Colonel Nicholson: "One day the war will be over. And I hope that the people that use this bridge in years to come will remember how it was built and who built it. Not a gang of slaves, but soldiers, British soldiers."
David Lean's anti-war classic stars Alec Guinness as a British officer who raises the morale of his captured regiment in a PoW camp in Burma by building a wooden railway bridge.
However, the construction - while giving his men a reason to live - also unwittingly helps the Japanese war effort, a quandary that comes to a head when an Allied commando force - led by William Holden's America escapee - is sent in to blow it up.
A brilliantly intelligent and stirring epic with superb colour photography, it won Oscars for picture, director, actor (Guinness), script, photography and music. Guinness is tremendous but he was dubious about accepting the role, saying: 'I can't imagine anyone wanting to watch a stiff-upper-lip British colonel for two and a half hours.'