John Landis on

The Bridge on the River Kwai

Released 1957
Distributor Columbia

David Lean’s 2 hour and 41 minute war drama was a box office smash in 1957, beloved not only by critics but World War II vets as well, regardless of the fact that its hero, played by Alec Guiness, is in fact an anti-hero, a by-the-book pedant whose obsession with military protocol only succeeds in aiding his enemy. The canny screenplay (by Carl Foreman) provides two compelling counterpoints to Guiness’ driven colonel in William Holden’s deadbeat sailor and Sessue Hayakawa’s weak-willed commandant. Lean’s masterful command of the widescreen action and intimate drama makes The Bridge on the River Kwai an endlessly re-watchable experience.

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About John Landis

John Landis is the director of Animal House, The Blues BrothersAn American Werewolf In LondonTrading Places, Schlock, Kentucky Fried MovieSpies Like UsThree Amigos!Into The Night, The Stupids, Innocent Blood, Coming To America, Burke & Hare, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Black Or White among many other films, commercials and extensive work in television. He was the Executive Producer and often director of HBO's celebrated series Dream On, and contributed two movies to the Masters of Horror series, Deer Woman and Family. His feature length documentaries Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project premiered on HBO, and Slasher on IFC.