47 Years of Student Run Cinema
Student Film Society of the Year 2002, 2005, 2006
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The Bridge on the River Kwai is a towering triumph of a motion picture. It has the definite stamp of class about it and stands out as one of the greatest war pictures ever made. The first of David Lean's epics, it is primarily set in a Japanese World War II POW camp. It is at the same time a definitive character study of an obsessive British Army Officer and a savage indictment of the futility of war acutely symbolised by the fate of the eponymous bridge. Made in glorious Cinemascope the film looks really spectacular on the Big Screen, Jack Hildyard makes masterful use of his cameras.
From an acting point of view, Alec Guinness dominates this picture. He delivers a flawless performance as the by-the-book Colonel Nicolson, a man determined to teach the Japanese Camp Commandant (Sessue Hawakaya) some lessons. However, he is admirably supported by William Holden as the obligatory cynical American; Jack Hawkins as the British Officer out to blow up the Bridge; and the wonderful James Donald as the British doctor who sighs the memorable line "Madness! Madness!".
The Bridge on the River Kwai won several well deserved Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor (Guinness). It's a timeless classic which improves with every viewing. See it on the Big Screen!
Review by Stephen Townsend
Taken from EUFS Programme 1993-94