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Yojimbo's Movie Reviews (2315)

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The Bridge on the River Kwai 
"The Bridge On The River Kwai" by Yojimbo
3.5/4 stars

A stubborn English Colonel locks horns with a similarly duty-bound Japanese prison camp commander over the building of a strategically important railway bridge during the second world war. David Lean's prisoner of war story is a tale of obsession, and it is the battle of wills between Alec Guiness and his Japanese counterpart that forms the core of the story. Examining the cliche of the British stiff upper lip, although Guiness' obstinate refusal to co-operate with the enemy gives his men the spirit to carry on, it is more his own personal obsession (bordering on insanity) than heroism that eggs him on. On the other side of the coin, it is William Holden's hustling commander, actually more interested in self-preservation (echoing his role in Stalag 17) who must show him the error of his ways during an unforgettable finale that brilliantly captures the madness of war. It is maybe a little longer than it needs to be, as the central section away from the bridge itself is rather less interesting, but Guiness' performance is superb, and this film is rightly considered as an all-time classic.


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