The Bridge on the River Kwai | Chicago Reader

The Bridge on the River Kwai

David Lean's antiheroic war epic (1957), about a band of British POWs forced to build a bridge in the wilds of Burma. For what it is, it ain't bad, though it serves mainly as an illustration of the ancient quandary of revisionist moviemakers: if all you do is systematically invert cliches, you simply end up creating new ones. The cast, effectively, is drawn from warring schools of acting: Alec Guinness, William Holden, Sessue Hayakawa, and Jack Hawkins.



  • David Lean


  • William Holden
  • Alec Guinness
  • Sessue Hayakawa
  • Jack Hawkins
  • James Donald
  • Geoffrey Horne
  • Andre Morrell
  • Peter Williams
  • John Boxer
  • Percy Herbert
  • Harold Goodwin
  • Ann Sears
  • Henry Okawa


  • Sam Spiegel

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