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South African Military
07-12-2005, 09:52 AM
I thought this was a great movie, and I believe it has become a classic.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/da/BridgeontheRiverKwai.jpg

Not entirely historically accurate, the main theme is at least mostly accurate. British POWs where ordered to build a bridge, in real it was not only POWs but mostly asian conscripts. I am not sure of what % were British. The Bridge was never sabataged but it was bombed in the war. What are your thoughts or comments on the movie?

BDL
07-12-2005, 10:23 AM
Brilliant film

Firefly
07-12-2005, 12:52 PM
An absolute classic mate. So deep it should be on a submarine!

reiver
07-12-2005, 05:19 PM
Hard to think of a bad film with Alec Guinness in it.
I'm sure he must have made some, but this wasn't one of them.
Great movie.

Gutkowski
11-29-2005, 09:16 PM
Just saw this film last weekend this was a great film ,But I cant figure out why the Japs had the No1 Mk3's and No4 Mk1's ?

11-30-2005, 12:21 AM
Can't stop whistling the theme music.

Gutkowski
12-01-2005, 09:28 PM
Ya that music was catchey LOL

angform
01-14-2007, 09:37 PM
a great movie, that true, it s a really classic film

Gen. Sandworm
01-15-2007, 05:53 AM
Like alot of movies at the time. Good movie but too much "Hollywood" not as bad as The Heros of Telemark but same grouping. IMO.

32Bravo
02-04-2007, 01:13 PM
Very entertaining, very Hollywood, and definately aimed at the American cinema-goer. Once again we have a situation where the 'Thick as pigs**t' Brits require a canny, American cousin to show them the way, as we have seen in other films such as: A Bridge Too Far; Von Ryans Express; and Too Late The Hero. All of which I thoroughly enjoyed for their entertainment value.

George Eller
03-07-2007, 08:44 PM
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Kwai Railway Memorial
http://www.bmw.ukf.net/3pagodas/

Lest We Forget
The Railway of Death
http://www.beverevivis.com/books/lestweforget/

In Hell There is a Place Called Death's Railway
http://angelstation.com/swillner/

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Moon Over Malaya
A Tale of Argylls and Marines
http://britains-smallwars.com/MOM/index.html

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Long Way Back to the River Kwai: Memories of World War II(Paperback)
by Loet Velmans (Dutch Author)
http://www.amazon.com/Long-Way-Back-River-Kwai/dp/1559707410/ref=sr_1_7/102-9995114-8756146?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1173316934&sr=8-7

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One of the most moving books that I've ever read:

Miracle on the River Kwai (Paperback)
by Ernest Gordon (Scottish Author)
http://www.amazon.com/Miracle-River-Kwai-Ernest-Gordon/dp/0842343563/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-9995114-8756146?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1173316934&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/Miracle-River-Kwai-Ernest-Gordon/dp/B000MEUJX2/ref=sr_1_2/102-9995114-8756146?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1173316934&sr=8-2
http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000MEUJX2.01-A1G1YB246RZUV4._SS500_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

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To End All Wars (Region 1 format - U.S., U.S. Territories, Canada, and Bermuda)
http://www.amazon.com/End-All-Wars-Ciar%C3%A1n-McMenamin/dp/B00021R7BM/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-9995114-8756146?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1173316443&sr=1-1
http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00021R7BM.01._SS500_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

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To End All Wars (Region 2 format - Japan, Europe, South Africa, and the Middle East, including Egypt )
http://www.amazon.com/End-All-Wars-Ciar%C3%A1n-McMenamin/dp/B0000AISI4/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2/102-9995114-8756146?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1173316606&sr=1-2
http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/B0000AISI4.01._SS500_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

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DVD Region Encoding
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/102-9995114-8756146?ie=UTF8&nodeId=3193231

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To End All Wars

http://www.toendallwarsmovie.com/project.html

http://www.toendallwarsmovie.com/project_02.html

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Obituary - New York Times
New York Times - January 20, 2002

Ernest Gordon, Who Found Faith as a P.O.W., Dies at 85

By David Stout

http://www.toendallwarsmovie.com/obituary_ny_times.html

http://www.toendallwarsmovie.com/obituary_ny_times_02.html

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"From the Lighthouse"
Eulogy for Rev. Ernest Gordon

by Alastair Gordon (his son)

February 16, 2002

http://www.toendallwarsmovie.com/eulogy_alastair.html
http://www.toendallwarsmovie.com/eulogy_alastair_02.html
http://www.toendallwarsmovie.com/eulogy_alastair_03.html

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Image Gallery - Ernest Gordon (1916-2002)
http://www.toendallwarsmovie.com/project_historical.html
http://www.toendallwarsmovie.com/project_historical_02.html
http://www.toendallwarsmovie.com/project_historical_03.html
http://www.toendallwarsmovie.com/project_historical_04.html
http://www.toendallwarsmovie.com/project_historical_05.html
http://www.toendallwarsmovie.com/project_historical_06.html
http://www.toendallwarsmovie.com/project_historical_07.html
http://www.toendallwarsmovie.com/project_historical_08.html
http://www.toendallwarsmovie.com/project_historical_09.html
http://www.toendallwarsmovie.com/project_historical_10.html
http://www.toendallwarsmovie.com/project_historical_11.html
http://www.toendallwarsmovie.com/project_historical_12.html
http://www.toendallwarsmovie.com/project_historical_13.html

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Panzerknacker
03-07-2007, 10:01 PM
"To ends all wars" that is a movie that I did not nothing about it, Thanks you George.

George Eller
03-07-2007, 11:01 PM
"To ends all wars" that is a movie that I did not nothing about it, Thanks you George.
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You're welcome Panzerknacker :)

I have the movie on DVD and the book Miracle on the River Kwai.

As good as the movie is, I like the book even better. The book covers the experience in much greater detail and for me was a very moving read.

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Boff
03-23-2007, 01:07 AM
One of the most classic WW2 movies. One film I never flip past when im channel surfin on TV.

AllHailCesar
03-24-2007, 03:51 AM
Like so many movies, I could start watching at any point and enjoy it....repeatedly. Much to my wife's dismay.

shoogs
04-10-2007, 08:21 PM
The Bridge On The River Kwai hmmm well just dont tell the people who were there how good it is cos they will tell you it almost all lies didnt happen that way, if a solder stood up to any jap they got a big big beating or had to stand with a big bolder above there head and if they started to lower it then they were stabed in the back to make them hold it up high again.

Koen
01-20-2008, 07:45 AM
I loved it as a kid but it has lost its value when I grew up and learned about the real WWII and the real bridge...

It's a Hollywood movie with too much attention to the actors instead of the story.

namvet
07-25-2008, 11:52 AM
I thought it was a really good hollywood war flick. but it was based on fiction. not reality.

sceadugenga
07-26-2008, 02:46 AM
I picked up a copy on a trip to Burma the other day, (I know it wasn't pirate because they charged me $1.30), and thoroughly enjoyed it after not having seen it for years... decades?).
I thought the ending was a little melodramatic where Holden and Horne are killed, virtually unnecessarily, and Hawkins tries to justify it to the Thai bearers.

Rising Sun*
07-26-2008, 07:55 AM
The Bridge On The River Kwai hmmm well just dont tell the people who were there how good it is cos they will tell you it almost all lies didnt happen that way ...

It's a great film, but as you say it doesn't reflect reality. Then again, what film does? All drama necessarily compresses events by leaving out the mundane events.

Nonetheless, it encapsulates a lot of the elements of the conflict between the Japanese and their prisoners in dramatic form; is uplifiting in many respects; and ultimately demonstrates the futility of war in all respects.


The Real River Kwai Bridge
29 May 2004

Forget Alec Guinness and the movie "The Bridge on the River Kwai", the movie was garbage, says Australian Lieutenant Colonel Terry Beaton, manager of the Anzac Hellfire Pass Memorial in Thailand. The movie is a fairy tale and has nothing to do with the reality, that for every 8km of railroad, 1000 to 2000 workers died in the jungle.

The "Hellfire Pass Museum", operated by the Australian Department of Veterans' Affairs, commemorates the 92,000 civilians and prisoners of war, including a number of New Zealanders and nearly 3000 Australians, who died at the hands of the Japanese military, a sign at the entrance of the museum states: "A life for every sleeper".

At "Hellfire Pass", the prisoners of war worked 18-hour shifts to blast a passage through the mountains, Terry Beaton tells us. From the top of the mountain ridge, the flickering torches looked like the fires of hell.

Overlooking the river Kwai, Terry says: "The men had to carry 110-pound (49kg) bags of rice on their backs for 2.5 miles (4km) from the River Kwai to the work camp.". Pointing to a large bucket on display in the museum, he added: "It took 4 men to carry the 600-pound (272kg) buckets of concrete, without any way to escape into the surrounding jungle."

Every year on Anzac Day, the museum in Thailand holds a memorial ceremony to commemorate all who died working on the Death Railroad on the river Kwai.

As the war in the Pacific intensified, the Japanese desperately needed a supply route from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean. The Allies controlled the sea around the Malaysian Peninsula, making an overland railway vital for the Japanese military to supply their troops in Burma.

The British had surveyed a rail route across the mountains separating Thailand and Burma but deemed it impossible to build.

The Japanese evaluated the project with a standard that didn't consider the cost of human lives. They conscripted 250,000 Malays, Chinese, Tamils, and Burmese and 60,000 Allied prisoners of war to work 12- to 18-hour shifts.

Within 16 months, 80,000 civilians and 12,000 POWs died of disease, starvation, and brutality, it is impossible to conceive the suffering the River Kwai has witnessed.

Nearby the "Hellfire Pass Museum" is the "Jeath War Museum", operated by a Buddhist temple from the town of Kanchanaburi. The name, stands for countries involved in the atrocity: Japan, England, America, Australia, Thailand and Holland. New Zealand POWs were also involved in the building of the railway.

Two Allied cemeteries in Kanchanaburi, Thailand hold the remains of 7000 victims, only a small proportion of the bodies buried in mass graves that stretch along the 402km length of the Death Railroad.

"It's amazing how much Hollywood can twist history", says Terry. "The bridge over the River Kwai was not build with wood, but steel. A smaller wooden bridge was a temporary bridge built downstream for trucks to carry materials to build the "Bridge Over The River Kwai" as we see today, spanning the Kwai Yai River, upstream from the confluence with the Kwai Noi River, which the railroad follows into Burma.

After lunch, we walk with Terry across the infamous "River Kwai Bridge", eleven picturesque semicircular arches stretch 365 meters over the Kwai river. POWs took 9 months to construct the concrete pylons and assemble the sections of the bridge, which the Japanese robbed from Java, along with much of the railroad track. On the other side of the bridge, vendors nowadays are selling souvenirs, crafts and trinkets from Burma.

A 75km section of the Death Railroad still operates today. We buy a 7-Baht (10 cent) ticket at Nam Tok for the 45-minute ride to Tha Kilen. Thai Buddhist monks in their saffron robes, villagers going to and coming from the market, and school children crowd into the cars.

The train chugs slowly along, stopping at every small Thai village, passing through fields of bananas, sugarcane, and tapioca. The railroad follows the winding of the river Kwai, crossing steep mountain cliffside trestles built at a staggering cost of human lives.

Watching the Thai villagers on the train, we realize the movie captured at least a part of the truth. After six decades, the river Kwai railroad still runs, only it serves the people of Thailand's countryside and not the Japanese Imperial army.

The prisoners of war and civilian workers sacrificed their lives, but left a legacy for generations to come. http://www.thaipro.com/thailand_00/273_bridge-river-kwai.htm

For a more factual modern account of the railway's construction, Cameron Forbes' Hellfire isn't bad. http://www.boomerangbooks.com/content/book-reviews/military-book-reviews/hellfire-forbes~print.shtml

32Bravo
07-28-2008, 10:01 AM
A wonderfully, entertaining film which exhibits very little resemblance to reality and in many ways, somewhat of an insult to the real victims of the Japanese.

Interesting how the Brits, once again, find themselves being saved from themselves by a glamorous, yet reluctant, American hero who manages to fashion his bush hat as a Stetson.

namvet
07-28-2008, 10:15 AM
A wonderfully, entertaining film which exhibits very little resemblance to reality and in many ways, somewhat of an insult to the real victims of the Japanese.

Interesting how the Brits, once again, find themselves being saved from themselves by a glamorous, yet reluctant, American hero who manages to fashion his bush hat as a Stetson.

well maybe you'll feel better knowing that hero is dead.

Rising Sun*
07-28-2008, 10:59 AM
Interesting how the Brits, once again, find themselves being saved from themselves by a glamorous, yet reluctant, American hero who manages to fashion his bush hat as a Stetson.

As you probably know, the American presence wasn't prominent on the real railway, nor were either of the bridges over the 'Kwai' destroyed by any commando action by any Allied force.

The British suffered worst in numbers and proportion on the Burma Railway. They lost more than ten times as many dead as the total number of Americans employed on the railway, and over twice as many as either of the next two largest national forces on the railway.

The Asian slave labourers suffered worst of all, largely because they lacked the cohesion and organisation of the Allied military units and were treated worse by the Japanese, who often were Koreans in Japanese service.

http://www.mansell.com/pow_resources/camplists/death_rr/movements_1.html

http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-battles/ww2/kwai.htm

namvet
07-28-2008, 11:08 AM
As you probably know, the American presence wasn't prominent on the real railway, nor were either of the bridges over the 'Kwai' destroyed by any commando action by any Allied force.

The British suffered worst in numbers and proportion on the Burma Railway. They lost more than ten times as many dead as the total number of Americans employed on the railway, and over twice as many as either of the next two largest national forces on the railway.

The Asian slave labourers suffered worst of all, largely because they lacked the cohesion and organisation of the Allied military units and were treated worse by the Japanese, who often were Koreans in Japanese service.

http://www.mansell.com/pow_resources/camplists/death_rr/movements_1.html

http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-battles/ww2/kwai.htm

last month they ran a documentary on this on TV. and the survivors to a man claimed the real experience was nothing like the movie. at the start of the war i heard the japanese had over 200,000 pow's for labor here. it was quite a story.

32Bravo
07-28-2008, 11:51 AM
well maybe you'll feel better knowing that hero is dead.

I was aware that said hero died, as I saw the film. If I hadn’t, I would have no comment on it.

However, no good person’s death would please me for:

...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind

As for William Holden, I rather envied him his love scenes with the gorgeous Nancy Kwan (an old family friend of my wife’s), and his later partnership with Stephanie wotsit, whom I quite fancied when she starred in ‘Washington Behind Closed Doors’ way back in the Seventies.

32Bravo
07-28-2008, 12:13 PM
Personal friends of mine were a part of the Thai-Burma Railway slave gangs. They were rather upset that a British battalion could be portrayed as collaborators with the Japanese.

At the National Memorial Arboretum, there is 30 meters of the original rails from the Burma Railway. It took a little time to get it here but those chaps that put so much of themselves into it are pleased with the efforts, and now we have a permanent reminder of their pain and the futility of war.


For picture scroll down to the second page of the first link:

http://www.nationalforest.org/document/newsroom/factfile03.pdf

http://www.nationalmemorialarboretum.org.uk/content/Plots-at-the-Arboretum-1136.shtml

B5N2KATE
07-29-2008, 02:36 AM
This film is the British film industry's concession to Hollywoodism in war pictures. National stereotypes abound, and Alec Guiness as Col. Nicholson takes the longest time period in human history to die and fall on the plunger....

An entertaining film that is unfortunately divorced from reality as the historical record tells it....

Flashman
01-07-2009, 08:52 AM
This film is, what? 50 years old? And yet it's so much better than much of Hollywood's output today! A true classic, shame to see someone vote for 'sucks'.

"What code? The cowards code!"