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The commando team is appalled that their own man is uncovering their work. Joyce, manning the detonator, breaks cover and stabs Saito to death. Nicholson yells for help, while attempting to stop Joyce from reaching the detonator. When Joyce is mortally wounded by Japanese fire, Shears swims across the river, but is himself shot. Recognising the dying Shears, Nicholson exclaims, "What have I done? The dazed colonel stumbles toward the detonator and falls on the plunger, blowing up the bridge and sending the train hurtling into the river.
Warden's mission is accomplished, but he feels guilt at having to kill his own men to do so. Witnessing the carnage, Clipton shakes his head, muttering, "Madness!
The screenwriters, Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson , were on the Hollywood blacklist and, even though living in exile in England, could only work on the film in secret. The two did not collaborate on the script; Wilson took over after Lean was dissatisfied with Foreman's work. The official credit was given to Pierre Boulle who did not speak English , and the resulting Oscar for Best Screenplay Adaptation was awarded to him.
Only in did the Academy rectify the situation by retroactively awarding the Oscar to Foreman and Wilson, posthumously in both cases. Subsequent releases of the film finally gave them proper screen credit. David Lean himself also claimed that producer Sam Spiegel cheated him out of his rightful part in the credits since he had had a major hand in the script. The film was relatively faithful to the novel, with two major exceptions.
Shears, who is a British commando officer like Warden in the novel, became an American sailor who escapes from the POW camp. Also, in the novel, the bridge is not destroyed: the train plummets into the river from a secondary charge placed by Warden, but Nicholson never realising "what have I done? Boulle nonetheless enjoyed the film version though he disagreed with its climax. Although Lean later denied it, Charles Laughton was his first choice for the role of Nicholson. Laughton was in his habitual overweight state, and was either denied insurance coverage, or was simply not keen on filming in a tropical location.
The film was an international co-production between companies in Britain and the United States. Director David Lean clashed with his cast members on multiple occasions, particularly Alec Guinness and James Donald, who thought the novel was anti-British. Lean had a lengthy row with Guinness over how to play the role of Nicholson; Guinness wanted to play the part with a sense of humour and sympathy, while Lean thought Nicholson should be "a bore.
Lean filmed the scene from behind Guinness and exploded in anger when Guinness asked him why he was doing this. After Guinness was done with the scene, Lean said, "Now you can all fuck off and go home, you English actors.
The film was made in Ceylon now Sri Lanka. The bridge in the film was near Kitulgala. Guinness later said that he subconsciously based his walk while emerging from "the Oven" on that of his eleven-year-old son Matthew ,  who was recovering from polio at the time, a disease that left him temporarily paralyzed from the waist down.
Lean nearly drowned when he was swept away by the river current during a break from filming. In a interview with Barry Norman, Lean confirmed that Columbia almost stopped filming after three weeks because there was no white woman in the film, forcing him to add what he calls, "a very terrible scene" between William Holden and the nurse on the beach.
The filming of the bridge explosion was to be done on 10 March , in the presence of S. Bandaranaike , then Prime Minister of Ceylon , and a team of government dignitaries. However, cameraman Freddy Ford was unable to get out of the way of the explosion in time, and Lean had to stop filming.
The train crashed into a generator on the other side of the bridge and was wrecked. It was repaired in time to be blown up the next morning, with Bandaranaike and his entourage present. British composer Malcolm Arnold recalled that he had "ten days to write around forty-five minutes worth of music" - much less time than he was used to. He described the music for The Bridge on the River Kwai as the "worst job I ever had in my life" from the point of view of time.
Despite this, he won an Oscar and a Grammy. A memorable feature of the film is the tune that is whistled by the POWs—the first strain of the march " Colonel Bogey "—when they enter the camp.
Young: "Donald, did anyone whistle Colonel Bogey We hadn't much breath left for whistling. But in Bangkok I was told that David Lean, the film's director, became mad at the extras who played the prisoners—us—because they couldn't march in time.
Lean shouted at them, 'For God's sake, whistle a march to keep time to. The march was written in by Kenneth J. Alford , a pseudonym of British Bandmaster Frederick J. The Colonel Bogey strain was accompanied by a counter-melody using the same chord progressions, then continued with film composer Malcolm Arnold's own composition, " The River Kwai March ," played by the off-screen orchestra taking over from the whistlers, though Arnold's march was not heard in completion on the soundtrack.
Mitch Miller had a hit with a recording of both marches. In many tense, dramatic scenes, only the sounds of nature are used. An example of this is when commandos Warden and Joyce hunt a fleeing Japanese soldier through the jungle, desperate to prevent him from alerting other troops. Arnold won an Academy Award for the film's score. Many historical inaccuracies in the film have often been noted by eyewitnesses to the building of the real Burma Railway and historians.
The plot and characters of Boulle's novel and the screenplay were almost entirely fictional. The conditions to which POW and civilian labourers were subjected were far worse than the film depicted. The notorious Burma-Siam railway, built by Commonwealth , Dutch and American prisoners of war, was a Japanese project driven by the need for improved communications to support the large Japanese army in Burma.
During its construction, approximately 13, prisoners of war died and were buried along the railway. An estimated 80, to , civilians also died in the course of the project, chiefly forced labour brought from Malaya and the Dutch East Indies, or conscripted in Siam Thailand and Burma.
Also, in the novel, the bridge is not destroyed: the train plummets into the river from a secondary charge placed by Warden, but Nicholson never realising "what have I done? Boulle nonetheless enjoyed the film version though he disagreed with its climax. After the film was released, the Thais faced a problem as thousands of tourists came to see the 'bridge over the River Kwai', but no such bridge existed due to Boulle's aforementioned misassumption.
As the film and book meant to 'portray' the bridge over the Mae Klong, the Thai authorities officially renamed the river. It was intended to have the same name as the film, but shortly before its release, the film company threatened legal action if the name was used. Producer George Martin edited out the "K" every time the word "Kwai" was spoken. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Novel by Pierre Boulle. This article is about the novel. By Michael D 2, on 10 Jun By Chrismizerak 32 on 09 Mar More reviews of this movie.
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