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“What have I done?” – Colonel Nicholson
Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (on video, DVD, 21 May 2013, 19 Feb 2016, 29 Mar 2017, 8 Jan 2019, 26 Jan 2020, 13 Jul 2021, 20 Dec 2021 and 10 Mar 2022)
Brief Synopsis – After surrendering to the enemy, a battalion of British troops during World War II are interned in a Japanese Prisoner of War Camp where they are forced to build a bridge for the enemy.
My Take on it – This is one of my all time favorite films!
It is done so well and always keep me interested and engaged from start to finish despite the fact that I’ve seen it so many times over the years.
David Lean was a superb director and IMHO this is his greatest masterpiece!
Love the way that the two main characters,once separated have very different kinds of stories that in some ways contradict one another, yet still have a similar goal.
The film has three strong viewpoints on the story and each feels so unique in their outlook on things which enhances the storyline so much as it progresses
The film is able to show the varying types of soldiers who all are willing to do their duty even though they each define that word in very different ways.
The cast is superb with William Holden and Alec Guinness playing the two leads .
Each of the character arcs are also great because the story allows the viewer to see how emotional and adamant each is in keeping things running as smoothly as possible for their way of thinking.
The film won 7 (of 8) Oscars – Best Picture, Director and Actor (for Guinness), Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing and Score and is so powerful in its message about how war is Hell.
The film shows many of the gruesome torture methods of the enemy and depicts them in subtle ways that let the viewer get an idea of what is truly going on without any need to get graphic about it.
The film has amazing dialogue which helps develop the personas of each of these characters more and more along the way.
The music is superb and helps keep things flowing so well along the way.
The story plays out really well and stays so fascinating throughout as things unfold in directions one might never expect.
Highly Highly Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Initially, Sir Alec Guinness had doubts about playing the role of Colonel Nicholson. Guinness had become a much-loved figure on-screen, appearing in a series of popular comedies. The Nicholson character seemed humorless, unlovable, and perhaps even dull. To remedy this, Guinness tried to inject some humor into his portrayal of the Colonel. Director Sir David Lean was very much opposed to this idea, insisting that it be played straight. Thus began an argument between the two men that continued through shooting. (From IMDB)
Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10) (no change from original review)