#127: The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

When and how did I watch this?

May 31st and June 1st, 2016, on Amazon Instant Video.

Had I seen this film already?

Nope.

What did I know about the movie before watching it?

It features Obi-Wan Kenobi! Otherwise, pretty much nothing.

What do I know about it now?

It’s a war film (sort of) featuring a host of British and Japanese folks in an unusual World War II setting. It also features a maverick renegade American dude who is way over his head, stretching the U.S. stereotype a little bit, but making the film even more watchable in contrast to the honor- and order-driven characters present in the POW camp. What I found fascinating was how the director was able to tell two compelling stories and have them collide in the end without being completely awkward. I enjoyed the Japanese general’s gradual turn from an obey-or-die proud demeanor to a cooperative state, broken down by none other than Alec Guinness himself — and he didn’t have to use the Force at all. A highly engaging, intense and moving film overall.

What are some themes in the film?

Pride, morale, resolve, obedience/rebellion, fear

Did this affect me personally?

Yes.  When everything comes together at the conclusion, the result is unforgettable.

Why is this ranked #127?

It’s a legendary and memorable film from the golden age of cinema. It seems like most World War II films in this time period fared well, and this one is no exception. Western patriotism is the winner here, of course.

Did my wife watch/like it?

She didn’t watch all of it, but she liked what she saw, and the dramatic climax had her rather tense.

Would I watch it again?

No doubt about it. I think there’s a lot here that I missed, but my first impression was very good.

Would I recommend it to a friend?

It’s widely considered one of the greatest films of all time.  I think it’s important for anyone who loves movies to see it.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

Yes.  It’s loaded: war, politics, humor, action, pride, explosions, superb dialogue, and a gradual climb into an inevitable climax you won’t forget. It should be on every “greatest” list made.

Have your say!

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3 Comments

  1. And once you watch this movie you will never stop whistling that song! 😉

    Reply

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