie-goers of the period: WW II veterans (and many of their baby-boom sons) thought of the tune as that of a mockery of Japan's principal ally.

Fiction versus fact

Although the suffering caused by the building of the Burma Railway and its bridges is true, the incidents in the film are entirely fictional. The real senior Allied officer at the bridge was Lieutenant-Colonel Philip Toosey, who was a remarkable officer. The film is thought by many to be an insulting parody of a great man. Former prisoners have said that it is unlikely that a man like the fictional Nicholson could have risen to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. If he had, they said that he probably would have been quietly eliminated by the other prisoners.

Pierre Boulle, who had been a prisoner of war in Thailand, reportedly created the fictional Nicholson character as an amalgam of his memories of collaborating French officers. The film added David Lean's view of the Army, and Alec Guinness's interpretation of the character as mad.

The destruction of the bridge as depicted in the film is entirely fictional. In fact two bridges were built: a temporary wooden bridge and a few months later a permanent steel and concrete bridge. Both bridges were used for two years until they were destroyed by Allied aerial bombing. The steel bridge was repaired and is still in use today.


[List your site here Free!]

Click to see more The Bridge on the River Kwai items at
Prices current as of last update, 10/03/23 10:31am.

Home Contact Resources Exchange Links ebay