Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Bridge on the River Kwai...for Christmas?

A recent acquisition of mine is the recently restored collector's edition of The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957).  Now, how do I justify writing about a WWII movie at Christmas time?  No problem...this is a GREAT gift idea!

Columbia Pictures and Sony have released it just in time, and in a gift package that is perfect for any movie buff.  The box includes both a DVD and Blu-ray disc.  They are packaged in a 32 page book, with the Blu-ray disc in the front and the DVD in the back.  You also get a dozen small copies of the lobby cards.  See one below.

The pages of the book contain movie posters, a list of credits, stories about the film, and a LOAD of photos.  A lot of content is from the original 1957 souvenir book.

The disc has a few special features, including stars William Holden (1918 - 1981) and Sir Alec Guinness (1914 - 2000) on "The Steve Allen Show."  Actually, he didn't receive his title until 1959, so he wasn't 'Sir' at that time.

The movie itself is worthy of a blog post.  It earned seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor (Alec Guinness).  The cast list is pretty short, though, and leaves me little in the way of Bit Actors to talk about.  I believe that the main characters, played by Holden, Guinness, Jack Hawkins (1910 - 1973) and Sessue Hayakawa (1889 - 1973) all shared equally in the success of this film.

There were a few others who played the prisoners, and of course there was a good number of Asians playing their captors.  Hayakawa had quite a career, spanning the years 1914 to 1966 and 103 titles.  He worked with many stars including Jerry Lewis in The Geisha Boy (1958).

This release is a bargain.  If you don't receive it as a present, make sure you buy it for yourself!


  1. Not too long ago I read about Sessue Hayakawa's career. He had been a matinee idol at one time...I'd had no idea. A very fine actor. As was Jack Hawkins. I'm wondering if you've seen "Last Holiday," one of my favorite Alec Guinness films...

  2. Thanks for the comments, Eve. Yes, Last Holiday (1950) is one of my favorites as well.

    It is from the Guinness golden years, when he made films like Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Lavender Hill Mob, and The Man in the White Suit. All of the above should be on the classic film lovers list.

    Read my previous post about Last Holiday here:


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