1957 Certificate: pg


David Lean's Oscar-winning, epic tale of stoicism and fortitude from World War Two stars Alec Guinness as the British officer who, given little choice, commands his fellow PoWs to build a strategic railway bridge for their Japanese captor. William Holden is the American saboteur in charge of the Allied operation engineered to undo all their work. With hard-baked ideas of morality and defiance appearing to crack under the Asian sun, the only certainty is that you'll never forget how to whistle the theme tune. Won seven Oscars, including Best Actor for Guinness, Best Director, Screenplay, Music and Picture. Magnificent.


  • David Lean


  • Alec Guinness

  • William Holden

  • Jack Hawkins

  • Sessue Hayakawa


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 bridge, but in doing so is unwittingly helping the Japanese war effort.

William Holden is the American escapee who returns to destroy the bridge. 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.'