The Bridge on the River Kwai

1957, War/Drama, 2h 41m

95 Reviews 50,000+ Ratings

What to know

critics consensus

This complex war epic asks hard questions, resists easy answers, and boasts career-defining work from star Alec Guinness and director David Lean. Read critic reviews

You might also like

On the Waterfront
Rebecca
The Right Stuff
From Here to Eternity
Foreign Correspondent

Where to watch

Rent/buy from $2.99 Rent/buy from $2.99 Rent/buy from $3.99

Rate And Review

User image

Verified

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)



  • You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Step 2 of 2

    How did you buy your ticket?

    Let's get your review verified.

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

    You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)

  • How did you buy your ticket?

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

The Bridge on the River Kwai Videos

The Bridge on the River Kwai Photos

Movie Info

Adaptation of the Pierre Bouelle novel about POWs in Burma forced to build a bridge to aid the war effort of their Japanese captors. British and American officers plot to blow up the structure, but the commander of the bridge's construction has different plans.

Cast & Crew

William Holden
Commander, Major Shears
Alec Guinness
Colonel Nicholson
Sessue Hayakawa
Colonel Saito
Jack Hawkins
Major Warden
James Donald
Major Clipton
Geoffrey Horne
Lieutenant Joyce
Andre Morrell
Colonel Green
Peter Williams
Capt. Reeves
John Boxer
Major Hughes
Heihachirô Ôkawa
Captain Kanematsu
Michael Wilson
Screenwriter
Malcolm Arnold
Original Music
Jack Hildyard
Cinematography
Peter Taylor
Film Editing
Stuart Freeborn
Makeup Artist
George Partleton
Makeup Artist
Cecil F. Ford
Production Manager
Gus Agosti
Assistant Director
Ted Sturgis
Assistant Director
Carl Foreman
Screenwriter
Show all Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for The Bridge on the River Kwai

Audience Reviews for The Bridge on the River Kwai

  • Aug 05, 2015
    A big and excellent film with a near perfect beginning and ending. There are some incredible performances here, aided by an impeccably written cast of characters and story. The middle I found to be a bit overlong, though the payoff is massive.
    Paris S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 12, 2014
    A battalion of British POWs are forced to build a bridge while an American soldier is charged with blowing it up. Exquisitely plotted, this film is remarkably compelling from beginning to end. At almost three hours, the film's run time is typical of David Lean, who doesn't care how long a film is; he cares how long it's good. The performance by Alec Guinness is the strongest, as he's able to convey his character's journey subtly, and William Holden is as charmingly surly as William Holden has always been. The film's themes of ambition and the need for purpose come through, and the cinematography is beautiful. Overall, this film is a classic for good reason.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Dec 29, 2013
    The brilliance of the film is that it manages to appease audience expectations while also subverting them. The most important takeaway from the ending isn't the building of the bridge or the attempts to destroy it but rather the difficulties of making moral choices in war.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • May 05, 2013
    A film about confusion, moral dilemma and two sides working together, "The Bridge on the River Kwai" boasts stellar performances from its leads (Alec Guinness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins and Sessue Hayakawa), a memorable score and David Lean's typically sweeping direction. On top of being one of the best war films of all time, it also contains one of the best finales: a gripping, awe-inspiring combination of emotion and tension that slowly mounts towards an explosive climax and a fantastic closing line.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer

Movie & TV guides