The bridge on the river kwai is a 1957 british american epic war film directed by david lean and based on the novel le pont de la rivire kwa 1952 by pierre boulle the film uses the historical setting of the construction of the burma railway in 1942 1943 the cast included william holden jack hawkins alec guinness and sessue hayakawa. Directed by david lean with william holden alec guinness jack hawkins sessue hayakawa after settling his differences with a japanese pow camp commander a british colonel co operates to oversee his mens construction of a railway bridge for their captors while oblivious to a plan by the allies to destroy it. The bridge on the river kwai is a near flawless war drama based on the fiction book by french author pierre boulle i thought that this was a great film but it wasnt as flawless as many critics . The bridge over the river kwai french le pont de la rivire kwa is a novel by the french novelist pierre boulle published in french in 1952 and english translation by xan fielding in 1954 the story is fictional but uses the construction of the burma railway in 1942 1943 as its historical setting and is partly based on pierre boulles own life experience working in malaysia rubber . The bridge on the river kwai the movie the bridge on the river kwai 1957 the memorable epic world war ii adventure action anti war drama was the first of director david leans major multi million dollar wide screen super spectaculars his later epics included lawrence of arabia 1962 and doctor zhivago 1965
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