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The Bridge on the River Kwai
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David Lean’s The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) is not just a great film, it is a nearly perfect one. Even better, it was recognized as such from the start by virtually everyone. The critics lionized it and continue to include it on their “best” lists. The movie business showered it with prizes. Bridge won seven Oscars, including best picture and best director. Audiences made it the biggest film of 1957 and a perennial favorite ever since.

Bridge was Lean’s twelfth film and his first “epic,” which cast the die for the rest of his career. It was followed by Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Doctor Zhivago (1965), also classics. Then Lean ended his career with Ryan’s Daughter (1970) and A Passage to India (1984), which fail as films in part because their slighter stories were overwhelmed by Lean’s epic style of treatment, which had hardened into mannerisms.

Bridge might have shared the same fate because of its source material. Lean’s film adapts Pierre Boulle’s best-selling 1952 novel Le Pont de la rivière Kwaï. (Boulle is also famous for another novel that made it to the screen as Planet of the Apes.) The novel is set in Japanese-occupied Thailand during the Second World War. The Japanese are building a railroad to connect Bangkok with Rangoon using forced labor, both native civilians and British prisoners of war.

The British prisoners in a particular camp are tasked with building a bridge over the river Kwai. The main conflict is between the Japanese camp Commander Saito and British Lt. Colonel Nicholson. Saito demands that officers do manual labor. This being contrary to the military code, Nicholson refuses, and he and his officers are punished. Naturally, the construction project is plagued by sabotage. Saito eventually relents because he needs the cooperation of the British officers to finish the bridge on schedule.

Nicholson then marshals his men in order to build a better bridge than the Japanese could have done. Nicholson appeals to legalism, esprit de corps, and British chauvinism—but they all fall short of a case for enthusiastic collaborationism. The core of the novel is the absurdity of a man who collaborates with the enemy out of a misplaced sense of duty. It is not clear if Nicholson is supposed to be an imbecile or a madman, but he’s definitely something of a buffoon: a snob, a bore, a martinet, and ultimately a traitor.

Most Brits who read the novel found it to be offensive and rather tasteless: offensive, because it reads as a rather crude Gallic lampoon of the British national character, especially the British military; tasteless, because approximately 13,000 prisoners of war died during the construction of the railway, plus up to 100,000 of the local civilians; it is just not something to be treated lightly.

Lean followed Boulle’s plot fairly faithfully. The main departure—the destruction of the bridge at the end of the film—was approved by Boulle. Where Lean departed from Boulle is his treatment of the character of Nicholson. Lean turned Nicholson from a buffoon into a tragic hero worthy of Sophocles or Shakespeare. In Lean’s eyes, Nicholson stands for genuine virtues: patriotism, loyalty, duty, pride one’s his work, and obedience to law, authority, and moral principles. He wouldn’t be a tragic hero unless he had genuine virtues.

Nicholson’s “tragic flaw” is that he does not see that his virtues only really make sense when practiced among his own people, for their benefit. In the prison camp, however, these virtues are being exploited by a ruthless enemy who aims to destroy the Empire that Nicholson so loyally fought to preserve. There’s a lesson in this for white people today, since our openness to strangers, altruism, and moral idealism are being exploited by a system that is destroying us as well.

The Bridge on the River Kwai is masterful at exploring the fundamental distinction between aristocratic ethos that prizes honor above all else and the bourgeois ethos that prizes comfort, security, long life, and pleasure above all else.

G. W. F. Hegel famously claims that history begins with a battle to the death over honor, in which two men are willing to risk their lives for an idea. Prehistory is governed by the necessities of life. History is governed by ideas. If both men prize honor above life, and one is defeated, he will choose death before dishonor. But if the defeated party chooses life at the price of honor, he is revealed to be a very different kind of man who is reduced to the status of a slave, to toil for the victor.

This is exactly how Japanese Commander Saito (played by Sessue Hayakawa) sees the matter. By surrendering, the British have lost their honor and have been reduced to slaves, including the officers, thus all must work. Saito will not spare the officers from the full measure of their disgrace because of a mere legalism that forbids imprisoned officers from doing manual labor, as if they were still gentlemen. To him, the Geneva Convention is nothing compared to the Japanese warrior code of bushido. The Japanese military felt superior to the British because the Japanese still committed suicide to avoid the dishonor of defeat, whereas the British, being a Christian nation, rejected suicide and used legalisms to preserve their honor even in defeat.

The dispute between Saito and Nicholson—brilliantly portrayed by Alec Guinness—becomes another struggle to the death over honor. Saito puts Nicholson in a metal box in the blazing sun to break his will, but he refuses to relent and do manual labor, even if it kills him. Unfortunately for Saito, the bridge is behind schedule, the Japanese engineer is incompetent, and the prisoners are at best sullen workers, at worst prone to malingering and sabotage.

If the bridge is not committed on schedule, Saito will be expected to commit suicide, a fate that he wishes to avoid. Thus Saito uses the anniversary of the Japanese victory over Russia as the occasion for a face-saving amnesty. Nicholson and his officers will not have to labor but will organize their men to complete the bridge on time. The roles have been reversed. Nicholson has chosen death over dishonor, and Saito has flinched, choosing dishonor over death. It is Nicholson’s high point. After that, his fall begins.

Nicholson’s quest to build a better bridge than the Japanese also makes sense in terms of Hegel’s master-slave dialectic. Nicholson has beaten Saito on an essential point of honor. But he is still a prisoner, and his men are still slaves. However, Hegel describes as pathway by which the slave can restore his self-respect and humanity. The master rules over men, including slaves. The slave, however, can make himself a master over nature, which is what Nicholson and his men do by building the bridge, and doing it better than the Japanese could. Saito is shamed by this, and even though the bridge is completed on time, he still plans to kill himself.

But in a deeper sense, the Japanese have still won, because they got their bridge, which is an important strategic asset in their war against the British. Next stop: India.

Since both Saito and Nicholson are master types, albeit at times “temporarily embarrassed” master types, the film needs a well-developed slave type as a contrast. The American studio wanted a big American star to appeal to American ticket buyers. Enter William Holden as the American Commander Shears. (In the novel, Shears is British.) The Americans also wanted a love interest to appeal to chicks. Lean groaned, because war stories are guy stories. (Lean got his way on his next film, Lawrence of Arabia, in which there are no speaking roles for women.)

Lean gave in to the studio but turned defeat into victory, because the character of Commander Shears is a brilliant encapsulation of the slave type: cowardly, dishonest, and cynical about honor. Shears’ character is brought into sharper focus by making him an American, since America is a thoroughly bourgeois society that took pride in throwing off European aristocratic civilization, although vestiges of its ethos survived among the military and Southern planters. Making Shears a womanizer to boot perfected the character. But don’t fear: Shears has a redemption arc and chooses death over dishonor in the end. There is still hope for the Yanks.

By making an American the voice of cynicism, cowardice, and dishonesty, Lean also perfects another trait of the film. Inverting Boulle’s Gallic snark, Lean’s Bridge valorizes the British character and especially the British military. Lean’s politics are a complicated. He was conservative, patriotic, and despised communism. He was a tax exile for years because he also despised the British Labour Party.

But Lean was also drawn to such anti-colonial, anti-imperialistic figures as T. E. Lawrence and Gandhi. (Lean wanted to do a movie about Gandhi and actually met Nehru to discuss the project.) Yet in films like Bridge and Lawrence of Arabia, Lean presents the British Empire in a highly flattering light.

(A Passage to India is anti-Imperialist, but these sentiments are primarily expressed by two repulsive liberal females, whose desire to mix with the natives creates chaos for all involved. So in the end, it subtly affirms the aloofness of the colonial regime.)

Like every Lean film, The Bridge on the River Kwai is a first-class production. The cast is excellent, with particularly distinguished performances by Alec Guinness (who won the Oscar for best actor), William Holden, and Jack Hawkins. The musical score by Malcolm Arnold is one of his best and was duly rewarded with an Oscar. The striking locations in Ceylon were captured by cinematographer Jack Hildyard, who also received an Oscar, as did editor Peter Taylor.

The script of Bridge, which also won the Oscar for best adaptation, is a masterpiece. Originally, the script was credited to Boulle, who didn’t even speak English. Boulle’s name was there in place of two blacklisted writers, Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson. But everything that makes the script deep and powerful is the work of David Lean.

I have talked about the central themes of Bridge, but I have left out a great deal of the story, because I want you to enjoy discovering it for yourself. But I should warn you that, although The Bridge on the River Kwai is a beautiful and entertaining spectacle, it is also gut-wrenchingly tragic. This makes the film’s popularity all the more remarkable. It is proof that even “the masses” are not satisfied by mere entertainment. They hunger for deep feelings, even painful ones, if they are stirred by an encounter with deep truths about the human condition.

 
• Category: Arts/Letters • Tags: Hollywood, Movies 
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  1. dearieme says:

    On the whole I’m not much impressed by cinema. That two of the exceptions – Kwai and Lawrence – should be directed by the same bloke persuades me that that bloke was pretty nifty at his job.

    Your point about Kwai being a tragedy is spot on. Reminded me a bit of King Lear.

    • Replies: @Leo Den
  2. Trev sums up the movie perfectly with this sentence:

    The core of the novel is the absurdity of a man who collaborates with the enemy out of a misplaced sense of duty. It is not clear if Nicholson is supposed to be an imbecile or a madman, but he’s definitely something of a buffoon: a snob, a bore, a martinet, and ultimately a traitor.

    I saw this film as a little kid and recall being befuddled by the British collaboration. I recently read that the original bridge is still there in Burma/Myanmar and is a minor tourist attraction. So the heroic scene at end is total BS?

    I have not watched Kwai in the last sixty years and never missed it. Some films are on my “one and done” list. Especially prison flicks.

  3. Cliff says:

    Speaking of movie characters Putin reminds me of Daniel Craig playing James Bond , Joe Biden reminds me of Leslie Nielsen playing Frank Drebin from The Naked Gun.

  4. Rich says:

    Pierre Boulle was a great writer and his novel deserved the excellent treatment it got as a movie. The guy was a real life tough guy who suffered severe hardships as a POW in WW2.

  5. Catdog says:

    The sympathetic treatment of Nicholson is why I can’t stand this movie. It isn’t just Nicholson himself who suffers because he refuses to do manual labor, but also his soldiers. And they are portrayed gladly doing their duty, resisting the Japanese mistreatment to preserve the privileges of the elites. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but if there was any deliberate irony here I didn’t see it. It seemed played straight to me. The message seemed to be that the lowly men should suffer to preserve the pride of the aristocrats. It’s not a wild stretch to think that’s a sincere message, since we see that sentiment so often in reality.

  6. ruralguy says:

    The cinemaphotography is beautiful, but like most films, the story is not historically accurate. The Burma railroad wasn’t built as a strategic asset to support a future invasion of India. Rather, it was built because the Japanese could no longer use sea routes to supply Burma. The drama over control of the engineering was fictional. So, was the destruction of the bridge by commandos. The bridges (two were built: a wood one and a concrete/steel one) were disabled, not destroyed, by aerial bombing. The living conditions of the prisoners and native workers was much more severe than depicted in the film.

    In the past, overlooking these huge historical departures from truth was easy, but with the far left rewriting history and forcing everyone to accept their woke narratives instead of reality, by “canceling” people if they don’t accept the lies, who can tolerate these historical rewrites of reality into fiction?

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
    , @Happy Tapir
  7. MEH 0910 says:

    The Bridge On The River Kwai (Soundtrack) playlist:

    • Replies: @GomezAdddams
  8. Wielgus says:

    Boulle was parodying the behaviour of French officers in the face of Japanese domination during WW2, but found it expedient to change the nationality.

  9. MEH 0910 says:

    What I Learned From Watching: The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

    Oct 13, 2016

  10. @ruralguy

    The cinemaphotography is beautiful, but like most films, the story is not historically accurate. . . .

    It isn’t a documentary. This sort of autistic nitpicking is completely beside the point.

    • Disagree: Voltara
    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
  11. @Catdog

    The sympathetic treatment of Nicholson is why I can’t stand this movie. It isn’t just Nicholson himself who suffers because he refuses to do manual labor, but also his soldiers. And they are portrayed gladly doing their duty, resisting the Japanese mistreatment to preserve the privileges of the elites.

    This is not accurate. Nicholson and his officers are the ones who are punished. The rest of the soldiers were no worse off because of it.

    • Replies: @frankie p
  12. @Cliff

    Joe Biden reminds me of Leslie Nielsen playing Frank Drebin from The Naked Gun.

    Leslie Nielsen already played Joe Biden playing at being US President in Scary Movie 3 & 4:

    • LOL: dcthrowback, Voltarde
  13. @Director95

    The core of the novel is the absurdity of a man who collaborates with the enemy out of a misplaced sense of duty.

    I wonder if it was a sly commentary on the French collaboration with Germans during the Occupation. Petain invoked patriotism and honor in doing so.

    • Replies: @Director95
  14. lloyd says: • Website

    Not many people know that the author of this movie Pierre Boule also wrote the science fiction, novel Planet of the Apes. My vet father who adored Bride of the River Kwai had mocked my insistence that Planet of the Apes was a serious move and thought it was just Hollywood rubbish. He was completely astonished that the same author wrote both. Rather like the surprising fact the same composer wrote The Grandfather Clock and Marching Through Georgia. In our identification world, it is good to be reminded the same person can excel in apparently opposite genres. Maybe Trevor Lynch could now do a review of Planet of the Apes and compare the two movies.

    • Agree: Thomasina
    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
  15. The only thing I liked about the movie was the theme song which was superb. The silly character Nicholson ruined the whole movie for me. A movie of which I much prefer is Northwest Frontier (Flame Over India) from 1959 with Kenneth More, Herbert Lom and Lauren Bacall which deals with India under the Raj, the British stiff upper lip, duty to queen and country, treachery and gallantry.

    • Replies: @Director95
    , @HbutnotG
  16. @Catdog

    The sympathetic treatment of Nicholson is why I can’t stand this movie. It isn’t just Nicholson himself who suffers because he refuses to do manual labor, but also his soldiers.

    The ‘sympathetic’ treatment is understandable given the punishment he goes through. We naturally sympathize with the underdog. I watched DAS BOOT with a bunch of Jews, and everyone in the audience shared in the horror of the submarine in the bottom of the sea running out of oxygen and with a dead engine.
    Also, that initial sympathy is necessary as contrast to the emergence of his other side, twisted inside but so tip-top straight on the outside. He is the hero/villain of the movie, both a loyal officer to the end(by his impeccable logic) and a bloody traitor(by common sense).

    Is Nicholson a snob because he believes officers shouldn’t do manual work? It could be a British class thing, but it’s also very much a part of military culture. That Nicholson is willing to put up with incredible physical duress is proof that he isn’t afraid of stress. Rather, he believes in order, and in any order, people have duties and obligations. Officers do their thing, soldiers do theirs. This is true in the US military as well. Patton didn’t clean the latrines.

    Of note is how the men idolize Nicholson without question. It’s as if they have no minds of their own. When Nicholson goes one way, they are with him and don’t do a good job on the bridge. But when Nicholson emerges triumphant, goes another way, and orders his men to make the very best bridge, they obey 100% and do a damn good job. It’s as if the limit of their duty is to obey the officer and do as he says. But then, is it any different with the US military. Even conservative Christian men who join the military just do as told. War for Israel. Okay, shock and awe. Spread interracism? Yessir! Spread globo-homo? Yessir. Salute and take orders from tranny men? Yessir!

    If Nicholson commits treason but is blinded by his sense of honor, the men commit treason by happily doing as Nicholson orders them without asking any questions.

    It’d be good to have a truly woke military. Not ‘woke’ in the PC kind pushed by Jewish supremacist globalist-capitalists. Rather, a true progressivism that empowers the soldiers to have a meaningful voice in what the military does. Instead of just being blind killing machines who do as told, thinking soldiers who debate the merit of any overseas war they are ordered to fight.
    When it comes to defense of the nation from foreign invasion, there is no time for debate. Patriotism means defending the realm. But when the government wants the military to embark on foreign missions that are usually imperialist in nature, why shouldn’t the soldiers who will do the killing and dying not have a voice? Why should they obey blindly like a bunch of dogs?

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    , @Anon
    , @JM
  17. @Cliff

    Biden could also be the part that Leslie Neilsen played in Airplane. The perverted pilot.

    • LOL: Fr. John
    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
  18. @Priss Factor

    The French people were looking down the barrel of a (German gun) pointed at them, so now that you mention it, so were the POWs at Kwai looking at Japanese gun barrel.

    But I thought Nicholson was too damned enthusiastic to “show these monkeys how to build a proper bridge”. WTF?

  19. @Joe Paluka

    Leslie Nielsen played a doctor who was a passenger. The pedo pilot was Peter Graves, who IRL was a devout Christian married to his wife of 60 years until his death in 2010.

  20. Here, Lynch is right:

    Where Lean departed from Boulle is his treatment of the character of Nicholson. Lean turned Nicholson from a buffoon into a tragic hero worthy of Sophocles or Shakespeare. In Lean’s eyes, Nicholson stands for genuine virtues: patriotism, loyalty, duty, pride one’s his work, and obedience to law, authority, and moral principles. He wouldn’t be a tragic hero unless he had genuine virtues.

    Nicholson’s “tragic flaw” is that he does not see that his virtues only really make sense when practiced among his own people, for their benefit. In the prison camp, however, these virtues are being exploited by a ruthless enemy who aims to destroy the Empire that Nicholson so loyally fought to preserve. There’s a lesson in this for white people today, since our openness to strangers, altruism, and moral idealism are being exploited by a system that is destroying us as well.

  21. Franz says:

    Excellent review. Some fill-ins:

    1. David Lean always complained about his producer, Sam Spiegel. No matter what Lean did, Spiegel managed to clip some money for himself. Lean had hooked up with Sam only because the latter knew the international film world better than anyone during that era, But Lean told an interviewer in Canada that it as Spiegel’s doing that Lean never made any real money on either Bridge or the later Lawrence of Arabia. Lean changed all that by hiring Carlo Ponti as producer for Doctor Zhivago and this is the movie Lean made his fortune on.

    2. If you watch Bridge closely you’ll see that great character actor Percy Herbert as one of the POWs in the camp. Herbert was hired both as an actor and a technical advisor — he actually WAS a POW in the war, being held for years by the Japanese. When they made the Ray Harryhausen puppet movie Mysterious Island in 1961, Herbert plays the Confederate guard that hops on the balloon with the escaping Yanks. His “southern accent” in that is considered the worst ever by people who keep track of such things. (But is WAS a British production.)

    • Thanks: Pheasant
    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
  22. gay troll says:

    Awaiting Trevor’s review of this 2004 classic:

    • Thanks: Pheasant
    • LOL: Lancelot_Link
    • Replies: @Lancelot_Link
  23. R.C. says:

    Great movie. Good analysis.
    Love Col. Bogey’s March.
    R.C.

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
  24. I clicked on one of your reviews for the first time, Mr. Lynch, because I too think Bridge on the River Kwai is one of the best movies of all time. For the first half of this review, I really thought you didn’t get it completely. This comes close though:

    However, Hegel describes as pathway by which the slave can restore his self-respect and humanity.

    That’s what the movie is about. Colonel Nicholson seems like a priss, stickler, or even lazy when he insists on the officers not doing manual labor at the beginning. However, what he was up to was giving his men their self-respect and dignity, as they insisted on staying a military unit and not just a sorry-assed lot of prisoners, at least in their own minds.

    Once camp commander Saito made the decision to let the British build a “proper bridge”, Nicholson had given his men a major difficult goal to shoot for, which was extremely important in the situation they were in. It kept them from descending into gloom and despair. Additionally, the chance to show up the Japanese was a big part of the morale benefit.

    It’s an engineer’s movie, kind of. “If we’re gonna do it, we’re gonna do it right.” (“Build a proper bridge”, in English parlance.) Just as an engineer might do, the concentration and work “flow”, along with the camaraderie sidetracked Nicholson and his men, other than the more cynical medical officer, to where they almost forgot that this bridge, if built right, would of course help the Japanese and get more of the countrymen killed.

    It’s only at the very end that Colonel Nicholson realized what he had done. I would also say that the hot hot jungle sun, beating down on these British men, was bound to induce some craziness. I think the movie shows some of the latter.

    .

    I just realized that commenter Priss Factor above wrote something along these lines, but this is my take. I’d put it in the top 10 of all the movies I’ve ever watched. Thank you for the review, Mr. Lynch.

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
  25. And now, because this fits almost as much as it fits all the Steve Sailer posts on the woke Cultural Revolution 2.0 we are going through, here ya’ go:

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
    , @bj0311
  26. The premise of Boulle’s novel and the premise of the film are at odds with the WWII reality of Japanese maltreatment and abuse of Allied POW’s. Making no distinction between officer and enlisted POW’s, the Japs generally abused them equally, even semi-starving and sometimes beating captured generals. But The Bridge on the River Kwai is movie fiction, and it’s movie fiction of the finest kind.

    While it’s worth reading, Boulle’s novel is much less a literary gem than the film is a tour de force of cinematic prowess.

    What follows hereafter are SPOILERS: readers who haven’t seen the film are cautioned not to read further.

    Mr. Lynch grasps the central conflict between Col. Nicholson and Col. Saito. What he seems to overlook is the conflict between the state and the ordinary man. The power of the state, in its keenness not to have its prestige embarrased by being seen to celebrate the actual heroism of an upstart impostor, relegates Shears, who is an enlisted sailor posing as a Commander, to slavery as abject as that of the POW’s in Col. Saito’s camp: against his will Shears is forced to join the mission to destroy the bridge, to return the scene of the POW hell he’d just escaped from – rewarded for his epic escape in the sense of “no good deed goes unpunished.” Thus, both in the POW camp and in his own Western society Shears wages – and loses – his campaign for the sovereignty and dignity of the humble individual against the overwhelming, compelling power of the state.

    The cast is uniformly excellent. Jack Hawkins has long been one of my favorite screen thespians (for one other example, his work in The Cruel Sea, one of the most realistic war dramas, based on Nicholas Monsarrat’s vivid autobiographical novel, is superb). William Holden as Shears was never better – here he’s at least on a par with his work in Sunset Boulevard, Stalag 17, and Picnic. Sessue Hayakawa spoke very little English, mostly (as I understand it) recited his lines phonetically, yet delivered an unforgettable turn as Col. Saito; in the eve-of-demolition sunset scene on the bridge, during Col. Nicholson’s retrospective soliloquoy, Hayakawa’s eyes speak volumes. As Col. Nicholson, Alec Guinness’s performance is impeccable. Canadian actor Geoffrey Horne as Lieutenant Joyce gives a fine portrayal of a young civilian in uniform for war service, illuminating his character’s doubts about what war may demand of him, with his character balking in the moment demanding that he kill face-to-face in cold blood, yet devoted to the mission for fear of “letting the side down,” and communicating concern to how his military performance may reflect upon his young manhood, which is a bar he sets for himself to hurdle.

    Although speaking no English lines, M.R.B. Chakrabandhu as the stolid, terrain-wise Yai comes through with a pitch-perfect supporting effort – without the Yai character (and the Siamese women bearers) the commando mission would have been an absurdity. Two of my favorite English character actors, Percy Herbert (who for four years had actually been a POW of the Japs) and Harold Goodwin (who was also in The Cruel Sea as an ASDIC operator) serve well to convey the sensibilities of the POW other (enlisted) ranks toward the Japs and toward their own commanding officer. Andre Morrell as Colonel Green fits the bill to a “T.” James Donald, a splendid actor in many a movie (not least as the “SBO” in The Great Escape), who plays the Clipton the M.O., utters the film’s condemnatory final line: “Madness! Madness!

    Jack Hildyard’s cinematography is superlative – just about every composition, every tracking shot, every frame, is of the highest caliber. The script was a collaborative effort, and director Lean wisely weeded out its contributors’ weaknesses and homed in on telling the story, with masterful aplomb, according to his own best lights. The pacing is just right – the viewer is never left to have his mind wander or speculate and is kept focused on set and setting, on character revelation and development, on conflict-building and resolution, and on the direction of the entire narrative.

    In 1958 my Dad took the seven-year-old me to see this movie. A scene I distinctly recall having been in that original viewing was since cut from the film. It is when the Japs haul Col. Nicholson into Col. Saito’s office and – here’s what was cut: Jap guards constrain Nicholson on the floor on his back, his ankles are tied to a shaft of bamboo and one or two Jap soldiers wield bamboo sticks, and there the camera cuts to the formation of POW’s railing angrily on the parade ground – while the Japs pummel Col. Nicholson’s bare soles. That’s why, as the film still shows, the Jap guards have to drag Nicholson, who is unable to walk on his severely contused, swollen feet, from Saito’s office to the tin oven. I remember that cut moment because, right there in the theater, the seven-year-old me asked my Dad, “Why would it hurt to get your feet hit?”, and Dad told me that that’s quite painful (it is, I later learned, a very old torture method).

    By the way, producer Sam Spiegel put the kibosh on having the POW’s sing the rude lyrics to “The Colonel Bogey March” in the opening sequence march into the POW compound, and those lyrics are:

    “Hitler has only got one ball.
    Goering has two but they are very small.
    Himmler has something sim’lar,
    and poor old Goebbels has no balls at all.”

    And that’s why, in the film, the march was whistled – it has been reported, at the suggestion of Percy Herbert who portrays the POW Grogan.

  27. Right_On says:

    Another thought-provoking review from Trev.

    One chauvinist note that bugged me about the movie was the idea that the Japanese – who already had extensive experience building bridges – would need the expertise of British engineers.

    Perhaps Trevor is being a little too dismissive of Shears (William Holden), who does say: “This is just a game, this war! You and Colonel Nicholson, you’re two of a kind, crazy with courage. For what? How to die like a gentleman, how to die by the rules – when the only important thing is how to live like a human being!” The fact that Shears is prepared to sacrifice himself at the climax shows it’s not the only important thing, but it’s still pretty damned important.

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
  28. Biff says:

    It’s Hollywood. A well done film for romantic sake, but ridiculous for historical perspective.

    A friend of mine helped set up the museum in Kanchanaburi that located just to the north of the cemetery were the westerners(mostly British) are buried. There’s a room where you can view the “Bridge over river Kwai” Hollywood version and then the documentary interviewing survivors – and of course they are worlds apart, letting all the air out of the Hollywood version reducing it to bad acting and stunning the viewers with horrific tales of gruesome reality.

    Spoiler alert: The bridge was nothing; most of the death and despair came from laying track in the jungle(tropical ulcers are ugly).

    Nicholson’s quest to build a better bridge than the Japanese also makes sense in terms of Hegel’s master-slave dialectic.

    The Japanese had some of the best architects and engineers on the planet and still do. The museum lays it out in detail(closed due to COVID-19).

    https://theculturetrip.com/asia/thailand/articles/bridge-on-the-river-kwai-a-place-to-remember-thailands-past/

  29. Good review, but my fave part was the whistling song….after hearing that whistling, I began to start to whistle! Also love the near end with those Thai women (I think if I remember right) helping the men to blow up the bridge… Wish the movie was more historically accurate as with Lawrence of Arabia.

    • Replies: @David In TN
  30. @Franz

    There’s an amazing letter from Lean to Spiegel during the production of Bridge where he objects to a particularly sleazy and dishonest bit of interference in Lean’s personal life:

    You are a dictator with no respect for human dignity and individuality. You believe the end always justifies the means, and if the tragic recent story of your own noble race has not made you question your methods and way of thinking, how can my small voice hope to reach you?

    Quoted in Kevin Brownlow, David Lean: A Biography (London: Richard Cohen, 1996), p. 362.

    Lean and Speigel were supposed to have equal profit shares of Bridge and Lawrence, but Speigel somehow ended up with many times what Lean received. Spiegel also cut down the profits by expensing his lavish lifestyle to the productions. He was a classic crook.

    • Thanks: Right_On
    • LOL: Pheasant
    • Replies: @Franz
    , @Daniel Rich
  31. @R.C.

    The Col. Bogey March was one of Lean’s inspirations. Malcolm Arnold developed it beautifully. The widow of Kenneth Alford, the march’s composer, was hesitant to give her approval because of the dirty words that had been given to it over the years, so just the melody was used, but Brits who knew the words interpreted it as a defiant “fuck you” to the Japanese in the form of a jaunty and childlike melody. She made a fortune in royalties. In the 1950s, a military march for whistlers and orchestra could be a bit hit.

    • Replies: @Prester John
  32. @Auntie Analogue

    Thanks for this. As I recall, Lean took credit for the Bogey idea and whistling, something that was later confirmed by the composer’s widow.

  33. @Right_On

    Perhaps Trevor is being a little too dismissive of Shears (William Holden), who does say: “This is just a game, this war! You and Colonel Nicholson, you’re two of a kind, crazy with courage. For what? How to die like a gentleman, how to die by the rules – when the only important thing is how to live like a human being!” The fact that Shears is prepared to sacrifice himself at the climax shows it’s not the only important thing, but it’s still pretty damned important.

    This is an example of how beautiful and deep the script is. This is the deepest question of all. Is life unconditionally good, so that one is willing to suffer every indignity and commit any outrage, just to stay alive? Hegel would say that Shears is living like an animal. To live as a human being, one has to prize honor higher than life itself. Otherwise, you are spiritually a slave.

    What makes a great dramatic conflict is that there is at least some truth on both sides. But Hegel ultimately sides with Nicholson and Saito against Shears.

    • Agree: Right_On
    • Replies: @Right_On
  34. @Achmed E. Newman

    Clippen is the Greek chorus. Pure classical tragedy.

    • Agree: Mr. Anon
  35. @Achmed E. Newman

    Colonel Nicholson seems like a priss, stickler, or even lazy when he insists on the officers not doing manual labor at the beginning. However, what he was up to was giving his men their self-respect and dignity, as they insisted on staying a military unit and not just a sorry-assed lot of prisoners, at least in their own minds.

    Nicholson is quite clear about this. He believes that the prisoners will have better morale and a better chance of survival with dignity if they maintain their internal hierarchy and discipline rather than allow the Japanese to turn them into a leaderless, undisciplined rabble. This is the main reason why he objects to doing manual labor.

    • Agree: Prester John, Mr. Anon
  36. For me, the greatest war (and anti-war) film ever made. After Lean did “Lawrence”, he could have shut it down right then and there. He had already achieved film immortality.

    • Agree: Trevor Lynch
    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
  37. UNIT472 says:

    I hadn’t thought about it until I read Trevor’s review but the 1965 film “King Rat” was the antithesis of ‘Bridge’!

    In James Clavell’s story Shear’s character prevails over both the Japanese and the British officers. Shear’s is an American enlisted man ( Corporal King played by George Segal) who positively thrives in a Japanese POW camp while the British officers are reduced to total degradation and the Japanese are corrupted by King as well.

    It doesn’t end well for Corporal King when the war ends and a squad of British soldiers arrive and find everyone but King and his squad in rags while King is dressed in a clean pressed uniform and living like a King.

  38. @Cliff

    Putin and Craig are look-alikes. Well, sort of anyway. Biden is Drebin with a dollop of Jacques Clouseau.

    • Replies: @Lancelot_Link
  39. @Trevor Lynch

    The Bogey March was re-packaged and sold by Mitch Miller and his orchestra/chorus as “The March from The River Kwai.” It became a hit in early ’58, shortly after the film was released in the US in late ’57. I was a kid at the time and loved hearing it on the radio.

    • Agree: GomezAdddams
  40. Anon[282] • Disclaimer says:

    Er… this review misses the whole significance of the movie. It portrayed how a defeated formerly great power, Britain, tried to recover its pride by working for another imperial power’s interests. Britain would willingly serve Japan’s interests as long as Japan made admiring noises over the bridge and the work ethnic of the British. After WW2, Britain was desperate to retain a seat at the top and in all the summits, and became a US poodle — willing to serve another nation’s foreign policy, as long as America allowed Britain a seat at the top table and paid it the occasional compliment. The G7 showed this very well – Britain will trample on all of its key interests, including its rule over Northern Ireland, in return for “a good relationship” with Biden, Macron and Merkel. The British convince themselves they still have influence, but the price of this influence is to act against the national interest and serve another country’s interests. We will be anti-Chinese, anti-Russian, pro-Israeli, etc, in return for a seat at the top and a poodle relationship with America. There is nothing transactional about this – we get nothing in return. Ultimately, this is about the narcissism of our elite, as Britain doesn’t need a seat at all the summits, only the right to rule itself as Singapore and any other small nation does. There was never any good reason for Britain to take part in the Cold War, or the Afghan or Iraqi conflicts — other than this one-sided relationship with America. We become like Colonel Nicholson begging for approval from Saito.

  41. @Joe Paluka

    Agree. Flame over India is superior by a mile. The film is set circa 1905, and so here we are over 100 years later battling the same evil as depicted in the film: Islamic Extremism.

    FOI is still relevent today. Bacall is wonderful in the film and the scenery magnificent.

  42. @Prester John

    I share your sentiments but would have hated to have lost Zhivago.

    I wish Lean had not made Ryan’s Daughter or A Passage to India, though.

    Two unrealized projects — his story of the mutiny on the Bounty and his adaptation of Conrad’s Nostromo, both with Robert Bolt — could have been classics as well.

  43. @Anon

    Er… this review misses the whole significance of the movie. It portrayed how a defeated formerly great power, Britain, tried to recover its pride by working for another imperial power’s interests.

    No, it isn’t about that. I think that you are rather heavy-handedly imposing an anachronistic interpretation on this movie.

    It smacks of claiming that Ibsen’s Enemy of the People is really about McCarthyism.

    • Replies: @Anon
  44. There is one scene in the movie the youth of today will not understand.

    The fact that Nicholson was not having an easy rest in the shade when locked in the metal box.

    Heat is only transferred by Carbon dioxide has been drilled into their brains.

  45. For a scathing review of this film, and of the novel on which it was based, see chapter 12 of ESSAYS ON CONRAD (” ‘The Bridge over the River Kwai’ as myth “) by the late literary critic and Japanese prisoner of war, Ian Watt. It begins:

    The Kwai is a real river in Thailand, and nearly thirty years ago prisoners of the Japanese – including myself – really did build a bridge across it: actually, two. Anyone who was there knows that Boulle’s novel, The Bridge on the River Kwai, and the movie based on it, are both completely fictitious. What is odd is how they combined to create a world-wide myth, and how that myth is largely the result of those very psychological and political delusions which the builders of the real bridges had been forced to put aside.

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
    , @Anonymous
  46. Mr. Anon says:
    @Priss Factor

    Is Nicholson a snob because he believes officers shouldn’t do manual work? It could be a British class thing, but it’s also very much a part of military culture.

    Moreover, an engineer officer in the british army was almost certainly not an aristocrat. Engineering was a very middle-class thing. Actually knowing how to build bridges? How very………..common.

  47. Mr. Anon says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    Two unrealized projects — his story of the mutiny on the Bounty and his adaptation of Conrad’s Nostromo, both with Robert Bolt — could have been classics as well.

    A David Lean production of a Conrad novel? I wish I could have seen that. So little of Conrad’s work has made it on to the screen.

    Lord Jim is usually treated with scorn. O’Toole’s performance was off. It certainly wasn’t a great movie. Yet it wasn’t a bad movie, and it was at least entertaining (especially the performances of Eli Wallach and James Mason as the villains). I give Richard Brooks credit for tying to put it on the screen at all. It was apparently a labor of love for him.

    The Duelists was, I think, magnificent. Ridley Scott’s first and best movie. I didn’t mind the fact that they cast two Americans in the role of the French Hussars. It worked. They did a good job.

    I agree that Bridge on the River Kwai was a great movie – one of the greatest ever. It’s one of my favorites. And even though I know the William Holden character was added essentially for marketing reasons, I didn’t mind. He was a great counter-point to the stiff-upper-lippedness of Alec Guinness, and the cheerful isn’t-this-bloody-good-fun deviltry of Jack Hawkins.

    That character that Holden plays, the cyncial American everyman, used to be pretty common. Notice how it isn’t so much anymore. Now Americans like to think of themselves as rah-rah “Murica!” patriotards. The wily, cynical American who doesn’t buy the self-serving BS of the powerful doesn’t seem to be so much of a thing in movies anymore.

    I disagree with the assessment that there is something ignoble about the Shears character. Granted, he is not a natural aristocrat engaged in some Hegelian struggle of dominance. But most people aren’t. Those contests of wills are invariably between a few powerful people. Is there any intrinsic nobility in allowing yourself to be a pawn in other people’s contest of wills? Better to just say “F**k it! A pox on both of you. I’m going my own way.” That is at the core of the mythos of the American West. I think there is an innate nobility in surviving by your own rules.

    • Agree: Dnought
    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
    , @Right_On
  48. @Close Reader

    The Kwai is a real river in Thailand, and nearly thirty years ago prisoners of the Japanese – including myself – really did build a bridge across it: actually, two. Anyone who was there knows that Boulle’s novel, The Bridge on the River Kwai, and the movie based on it, are both completely fictitious.

    Next thing you’ll be telling me is that there was no king Oedipus of Thebes.

    • Replies: @Close Reader
  49. @Mr. Anon

    even though I know the William Holden character was added essentially for marketing reasons, I didn’t mind. He was a great counter-point to the stiff-upper-lippedness of Alec Guinness, and the cheerful isn’t-this-bloody-good-fun deviltry of Jack Hawkins.

    Lean took Holden and the nurse and used them to make the movie even better. Holden is fantastic in his role. But like so many Americans, Shears doesn’t really understand that people can’t live the private life he longs to get back to unless some men are willing to die over matters of honor. Which I guess gets us very close to the much-abused slogan “Freedom isn’t free.” He does the right thing in the end. There’s something wondrous about his transformation from cynic and pacifist to the man running into mortal danger yelling “Kill him!”

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  50. Mr. Anon says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    As you said, it’s a complicated story. One of the reasons it’s so good. The characters in it don’t behave like comic-book characters with an 8th Grader’s understanding of the World, as in so many movies today. By and large (there are exceptions), cinema used to be better.

  51. Right_On says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    Thanks for your response.

    Taking the thesis/antithesis/synthesis route, perhaps one could claim that what Shears finally realizes is not that he was wrong to think, “the only important thing is how to live like a human being”, but, “being willing to sacrifice your own life is an essential part of living like a human being”.

    • Agree: Trevor Lynch
  52. Cassius:
    The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

    Cassius, a nobleman, is speaking with his friend, Brutus, and trying to persuade him that, in the best interests of the public, Julius Caesar must be stopped from becoming monarch of Rome. Brutus is aware of Caesar’s intentions, and is torn between his love of his friend Caesar and his duty to the republic. Cassius continues by reminding Brutus that Caesar is just a man, not a god, and that they are equal men to Caesar. They were all born equally free, and so why would they suddenly have to bow to another man? On another level this phrase has been interpreted to mean that fate is not what drives men to their decisions and actions, but rather the human condition.

    https://www.enotes.com/shakespeare-quotes/fault-dear-brutus-our-stars

    And, that human condition, is the impetus driving both Nicholson and Saito. Both men have their own honor codes and honor systems they are required to follow. Because those honor codes are what make both men the officers and warriors they have become.

    [MORE]

    As insufferable as Nicholson is he has an honor code that requires that once he accepts a task he is duty bound to complete that task. At heart he is a perfectionist. It’s part of his inner predilection. And, as all perfectionists he drives himself to complete the task to the best of his abilities no matter the cost to himself and others as the task at hand consumes his living being.

    As to how Nicholson arrives at this peculiar juncture is all to his own decisions and actions. By demanding that Saito abide by Nicholson’s code of honor by not requiring officers to perform manual labor. Nicholson has placed himself in a predicament that requires him to live up to his own honor code once he achieves his objective. And, his honor code requires that he, Nicholson, build the bridge, lest Saito loses face, or honor. Which due to the ancient rules of honor and chivalry Nicholson can not allow to happen since Saito had just allowed Nicholson to keep his honor in order to avoid losing face in front of the lower ranks by being forced to perform manual labor.

    (In retrospect it derives the ancient quid pro quo: a Latin phrase used in English to mean an exchange of goods or services, in which one transfer is contingent upon the other; “a favor for a favor”. Phrases with similar meanings include: “give and take”, “tit for tat”, “you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours”, and “one hand washes the other”. )

    By demanding Saito respect his honor code Nicholson was now in a quandary where he had to respect Saito’s honor codes. The only reason Saito decided to commit hari kari was that he ultimately lost face anyway due to the fact that the British were able to build a better bridge than the Japanese were capable of building. Having come from a culture where the Japanese have been told since birth that their race was superior to all others. Having to accept that an inferior race could build a bridge much better than Japanese Imperial officers, well the ones on hand anyway, was more than his pride and honor could withstand. Therefore the only honorable thing left to do was commit suicide. Those that understand the ancient honor system of Bushido, comparable to chivalry, will know of which I speak.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  53. Right_On says:
    @Mr. Anon

    That character that Holden plays, the cynical American everyman, used to be pretty common
    Had the same thought last time I watched Bridge: I could easily picture Steve McQueen, or any number of other celebrated American actors, in the Holden role. To be clear: Holden’s performance is stellar.

    Is there an ‘American type’? If so, it’s not a question of appearance; it’s more that leading characters on screen that you immediately recognize as Yanks have that borderline-insolent swagger, that ‘I’m my own man’ trait. One exception might be Clint Eastwood’s look. I was chuckling when I first saw Where Eagles Dare and he’s wearing a German uniform.
    C’mon, you’ve only got to take a glance at Clint to see he’s an American!

  54. My dear Mr. Lynch, you wrote of Shears that “He does the right thing in the end. There’s something wondrous about his transformation from cynic and pacifist to the man running into mortal danger yelling ‘Kill him!’”

    There are also more proximate motives for Shears’ “transformation.” He’d been shanghaied by his own country’s authorities into an extremely hazardous mission throughout which he performed a virgin parachute drop followed by an onerous trek (replete with leeches) in having to return to the place of his POW hell. When Col. Nicholson’s altruism toward his men’s achievement of the bridge threatens to derail the mission Shears acts perhaps out of loyalty to his side, perhaps out of devotion to a cause or to honor larger than himself, but also out of the sheer desire not to see his ordeal of and on the mission go for nought. It was thus also an instance of “I didn’t come all this way through all this hell to come back to this original hell just to have my Calvary of sufferings wasted on a failure.”

    Also, throughout the mission trek Shears had formed something of a bond with young Lieutenant Joyce – tinged perhaps with an unconscious yet palpable foster-fatherly care, and did not wish to see Joyce’s key duty at the explosives plunger vexed by Nicholson’s misbegotten meddling. Add to that Shears’ earlier POW experience of Nicholson’s pigheadedness vs. Col. Saito, and Shears may have also acted from a sense of payback for what he saw as Nicholson’s fool’s courage and overzealous aid to the enemy.

    These other, more proximate motives fit in, I think, with your and other commenters’ having noted that the film’s characters are anything but monodimensional, anything but “Good Guy vs. Bad Guy” cartoon cutouts.

  55. @Mr. Anon

    How very………..common.

    I’ll just assume for the sake of brevity that you’re being “tongue in cheek”.

    As building bridges is one of the epitomes of mechanical engineering achievements next to skyscrapers. I’m leaving out modern accomplishments such as rocket science and aeronautical engineering since they didn’t exist back in that time frame to the extent we have today.

    If it was all that common then even the aristocrats could do it. Build a bridge the wrong way and it will collapse as recent bridge collapses have shown. The bridge collapse outside of Miami, Florida is one example and the I-35 bridge collapse south of Minneapolis, MN a few years back is another.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_bridge_failures

    Back in those days British officers were mostly pulled from the upper classes or the aristocrats. That’s why even members of the Royal Family served in the British military. They served from a sense of duty and a desire for adventure and advancement. Generally in those days only men from the upper classes could attend elite universities. Bridge builders didn’t come from the lower classes as a university education was reserved for the upper classes. Since Nicholson was a Colonel that distinctly implies that he was from the upper classes. Since in those days that was the only way to make it into the upper ranks.

    We still have remnants of that system in the US military. Where the vast majority of the upper ranks come from the military academies. Although in the US military system it’s not unknown for lower ranked personnel to move into the officer ranks and reach the upper officer ranks.

    The middle class was mostly composed of merchants and government officials with very few attending elite universities. The middle class advanced through guilds and apprenticeships. Where the lower class were reserved for labor with little to no advancement.

    Try to remember, the culture in England prior to WWII was not at all similar to what you’ve grown up with in the US. It was based upon a feudal system with cosmetic changes to make it more palatable to the lower classes.

  56. Franz says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    Spiegel also cut down the profits by expensing his lavish lifestyle to the productions. He was a classic crook.

    I was stunned at how much Spieglel got away with.

    I have a used copy of Lawrence of Arabia: The 30th Anniversary Pictorial History
    (1992) and it was clear that Spiegel’s logistic talents were second to none. But his “hand was always in the cookie jar” as Lean put it, and it was lucky Lean made a deal with Carlo P0ntii so Lean didn’t have to end his days in a cheap hotel along with that other great epic maker, D.W.Griffith.

    Sam Spiegals true infamy came with the release, according to the book. On first release in 1962, NOBODY in North America saw the whole movie. Sam had many cuts made, to increase the number of showings per day. A retired Canadian army officer, while praising the film, noted it was a shame that the audience had not seen what prompted Lawrence’s “No Prisoners!” order. Lean had actually provided a clear establishing shot of the Turks leaving a ravaged town, one even pulling up his trousers as if he’d just raped a civilian. But Spiegel cut that out, and much else leaving the picture with a lot of gaps that probably annoyed knowledgeable members of the audience.

    Martin Scorsese worked on the restoration of Lawrence and was shocked at the condition it was in after only a couple decades. Entire scenes had to be restored from “best surviving footage. I wonder if the same applies to Bridge? It was also lengthy and Sam was Sam.

    Makes one wish Lean had gotten with Carlo Ponti two movies sooner.

  57. @My SIMPLE Pseudonymic Handle

    That was an excellent take on it, especially after the [MORE] tag.. Thank you, Mr. Handle.

  58. Anon[105] • Disclaimer says:
    @Priss Factor

    “…why shouldn’t the soldiers who will do the killing and dying not have a voice? Why should they obey blindly like a bunch of dogs? …”

    Conscripts have a occaisional tendency to be free thinkers – think US Military in Vietnam. Fragging was a widespread for example. One reason the Pentagon never wants to return to consciption is the AVF is easily cowed into commiting war crimes and other illegal acts.

  59. One-off says:

    Jean Raspail was another excellent French author of the era, yet, astonishingly, Hollywood never got around to adapting his signature novel to film. Sarcasm aside, read the gloewng reviews of CAMP OF THE SAINTS at the time and imagine the publications that published them then doing the same today. The goal would be the author’s personal destruction.

    But I digress.

    As for Pierre Boulle, the man had a knack for tragedy. His more successful and known novel seems farcical but it is, like BRIDGE, a (then) modern Greek tragedy ultimately about hubris and pride going before the fall. David Lean really understood Boulle’s theme and, I think, actually did a better job with it. Saito is the chorus to Nicholson’s character, and what is threatened ultimately is realized.

    Agreed, truly a remarkable cinematic achievement.

    • Agree: Arthur MacBride
  60. Mr. Anon says:
    @My SIMPLE Pseudonymic Handle

    Back in those days British officers were mostly pulled from the upper classes or the aristocrats.

    Unlikely. There weren’t enough of the upper class. Certainly not enough aristocrats. Even in WWI, a lot of the top british generals (Haig, Kitchener, French) were not people of especially notable families. And the lower ranks were undoubtedly heavily middle class. It takes a lot of lieutenants and captains to lead an army. As I said, an engineer officer in the WWII british army would likely be middle-class.

  61. Mr. Anon says:
    @My SIMPLE Pseudonymic Handle

    I’ll just assume for the sake of brevity that you’re being “tongue in cheek”.

    No, I was relating what I expect a titled English lord would believe.

    Do you have no subtlety or sense of context?

  62. frankie p says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    I recently watched this movie for the first time, and the thing I hated the most was the portrayal of the Japanese as being inept, inefficient and weak willed, especially among their officer corps. The fact that the Japanese engineer was shown to be some kind of idiot, and that the British officer Nicholson was better equipped to design the bridge was too much to believe. I found this counterfactual and even insulting to anyone who is aware of the successes of the Japanese in their campaigns in Southeast Asia. The Japanese were extremely well organized, and this movie portrayed them as buffoons. “More Hollywood!” was my conclusion.

  63. @Director95

    I recently read that the original bridge is still there…

    It is there, in Thailand. I walked it in 2004 and took my life in my hands (or feet, as it were) by doing so. For what is now a tourist attraction it was a seriously unsafe place to be with zero protections. If you tripped, you were going over.

    Glad to see they’ve joined the 21st century and put up more flooring and guard rails. Whew!
    The nearby Hellfire Pass Museum is an absolute must, if in the area. It was fantastically curated in a joint effort of Thailand and Australia.

    The bridge today: https://tinyurl.com/49aba2ez

    • Replies: @Director95
  64. It takes some special kind of thinking to equate a film about two absolutely evil imperialist countries fighting over a nation neither of them have any right to own with the travails of white people in Amerikastan today.

    I am waiting for Lynch’s attempt to prove that Dr Strangelove was a warning to white people not to let black crewmen become bomb aimers on B 52s.

    • LOL: Pheasant
    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
    , @Johnny Rico
  65. the script was credited to Boulle, who didn’t even speak English.

    While you are correct that others wrote the script, are you sure Boulle “didn’t even speak English”? According to his bio he worked for three years on a British rubber plantation in Malaya and was a secret agent based in Singapore with the name of Peter John Rule.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  66. @Auntie Analogue

    it is, I later learned, a very old torture method

    Bastinado. Apparently a favourite of Uday Hussein who used it on unsupportive husbands whose wives he fancied – if you believe US war propaganda.

  67. Anonymice says:

    There’s a lesson in this for white people today, since our openness to strangers, altruism, and moral idealism are being exploited by a system that is destroying us as well.

    The writer is either willfully or unwittingly ignorant of European colonialism as having been facilitated by those same traits of the colonized that he falsely attributes to Whites: openness to strangers, a generosity unhindered by poverty. I also seriously doubt that the millions of African slaves in this country were the beneficiaries of such White openness to strangers and altruism.

    • Replies: @Blackstone
  68. but I have left out a great deal of the story, because I want you to enjoy discovering it for yourself

    Critics who say this are nothing but assholes.

    Describe the plot or don’t. This is a review, just put in a *spoilers alert* tag and be done with it, or its a crap review.

    • Disagree: Che Guava
  69. Perhaps you could consider having a ‘Lean’ night comprising of David Lean’s Dr. Zhivago, Brief Encounter, and The Bridge on the River Kwai?

  70. Petermx says:

    “Lean’s politics are a complicated. He was conservative, patriotic, and despised communism. He was a tax exile for years because he also despised the British Labour Party.

    But Lean was also drawn to such anti-colonial, anti-imperialistic figures as T. E. Lawrence and Gandhi. (Lean wanted to do a movie about Gandhi and actually met Nehru to discuss the project.) Yet in films like Bridge and Lawrence of Arabia, Lean presents the British Empire in a highly flattering light.”

    I do not recall the British Empire presented or perceived as being “racist” in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and maybe up to the 90’s and 2000’s. I think that might have been perceived as somewhat traitorous for many years and perhaps giving “ammunition” to the Japanese and German enemy. Some (perhaps many) on the left would undoubtedly consider David Lean a “racist” today. That’s another interesting subject. I can’t recall when the word “racist” became popularized for every day usage. “Holocaust” came into being in the 1970’s. It could be the same for “racist” but it seems to have evolved as to what is/was “racist”.

    Yes, Lean’s politics are complicated, or maybe “confused”, maybe by necessity. If he really “despised communism”, what was his position on Germany of the 30’s and 40’s? Just as President John F Kennedy’s diaries reveal admiration for the Germans (which morphed into the “NAZIS” in those years thru the mass media), it’s possible that like Kennedy, Lean had to keep his thoughts on wartime Germany quiet. Today there are tens of millions of Americans (perhaps even over 100 million) that cannot express their true feelings or they will be castigated by the media. I think it may have been the same in the 30’s and 40’s. There were many more Lindbergh’s, Henry Ford’s and Cardinal Coughlin’s out there that would not reveal their true feelings, just like today. But today people can anonymously vent their feelings on websites like this, no doubt to the great displeasure of the censorious left. Social media has backfired on the left. They thought that because people could be made to keep their feelings to themselves that tens of millions of people did not disagree with or despise the discourse so now they consider freedom of thought and expression dangerous. They never really believed in free speech but saying so worked for them. Burning books is only bad when they are not the ones doing it.

    • Agree: Prester John
  71. ivan says:
    @frankie p

    The Nips were scum during the war. They thought only they had “honour” during the war, all others deserved to die. Well Zhukov and Stalin showed them twice – one in Khalkin Gul and the othet in August 1945 when they tore the Manchurian Army apart. While the 8th Army – the Forgotten Army – fought hand to hand all the way down into Burma and woulf have continued down to Malaya killing every Nip they found if it had not been for the atomic bomb. And the Americans were no slackers losing 10s of thousands but killing all the gooks they could.

    One thing all these bushido fellows don’t seem to have understood is that they should not have awakened an unappeasable rage for vengeance in their enemies. The fwcks got what they deserved.

  72. JM says:
    @Priss Factor

    Probably arose from the clauses of the Geneva Convention to which the Japs weren’t a signatory, though the Germans were. In general the Germans adhered to it, but the Japanese military didn’t.

  73. Just more propaganda from the “entertainment” cabal. More John Wayne type slop without John Wayne.

  74. dearieme says:
    @My SIMPLE Pseudonymic Handle

    Since Nicholson was a Colonel that distinctly implies that he was from the upper classes. Since in those days that was the only way to make it into the upper ranks.

    You live in a dream world. Wullie Robertson was a village boy who enlisted as a private. He ended up as Chief of the Imperial General Staff in WW1. In WW2 there were two men who enlisted as privates and ended up as Brigadiers within the period of the war.

    The colour sergeant, as represented in the film Zulu, had enlisted as a private and ended up as Lieutenant-Colonel Frank Edward Bourne OBE DCM .

  75. bj0311 says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    That clip is exactly what goes through my mind nearly every time I read the headlines these days.

  76. Che Guava says:
    @Commentator Mike

    That is interesting. I only have read three of his books, Kwai, Monkey Planet, and a very strange one, on the premise of the Knights Templar developing nuclear weapons in about the fifteenth century A.D., also very good.

    Only read that once, a friend”s copy, so memory is not detailed. Very interesting at the time.

    Must checking what else he wrote, and re-read the Templar one.

    i am surprised that no other commenter mentions two comparable works, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence and Empire of the Sun.

    Both are let down by clownish elements in the films, and the novel Merry Christmas by van der Post has its off aspects.

    However, Empire of the Sun by James Ballard is a masterpiece, I once heard an interview where he said, except that he was not interned alone, his parents were also there, otherwise, true recollections.

    Spielberg’s putrid take on the great novel only gets two points right, the base character of the USN internee Basey, and the young Jim’s sympathy for a downed aviator.

  77. @The Real World

    I am grateful for the on-the-ground feedback about the bridge and the photo link.
    When the travel business gets rolling again, I plan on making a trip to Asia. Countries on my list now are Japan, Taiwan and Thailand. Thanks for the tip on the museum.

  78. Jiminy says:

    The description of Colonel Nicholson reminds me of Major Phipps from ripping yarns, which was an English comedy made in the seventies starring Michael Palin. Those guys all seemed to come from the same mould.
    One of my uncles laboured on the Burma railway after he was captured in Singapore by the japs. Quiet old guy and in all the times that I saw him, he never once spoke of it or of his suffering. The same with another uncle who fought in Papua New Guinea. Never mentioned what he went through fighting the japs there either.
    It was only after his death, when I saw his medals laid out on a display board that got me thinking why the government never went after the Japanese war criminals like the Yanks and jews had done with the Germans. And really Israel would still be chasing German soldiers today if any were alive. It’s a shame my uncles never had that lucky tattoo on their arms that would have set them up financially for the rest of their lives.
    Maybe it’s time that Spielberg came out with an epic showing that there were other theatres of war, outside of the German camps of Europe, if only to keep their memories alive.

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  79. Jesus told Peter to “Feed my sheep”. Most pastors today prefer to feed the goats, bribe the goats, administer to goats, entertain the goats, help the goats, and let the sheep starve. They ignore the sheep and think they have the power to make goats into sheep via bribes and lies. Forgetting that man is born again by the will of God, not Man, see John 1. They also forget the advice, don’t cast your pearls before swine, lest they turn against you. The goats are destined for destruction in the Lake of Fire on Judgment Day, nothing you are I can do can change that.

  80. @Auntie Analogue

    If you want to read a real memoir of a British PoW on the Burma Railway, I strongly recommend LL Baynes’ “The Other Side Of Tenko”. Baynes was taken prisoner as a sergeant at the fall of Singapore, and held captive till the end of the war. His observations of the British are as interesting as of the Japanese. The former, he said, were every bit as vile to the locals, pre war, as the Japanese at their worst. Of individuals among the latter he often displays appreciation, and said he was even befriended by one of them, an engineer called Suzuki. That despite the fact that he doesn’t hide any of the things the Japanese did to him, including a guard once almost smashing his skull in (whereupon other guards dressed his wounds).

  81. @Trevor Lynch

    No it didn’t.

    I have been reading your reviews for a while and my worldview is obviously not yours.

    But then I am not white and the tone of your reviews gets my back up. If you don’t like that, too bad.

  82. Leo Den says:
    @dearieme

    The aristocratic ethos nowadays has nothing to do with honor and everything to do with money, money, money. Meet the multi-headed aristocratic beast.

    http://biblicisminstitute.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/how-the-ashkenazi-jews-conquered-the-west/

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
  83. @frankie p

    Several things drove Japanese hatred of Britons and Americans during the war.

    For example, Japan had supported the Allies during World War I, and afterward wanted to be treated with a minimum of respect.

    At the 1919 Peace Conference, Japan proposed an amendment to the Treaty of Versailles that opposed racial discrimination among members of the League of Nations.

    Japan’s proposal was widely supported, but it was nixed by the UK, US, and Australia.

    Japan was insulted, and felt that the Anglo-Americans considered Japanese people to be racially inferior in every way.

    On 26 July 1940, the USA confiscated all Japanese assets. Soon afterward the USA blockaded Japan (1 August 1940), and embargoed all oil and gasoline exports to Japan. (Oil was Japan’s most crucial import, and more than 80% of Japan’s oil at the time came from the United States.)

    These are two of many examples. The combination of repeated insults and acts of war by the US and UK made Japan angry.

    Japan also hated US hypocrisy in treating the Japanese as racially inferior, while accusing the Japanese of racism in China and Indonesia.

    Japanese resentment is reflected in the words of Japanese Col. Saito to Col. Nicholson…

    “I hate the British. You are stubborn, yet you have no pride. You endure, but you have no courage. You are defeated, but you have no shame. I hate the British!”

    • Replies: @Lee
  84. @omegabooks

    This one had a trope these Commando movies usually had. Around half a dozen people are sent/dropped behind enemy lines to blow something up. In real life, it would take a battalion or more.

  85. HT says:

    Here’s the money shot. More truth in this paragraph than what most students will hear in 16 years of formal education:

    Nicholson’s “tragic flaw” is that he does not see that his virtues only really make sense when practiced among his own people, for their benefit. In the prison camp, however, these virtues are being exploited by a ruthless enemy who aims to destroy the Empire that Nicholson so loyally fought to preserve. There’s a lesson in this for white people today, since our openness to strangers, altruism, and moral idealism are being exploited by a system that is destroying us as well.

    • Agree: Monotonous Languor
  86. MEH 0910 says:
    @Jiminy


    [MORE]

    Saturday, February 20, 2021

    Today a Tennessee resident with German citizenship was removed to Germany for participating in Nazi-sponsored acts of persecution while serving as an armed guard at a Nazi concentration camp in 1945.

    In February 2020, Friedrich Karl Berger, 95, was ordered removed from the U.S. based on his participation in Nazi-sponsored persecution while serving in Nazi Germany in 1945 as an armed guard of concentration camp prisoners in the Neuengamme Concentration Camp system (Neuengamme).

    • Replies: @Jiminy
  87. Mr. Hack says:

    Once upon a time, American families would huddle around their television sets on Saturday nights and watch first rate films “the first TV show to broadcast in color relatively recent feature films from major studios.” I remember watching “The Bridge on the River Kwai” (an incredible spectacle) on just such a Saturday night, after watching the musical entertainment show “Lawrence Welk”. On Sunday mornings, many families even attended church services. Times really were better back then.

    Anybody else out there remember “Saturday Night at the Movies”?

  88. Jiminy says:
    @MEH 0910

    It never seems to end. It’s actually become a mockery. And to think that before and during WW2 there were actual popular American nazi party off-shoots in the US. The nazi party was by all accounts big in the states. It’s all become comical, with the jews slaughtering half of the Middle East while hunting down 95 year old pensioners. Hard to visualise the Australian government hunting down Japanese centenarians for something that happened eighty years ago, example being the beheadings that happened throughout Asia.

  89. @Director95

    I was at the site about 30 years ago, so this is rather dated.
    At that time, the thing to see was the JEATH Museum which was an initiative of the local Buddhist monks in the grounds of their monastery. This has apparently since been copied and according to reports, to be avoided, maybe the original is still OK though.

    JEATH = Japan England Australia/America Thailand Holland.

    Casualties = 12/13 000 Allied abt 90/95 000 impressed.
    I went there with only a knowledge of the Allied deaths and learned that the local Asian deaths were abt 7 X that figure.
    K’buri is an easy shot from Bangkok, continue to Three Pagoda Pass at the Burma border if you want. Here’s the JEATH site fwiw; scrolling the photos, see a notice from the Buddhist monks — “War Is Sinful Behavior” also warning about alcohol …
    Have a good trip.

    https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g297924-d554275-Reviews-JEATH_War_Museum-Kanchanaburi_Kanchanaburi_Province.html

  90. @Leo Den

    The aristocratic ethos nowadays has nothing to do with honor and everything to do with money, money, money. Meet the multi-headed aristocratic beast.

    No, the bourgeois ethos is all about money.

  91. @Trevor Lynch

    I never saw “Zhivago” in the theatre. I remember having read the reviews and thinking that I wouldn’t like it (0ne of the criticisms was that the movie version deviated too much from the Pasternak novel). Since then I had seen parts of it while channel surfing but ironically it was only last week that I actually sat down and watched “Zhivago” from front to back on TCM. It was ok, though a bit long. It was decidedly not on the level of “Kwai” and “Lawrence” which are twin masterpieces, but that’s just my opinion.

    I didn’t care for either “Ryan” or “Passage”. The latter, like “Godfather III”, should never have been made. Perhaps as a film artist Lean may have run out of ammo by then.

    If only Lean had done “Nostromo” while at his peak! We can only dream.

  92. Z-man says:

    I never liked ‘Kwai’ much, maybe because Holden and Guinness both die. But truthfully I haven’t really ever watched the entire movie. My fave Lean film is ‘Lawrence’ even with the homo sub text in O’Toole’s performance. I also like the ending of ‘Summertime’, really haunting, fatalistic…whatever. Hepburn was a little too old for Rossano but then again what are ya gonna do. (Grin)

  93. HT says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Yes, I remember seeing the Day the Earth Stood Still on Saturday Night at the Movies. Yes, America, as a family centered white Christian nation was infinitely better than the sewer we are in today. Of course, all that was before the small hat tribe discovered how to exploit our court system and removed Christianity from our culture. Look where we are now.

  94. @Director95

    It was very memorable and I recommend all of the below.

    Found this pic which is how the bridge was when I walked it. As you can see, the safety precautions then were zero and there were huge gaps where you could fall off. (I’m not a fearful person but, was traveling on my own and wasn’t at all sure that anyone would bother to fetch me from the river if I fell in!)

    Museum info – see reviews too. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g17812447-d523723-Reviews-Hellfire_Pass_Interpretive_Centre_and_Memorial_Walking_Trail-Tha_Sao_Sai_Yok_Kan.html

    The nearby “Death Railway” train you can ride – very scenic and a bit hair-raising!

  95. @Trevor Lynch

    A silly retort. Read Watt’s essay.

    • LOL: Trevor Lynch
  96. Kwai is, to my taste, a strong contender for the best film ever made. The author finds a lot of things to say about it that would go well into an undergraduate term paper, but none of it is worth taking seriously. Might check out McLuhan’s analysis in The Gutenberg Galaxy.

    • LOL: Trevor Lynch
  97. @Director95

    The commando attack is not factual. Apparantly at some point it was damaged by air attack at some point. The Japanese offensive into India was a major strategic miscalculation (the Indians were supposed to rise up, but the British had done a wonderful job of blunting Indian nationalism and there was a terrible famine as well.) The puny light guage railway they had made wasn’t sufficient to supply much of force, so the British didn’t need to worry overmuch.

  98. @Anonymice

    398,000 African slaves arrived in the US, not “millions”. Take your histrionics and your ignorance elsewhere.

  99. @HT

    After many years of careful consideration, I decided that my personal all-time favorite movie was “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (1951).

    An alien with the power to destroy our entire planet comes to visit with a message of hope, plus a warning. “Join us and live in peace, or pursue your present course and face obliteration.”

    If the earth joins them, the earth will benefit from myriad technological advancements.

    “We do not pretend to have achieved perfection. But we do have a system, and it works.”

    The alien sacrifices his life to save us earthlings. He is killed and revived, but he does not know how long the revival will last.

    The robot was cool. What made the robot awful was not what the robot did, but what it might do. What it could do. The robot is terrifying to the earthlings, but what the robot might potentially do is dreadful.

    Dread is a deeper emotion than is terror. Dread has no set form, and no limit.

    “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (1951) is ultimately a love story. All the greatest stories in history are love stories in one form or another. In this case it is the alien’s love for living things (humans). Earthlings are savages, but the alien loves them enough to offer them salvation.

    • Replies: @ricpic
  100. @Anon

    Egad. A cat just walked across my grave.

    Was that a synopsis of the UK’s postwar history that you just wrote or a reading of the US’s tea leaves?

    • Agree: Lancelot_Link
  101. HbutnotG says:
    @Joe Paluka

    Got about 1 hour into it and had enough.

    Hollywood was now getting over the sexy dame theme and trying out South Asian historic stuff – sort of “National Geographic” (but with the tiddies covered up; saris were good for that)

    The initially sporadic but ever increasing ass kissing got to be too too much! What is it about India Indians that when depicting them, ass kissing is such a requirement? And what exactly was Lauren Bacall doing there in the first place? Selling Avon? Stupid character. So out of place. And that train. lol Where’d they find that piece of shit? Greenfield Village in Dearborn? So laughable it ruins any storyline they sought to convey. Ranks right up there with Fred Flintstone’s car – except that car was at least conceptually correct in time. Anyway, it looked like a pile of chapped lips and assholes was going to be finale, so I clicked it off. Still in the mood for British accents (which mysteriously disappeared in this flick after about 10 minutes) I watched Benny Hill on You Tube.

    I forgot just how corny movies became about that time. We saw “The Shaggy Dog” about the same time as this came out and even as an 8 yr old my eyes rolled back so far I was afraid they’d get stuck that way.

    If it does nothing else, this movie shows what maniacal homicidal animals moslems are. Sort of explains how that cult made it to the very end of the SE Asian isles 1800 years ago already. I was pretty sure it wasn’t the parochial schools, or haute cuisine.

    That train with 100’s of Indian refugees clinging to it. I assume that scenario was common in India every June in the 1970’s. As the med school grads headed off to the airport, bound for the US to begin their internships, July 1st.

    • Replies: @Joe Paluka
  102. BorisMay says:

    It was just a film. By the standards of the day it was a very poor film that here has been blown out of all proportion to its actual intrinsic value by a load of quasi philosophical hog wash.

    The British ruling classes make pacts with the devil every day of the week just to survive. They have worked hand in hand with the Jews for the last 200 years. Everything you can think of as ‘British Empire’ (including this film and the actual British Empire and its army) is actually the ‘Jewish Empire’ funded by the Rothschild Banking Empire.

    Britain has always been run by Jews behind the scenes. Britain stopped being fundamentally English with the death of Charles I. This English regicide was funded by the Jews of Amsterdam.

    It is so sad that both the author and readers do not understand this fundamental aspect of British life: it was and still is Jewish in all but name. But then it is the same with the USA ever since the founding of the Federal Reserve.

    There is neither anything ‘British’ about Britain nor anything ‘American’ about the USA. They are both Jewish, lock, stock and barrel.

    History is what the victors say it is and Bridge Over The River Kwai is how the Jews want you to see it.

    This film, like all audio-visual presentations you can see these days, is how the Jews want you to see it.

    Please stop pretending it is anything other than what it is: Jewish approved trash. I write as an Englishman, educated in British boarding schools, with some military experience together with a lifetime of living in England having to do the bidding of our Jewish overlords.

    • Agree: Pheasant
    • LOL: Trevor Lynch
  103. I would take issue with several the onservations, but this comment,

    “The Bridge on the River Kwai is a beautiful and entertaining spectacle, it is also gut-wrenchingly tragic.”

    cannot be overstated. Devastating.

  104. “Conscripts have a occaisional tendency to be free thinkers – think US Military in Vietnam. Fragging was a widespread for example. One reason the Pentagon never wants to return to consciption is the AVF is easily cowed into commiting war crimes and other illegal acts.”

    Fiction.

    Such incidents were rare. How rare?

    230 incidents
    or the anti vietnam crowd number
    800 incidents

    against total who served

    total 0.008518518518518519%

    officer and noncommssioned leadership I could not locate this number but being generous
    against random) say 100,000 very generous
    total 0.23

    Using the more antievitnam crowd 800 incidents

    against total served 0.02962962962962963
    against officer – senior non-commissioned service member total 0.8
    (note: far more than 100,000 officers and senior ncos served in Vietnam)

    http://www.rjsmith.com/war_myth.html#fraggings

    https://www.uswings.com/about-us-wings/vietnam-war-facts/#:~:text=9%2C087%2C000%20military%20personnel%20served%20on%20active%20duty%20during,He%20was%20with%20the%20509th%20Radio%20Research%20Station.

    Liberals Oy veh

  105. @Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist

    My dear Friendly Neighbourhood Terorist, thank you for your recommendation of the Tenko book, and I hope you’ll find these titles, which are not all that I’ve read on WWII POW’s, to be no less illuminating:

    PACIFIC:
    Guests of the Emperor: The Story of Dick Darden – James B. Darden III
    My War With Imperial Japan: Escape and Evasion – Richard Vernon Hill
    Surrender and Survival – E. Bartlett Kerr
    To the Kwai – and Back – Ronald Searle [Searle’s POW drawings]
    Ship of Ghosts – James D. Hornfischer
    General Wainwright’s Story: The Account of Four Years of Humiliating Defeat, Surrender, and Captivity – Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright

    EUROPE:
    Diary of a Kriegie – Edward Beattie
    For You the War is Over – David A. Foy
    Life Behind Barbed Wire: The Secret World War II Photographs of Prisoner of War Angelo M. Spinelli – Angelo M. Spinelli & Lewis H. Carlson

    On the discrepancy between the smaller number of Allied POW deaths on the Siam-Burma railway and the larger number of native deaths, it’s worth bearing in mind that the number of Allied POW’s available to the Japs was far smaller than the number of locally available indigenes. There was, simply, a much larger pool of native labor than of POW labor, and in every territory they occupied the Japs were simply beastly to the inhabitants.

    British Army officers tended not to come from the aristocracy. Even when officers came from the nobility they were far more likely to be second or third sons, as under primogeniture firstborn sons inherited title, lands, wealth – the aristocracy viewed the military as a career of second resort. Second and subsequent sons were often found places in the military, the clergy, or the civil service. Engineering being shunned by the aristocracy as a “trade,” British engineer officers were most often from the middle class and tended largely to attend second-tier universities. Even Winston Churchill, firstborn son of a Lord, did not inherit his father’s title and, having failed to qualify for university, entered Sandhurst, succeeding only on his third try at its entrance exams.

    The Japanese had their share of excellent engineers, but these tended to be posted to first-line units likely to come into contact with the enemy, while units assigned to guard POW camps were second or third-rate outfits (many of which had a considerable percentage of Korean enlisted personnel, especially in construction and logistical units, and even in POW guard formations). One bit of verisimilitude in the film is the Jap guards, members of a second or third-rate behind-the-lines unit, armed with British weapons captured by the Japs in their campaigns in Malaya, Singapore, and Burma (even the Germans armed many of their non-frontline units with captured or obsolete weapons, and even in their Barbarossa invasion of the USSR quite a few Panzer units went into battle in captured Czechoslovak and French tanks). In any event the film is a fictional drama, so that the ineptitude of the Japanese engineer officer, Lt. Miura, is a plot device, not necessarily a historically accurate representation of Japanese engineering capability.

  106. @Mr. Hack

    The first TV showing of “The Bridge Over the River Kwai” was on ABC Sunday night, September 25, 1966. Due to commercials it went over three hours. Ford sponsored it and it drew enormous ratings. I watched it.

    Yes, I remember NBC Saturday Night at the Movies, first on during the 1961-62 season. It was 20th Century Fox films the first few seasons. The ABC Sunday Night Movie began the next year.

  107. @Trevor Lynch

    Spiegel also cut down the profits by expensing his lavish lifestyle to the productions. He was a classic crook.”

    Luckily he wasn’t jewish…

    Lean and Speigel were supposed to have equal profit shares of Bridge and Lawrence, but Speigel…

    It should be ‘Spiegel’ 2x

    • LOL: Trevor Lynch
    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
  108. Did you miss mentioning the most white positive traits of the movie??

    The men demonstrating their (innately European) fidelity to authority (the King) and military unit cohesiveness, when after weeks of torture and then emerging victorious, Nicholson is love-bombed when his men break into “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow.”

    The “Colonel Bogey March” whistled as the men (in the depths of Asia) demonstrate one way in which European explorers and soldiers kept ranks, kept discipline and kept their spirits up!

    From a group identity perspective these scenes were some of the most encouraging aspects of the film.

    • Agree: Trevor Lynch
  109. ricpic says:

    Can still remember the climactic just before the bridge blows moment of the film:

    Shears (looking at Nicholson): You!

    Nicholson (looking at Shears): You!

    Wow. Just wow.

    • Thanks: Trevor Lynch
  110. Wiseagle says:

    Saito’s “I hate the British” rant is epic. His soul is emptied as Nicholson lays out the bridge plan and all he can say is, “It has already been ordered” and later weeps bitter tears.

  111. MEH 0910 says:
    @Mr. Hack

    CBS Friday Night Movie Open 1976

    Here’s the spinning film reel open for CBS Movies in 1976 with a great musical theme!

  112. @MEH 0910

    “Colonel Bogey March Gomez—-listen to it while standing and saluting” and Sergeant Slaughter stands erect regardless of Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Playboy Buddy Rose’s derision….

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  113. @Director95

    The scene at the end is BS, no Brit doctor stood agape saying, “Madness…. Madness…” while looking atthe destroyed bridge. It was actually a Scottish doctor. 😉

    • LOL: Trevor Lynch
  114. @gay troll

    Perhaps Undercover Brother should come next!

  115. Lee says:
    @A little boy in the crowd

    LB said:

    On 26 July 1940, the USA confiscated all Japanese assets. Soon afterward the USA blockaded Japan (1 August 1940), and embargoed all oil and gasoline exports to Japan. (Oil was Japan’s most crucial import, and more than 80% of Japan’s oil at the time came from the United States.)

    On July 26, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt seizes all Japanese assets in the United States in retaliation for the Japanese occupation of French Indo-China.

    Pearl hadn’t even been attacked yet by the 1940 date that you cited.

  116. @lloyd

    “a review of Planet of the Apes”

    An interesting science fiction adventure tale only slightly blemished by Rod Serling’s preachy script. Rod nearly ruined The Twilight Zone with his We’re the Monsters! obvious takes.

  117. @Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist

    Hah, you think the brown people of Thailand were noble victims in WWII? Think again. The Thais quickly rolled over for the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere without a fight, but to this day pretend they’ve never been conquered by a foreign power. As further example, read up on the contrived behavior of the Thai ambassador to the US at that time.

    In any negative situation, Thais always try to have it superficially both ways, with no sense of any substantive inner virtues. This is classic Thai behavior, to which they seem genetically predisposed. They are masters at perpetrating scams, while being utterly oblivious to the effects of their actions on other people. If you want to make excuses for such a culture, go ahead, but just like the Thais themselves, you’ll be fooling nobody but yourself.

  118. @Trevor Lynch

    “I wish Lean had not made Ryan’s Daughter”

    Beautiful to look at, the rest of it blah. Harsh but accurate depiction of the Irish.

  119. MEH 0910 says:
    @GomezAdddams

    Sgt. Slaughter Entrance Video

    Check out the patriotic entrance video of Sgt. Slaughter.

    [MORE]

    Sgt. Slaughter betrays America

    List This! – Legends of the Fall No. 6: Sgt. Slaughter betrays America by pledging his alliance to Saddam Hussein

    • Replies: @GomezAdddams
  120. 36 ulster says:
    @Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist

    Apparently, his review went way over your head. Don’t like it? Too bad.

  121. Seraphim says:
    @Director95

    It is not quite the ‘original’ bridge that was destroyed by Allied bombing, and reconstructed later.

  122. @Lee

    “Pearl hadn’t even been attacked yet by the 1940 date that you cited.”

    I never said it had. I was noting that there had been years of friction between Japan and the Anglo-Americans starting at the end of WW I.

    After WW I the USA was increasingly belligerent toward Japan. This included a blockade, and an embargo that was an act of war against Japan, all before Pearl Harbor. The US Navy also attacked German shipping long before the USA declared war on Germany.

    During WW II, long-simmering Japanese resentment manifested in the mistreatment of Allied POWs. As other people here have noted, conditions for British POWs were far worse in real life than were conditions depicted in the movie.

    Americans were just as brutal toward the Japanese. During the island-hopping campaign, there were times when the Japanese preferred to die than surrender, but also times when Japanese troops did surrender. Almost all Japanese personnel were summarily executed by the Americans.

    My central point is that none of the participating nations was completely blameless. All committed atrocities during the war.

    Anyway, getting back to the movie and its characters, the war in the Pacific was in one sense a race war. Gen. MacArthur fought the “Nips.” Therefore in Los Angeles (where I grew up) during the war, many parks and public spaces were renamed for Douglas MacArthur, who was born in Arkansas. Nothing in L.A. was renamed for Gen. Patton, who was born in Los Angeles, since Patton didn’t fight against a non-white race.

    Regarding the Japanese invasion and occupation of French Indochina, this happened by agreement between the French and Japanese governments – although Japan used strong-arm tactics. There were some skirmishes for four days (22-to-26 Sep 1940) before the two governments ordered their respective troops to stand down. France allowed Japan to occupy Northern Vietnam in order to blockade China.

    War is mass insanity.

    Literally.

  123. @Lancelot_Link

    Thank you. That is my favorite Pink Panther scene.

    BTW, which one is Biden?

    • Agree: Lancelot_Link
    • Replies: @Lancelot_Link
  124. @Trevor Lynch

    I think you missed his point, Trevor. And he didn’t say it was a documentary. Focus.

    In real life the Nips would have beat Alec Guinness to death on day one.

  125. @Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist

    Kubrick was Jewish. Trevor can’t admit he had any talent. And it didn’t take any talent to film the moon landing in a Hollywood studio.

    • Replies: @Happy Tapir
  126. DrCiber says:
    @Mr. Hack

    I can’t say the times were better back then just that they were less bad than they are now. The road to now went through then, so something was already “rotten in Denmark”.

    One thing then that was definitely WAY less bad than it is now was NBC: run-of-the-mill mediocre then, completely unwatchable now.

  127. @MEH 0910

    Many thanks –this is classic —Robert Remus –the one and only GI Joe –met Reagan and Ronald admired his chin—

  128. @ruralguy

    I saw a documentary about the real building of the bridge and it said what you say, that the conditions and treatment of the British pows were much worse, but also the survivors claimed that the film misrepresents the japs as incompetent. All the engineers claimed the japs were highly competent engineers, as one would expect.

    Do you notice, Hollywood has a tendency to sugarcoat or hide the sadism of the Japanese in ww2. They don’t want to denigrate a nonwhite group. Even in Unbroken, the topic of which is that very thing, the sadism is reduced to things like conventional punching, not the blood curdling things one reads about.

  129. @Johnny Rico

    Hmm, is the reason Trevor refuses to like Conan the Barbarian that Milius has Jewish origins?

    • Replies: @Trevor Lynch
  130. “The Japanese military felt superior to the British because the Japanese still committed suicide to avoid the dishonor of defeat, whereas the British, being a Christian nation, rejected suicide and used legalisms to preserve their honor even in defeat.”

    Cowardice!

  131. @Catdog

    “The message seemed to be that the lowly men should suffer to preserve the pride of the aristocrats.”

    That’s about the size of it. Trevor is enamored with the uppity class so he can’t help his biases to come fore in the forms honor, duty, pride in one’s work, i.e. the White men’s burden etc. But he does know the right films to review.

  132. @Happy Tapir

    LOL. If you have a question, address it to me. Don’t insinuate disinformation disguised as a question. That’s malevolent and cowardly at the same time.

    I had a tepid reaction to Conan because it is a mediocre movie. But now that you mention it, it is definitely a by-the-numbers exercise in Jewish subversion: saddling the white hero with non-white sidekicks and strang whamen and playing it for camp rather than straight and sincere.

    • Replies: @Happy Tapir
    , @R2b
    , @ivan
    , @Anonymous
  133. @Trevor Lynch

    No, I was directing the question at you. I can’t understand why you wouldn’t like a movie such as Conan which is superior at so many levels to Bridge Over the River Kwai. I wondered if there might be some political motive at work. What are some movies by Jewish auteurs that you like?

    Don’t you think you should be more diplomatic in your responses? I didn’t intend any offense. You’re trying to win followers and contributions, right?

  134. R2b says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    I can’t follow all of this, but I wish you didn’t come drooling with Hegel, like some residue out of a pigs arse.
    The ”Right”, has a right, to not fall in that trap again!
    And that makes the moral of the film, utter low-grade, and imperilistic blustering.
    Sens morale is Holden, sensual, win the day.
    Ridiculous Jap is bypassed.
    Alec, well, he has to be there.
    We all know by now that The British and their ”Residents”, started the War(s)!
    So thats more like it.
    To begin from there.
    By this, I do not say, that Mr Lean is not a good artist.
    He is!

  135. @HbutnotG

    The ass kissing that you refer to I just took as diplomatic formalities that the British had to engage in to keep the loyalty of the Maharajas but in the end of the movie the prince says to Kenneth More that his father told him that one day he would be fighting the British as an enemy. This showed that the British could never really trust any alliances they made with anyone in India.

    Lauren Bacall was there to sell the film to Americans.

    The little engine was actually a vintage Spanish one made up to look like what was basically a shunter used in India at the time.

    The movie was mostly filmed in Spain on a disused railway line.

    What is you’re favorite movie of all time?

    • Replies: @HbutnotG
  136. ivan says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    Conan was just stupid nonsense. We all know that Arnie can’t act for nuts. Rather cartoonish. One has to be a die hard fan of comics to endure it.

  137. @Auntie Analogue

    As for the Colonel Bogey march, the horror for me was that as a six year old I had to listen to it every morning at the Catholic School I attended. At eight o’clock every morning , we had to stand on white stars on the asphalt that were evenly spaced for role call, before marching into the school building, with the Colonel Bogey March blaring away on this huge loud speaker mounted to the school building. True story. Can anyone imagine the effect on a six year old kid on his first day in school that nuns had who were dressed in black with only the front of their face showing, who wore hideously weird black shoes that clicked and had rosaries with beads the size of your thumb on the side of their dress. At least nuns look somewhat human today…lol

  138. Anon[282] • Disclaimer says:
    @Trevor Lynch

    Trevor Lynch, you deny my analysis that the Bridge on the River Kwai is about Britain’s post-war decline and its desperation for international respect, and the willingness of our elite to trash all Britain’s national interests as long as they are given a seat at the top table. But you are missing the context. The director was English. The script writers were American communists living in England. Most of the actors were English. It cannot not be about Britain’s decline. Saito’s view of the English as cucks who had thrown away Singapore (totally true – General Arthur Percival ordered that no defence preparations be conducted lest “morale” be undermined; and the Japanese took Singapore while they were running low on men and munitions) is essential to the plot. The British view – being cucks – that “international law” in the form of the Geneva conventions should be defended was also risible from a defeated power. This is the slave morality of those who have lost the Will to Power. It is all about that. If you’re not English, you maybe have a different view of it – but that reflects the fact you come at it from another angle, being American? The River Kwai is all about Britain’s attempts to recover pride – for the officers, for the elite – by pleading with foreign governments to admire a Britain in decline.

  139. Peter VE says:

    My father was a POW in Changi, Singapore from May ’42 to August ’45. He avoided being sent to work on the railway, probably because he was an engineer. The prisoners at Changi built Changi Airport for the Japanese, which has evolved slightly into the current airport in Singapore. He told of reworking miles of barbed wire to be made into nails, all with hand tools. I still have his coconut plate/bowl/cup, with a hinge and stand made of heavy copper wire.
    He did not seem to have any personal hate for the Japanese who imprisoned him, and later went to Japan to study in a Zen monastary.

  140. Anonymous[132] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Trevor Lynch

    Perhaps the one outstanding feature in an otherwise second rate film, is that Conan the Barbarian’s musical score is near great. Basil Polidoris should’ve received an Oscar nomination. It’s as if he took Rozsa’s work in Ben-Hur, El Cid to the next level.

    Example of the opposite: Maurice Jarre’s score is overrated if not overwrought in sections, and yet it does contain a great main theme. But then the question is asked: how can a filmmaker use a great romantic theme in a film without a single woman in it? Almost every time the main Lawrence theme is used, either re-recorded or in other films, it is vs. the backdrop of a man and a woman. That’s clearly what the main theme is to evoke: heterosexual romance between a man and a woman. It makes no sense to use the theme in that specific film. Would’ve done wonders in mankiewicz’s Cleopatra (1963).

  141. Dennis Dale says: • Website

    The Bridge on the River Kwai is masterful at exploring the fundamental distinction between aristocratic ethos that prizes honor above all else and the bourgeois ethos that prizes comfort, security, long life, and pleasure above all else.

    The British officer represented far more than that, as expressed in his pitch to the men, that the bridge would survive the war and be a good thing. His struggle with the camp commander is a contest between East and West. It’s only when he finds himself actively engaged in stopping the bridge demolition that he realizes that he’s become a traitor, when he says “My God, what have I done?”

  142. HbutnotG says:
    @Joe Paluka

    Mommie Dearest (strictly for the acting and a story I could personally relate to), closely followed by The Last Picture Show (an epic film featuring Cybill Shepherd and of course, Ellen Burstyn – who went to my HS). When I feel like getting into a real good funk, I watch that movie.

    Yeah. I get Lauren Bacall’s function. She appears mostly in a sack dress – timed exquisitely for those post war moms who were now all fatted out from pregnancies and around 40 yrs old, and to whom so-called sack dresses were becoming very important.

  143. Anonymous[387] • Disclaimer says:
    @Close Reader

    Thanks for mentioning Watt’s essay. Here is an audio recording of him lecturing on the novel, the movie and the reality from the Portland State Library Special Collections. It’s very much worth a listen. At the time (1979), Watt was professor of English at Stanford.

  144. Anonymous[387] • Disclaimer says:
    @My SIMPLE Pseudonymic Handle

    We still have remnants of that system in the US military. Where the vast majority of the upper ranks come from the military academies. Although in the US military system it’s not unknown for lower ranked personnel to move into the officer ranks and reach the upper officer ranks.

    Not true at all. See the attached chart for a reality check. The majority of Marine Corps officers come up through the ranks, as do about a quarter of Naval officers and a fifth of Air Force officers. These mustangs are well known to make the very best officers while the academy officers, the so-call ring-knockers, the worst. ROTC officers are good and generally come from better universities than the service academies, which, academically, are not top-notch.

  145. Dennis Dale says: • Website

    Anyone who thinks Conan the Barbarian is a superior, or even particularly good, film, is brain-damaged.

  146. @Achmed E. Newman

    Sorry, the Clouseau name was mentioned so I had to put in my favorite scene. I wasn’t a fan as a child but my dad loved these movies and quoted this scene in particular from time to time with a low chuckle in his voice.

    Truthfully I can’t beging to feel anything for the Rethuglicons or the Demoncraps I think my dad would feel the same way nowadays. I think the dog may symbolize decent people and the Inspector and hotelier are the both sides of the aisle who desparately need to be attacked by those they feel are their pets/inferiors.

  147. R2b says:

    I came here, to apologise foul language, if my comment was posted, and it was!
    So I do.
    I should have said ”some putrid out of rear orifice of those blessed pigs”.
    Anyway, Hegel!
    The despicable philosopher, so eloquently pieced to nothing by the venerable Sören Kierkegaard.
    Sören, a lifelong bachelor, hard educated in Danish Lutheranism, and thereby clear-sighted, denuded the ”Philosopher”, the one who built the ”System”, but left man outside.
    Horror of horrors, the true darkness of heart.

  148. This makes the film’s popularity all the more remarkable. It is proof that even “the masses” are not satisfied by mere entertainment.

    In 1957, yes.

    Today?

  149. My father, Albert E. Gerrish, RAF, was a POW and was there, working on the real bridge. The River Kwai is magnitudes larger than the one shown in the movie. It is more the size of the Columbia River than the stream shown in the movie. And, to prove it, I have an aerial picture of the bombed out bridge after the Brits took it out.

    Dad had a diary that was written by another prisoner. It was gruesome to read. “So-and-so died after being beaten up by the guards”, another died with dysentery, etc., on a daily basis. My Dad’s own life was save by an Australian, Bill Little, who stole medicine from the Japanese.

    Dad weighed only 98 lbs. when the camp was liberated in 1945. Three and a half years had taken its toll, but, he survived. And for that I am truly grateful, otherwise I would not be writing this.

    To Dad,
    Your loving son, Russ

    • Thanks: SIMP simp
    • Replies: @very old statistician
  150. @Russ Gerrish

    that is one of the most eloquent tributes I have ever read.

  151. Nicholson’s “tragic flaw” is that he does not see that his virtues only really make sense when practiced among his own people, for their benefit. In the prison camp, however, these virtues are being exploited by a ruthless enemy who aims to destroy the Empire that Nicholson so loyally fought to preserve. There’s a lesson in this for white people today, since our openness to strangers, altruism, and moral idealism are being exploited by a system that is destroying us as well.

    In a way, it’s not so much a personal flaw as a cultural-professional vulnerability among the Anglos. On the one hand, Anglos were imperialist and race-ist and took pride in their blood and heritage. But their empire also claimed to be different from other empires. It wasn’t merely about brutal conquest and exploitation of others but bringing of civilization unto benighted folks around the world. A light for both fellow Europeans on the Continent(as the British oh-so-superior to the Teutons, Slavs, and the fallen Latins) and the darker folks around the world. So, the British Empire wasn’t just about white man clobbering the darkies but elevating them to higher forms of civilization. As one of the officers in LAWRENCE OF ARABIA explains, it’s about ‘discipline’, not just ‘guns’. One could also add excellence and meritocracy. In other words, Brits are better not simply because of their identity but their ability, know-how, dedication, and commitment to quality.
    There was a time when Anglos had pride of seed, creed, and deed. They were about blood, culture, and work. So were the Jews, a rival power vying for dominance with the Anglos, an uneasy partner-in-crime. Jews knew that they had to undermine the element of seed and creed to gain control over Anglos. While preserving their own sense of seed/blood, Jews increasingly convinced Anglos in UK and US that they were too good for such ugly tribalism and ‘racism’. Jews flattered the Anglos as the better kind of whites who, unlike those backward Italians and Slavs, lived by a higher universal creed and took pride in deed/work than in atavistic tribalism. Anglos increasingly fell for this BS pushed by Jews, but they were especially vulnerable as they were relative late-comers to civilization. While Jews had civilization for 3,500 yrs, predating even the Greeks and Romans, Anglos had been a bunch of barbarians until relatively late in history, and they grew to greatness only after the 17th century. So, Anglos had a weaker sense of roots and identity than the Jews did, and this made Anglos rely more on creed and deed than on seed.
    Then, Jews worked on the creed/culture/ideology of the Anglos. Initially, Jews flattered Anglos for developing rule of law and culture of fairness, indeed far more than any other people. Anglos took the bait. Jewish flattery set a trap, however. If indeed Anglos possessed such a wonderful creed, how come they were such hypocrites and betrayed it with their ‘racism’ and ‘classism’ and imperialism’ — never mind Jews financed much of British Imperialism, and never mind Jewishness has always been race-ist. So, eventually Anglos lost out in seed and creed. Hindus also picked up on the hypocrisy angle. It’s like Gandhi said, “Western Civilization. It’s a good idear.” So, what did the Anglos come to rely on for pride as the years passed and as their outlooks and values changed(or were altered via manipulation)? Only the pride of deed and achievement, but they were bound to lose to Jews in this as well because Jews have higher IQ and are more able. So, once Anglos fixated on achievement and ability as the most admirable things that they should support and serve, they became cucks of Jews who are best at money-making and blacks who are best at sports, something Anglos are crazy about.
    The signs of this is already evident in Nicholson who is so fixated on the pride of achievement. Perhaps, David Lean sort of understood because he made movies as the British Empire was crumbling, not least under the domination of the American Empire. Also, his movies required the funding of Jewish Hollywood. He was a proud Brit who had to work for others and make compromises, like Nicholson created his masterpiece(the bridge) under Japanese control.

    Nicholson’s dilemmas is further complicated by the fact that it’s about empire vs empire. In DURKIRK, it’s about British soldiers retreating homeward to defend the motherland. That is about true patriotism(though if the British had been more patriotic than imperialistic on the world stage, they wouldn’t have gotten involved in another war with Germany that had no beef with the Brits.)
    Both the Brits and the Japanese are invaders in Southeast Asia. They are patriots to the extent of serving their own empires, but empires trample on the patriotism of locals, and both Brits and Japanese are violating the lands of Southeast Asians. Thus, neither Japanese nor British can be pure patriots in the movie’s setting. They are for imperialism, not nationalism.
    Also, betrayal is part of the logic of empire, which is premised on winner-takes-all and losers-do-as-told. British Empire maintained itself through recruiting local collaborators or compradors(or traitors). British Empire required on the treason of the local elites. Japanese were the same way and had their own local flunkies. No empire can sustain itself without encouraging treason among the locals. And this logic seems to have come full circle for the British in RIVER KWAI. Brits work as collaborators of the Japanese(who, following defeat in war, became craven collaborators of the US empire). With universal nationalism, each people/nation is loyal to their own. But under empire, there is one winner and all the losers must betray their own kind in service to the winner. British Empire needed local traitors in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. And US empire has local cucks all over, like in Poland and Ukraine and Japan and Taiwan. (Currently, as Jews are the top lords of the US empire, white elites betray their own kind and serve their Jewish masters, much like how the Hindus and Hong Kucks once served at the feet of the mighty British.) Imperialism intrinsically fosters treason. It’s based on the conquered serving the conqueror. Brits demanded this of locals whom they conquered. So, it’s not all that surprising that the conquered soldiers in KWAI RIVER become collaborators to the Japanese.

    Of course, one could argue that Nicholson calculated that the Japanese were doomed at any rate. Bridge or no bridge, Japanese were fated to lose to the combined power of US and UK and other allies. So, it’s not like the bridge he was building was a make-or-break thing in the war. IF HE REALLY THOUGHT THAT, he perhaps wouldn’t have built t. But he figures the Japanese will eventually lose and the bridge will ultimately come to symbolize not Japanese might but British excellence and achievement. His style of thinking is like Temporal Imperialism. Japanese may have the whip hand but they will eventually lose the war, and the bridge will come to symbolize British triumph in the long run. Time will vindicate British virtues of hard work and dedication. It’s like black slaves picked cotton and did field work for the white massuhs but, today, blacks use it as a point of pride and done say, “Sheeeeeeeiiiit, WE done built America, even done stack up the White House like a pile of hot cakes.”

    At any rate, pride of deed is good, but no people can survive without pride of seed and ownership of creed. Jews did a fast one on the Anglos, and it should be lesson for all the world.

    The Bridge on the River Kwai is masterful at exploring the fundamental distinction between aristocratic ethos that prizes honor above all else and the bourgeois ethos that prizes comfort, security, long life, and pleasure above all else.

    Aristocratic ethos maybe, but not the Aristocratic way. With the passing of years, the aristocrats went from a hardy warrior class to a bunch of tooty-fruity playboys and slouches. While peasants did backbreaking work from sunup to sundown, many aristos whittled away the hours dressing ‘gay’, acting ‘gay’, talking ‘gay’, and etc. They powdered their faces and dressed and acted all whoopsy-doopsy. Just look at the high-born fells in CYRANO DE BERGERAC. Look at this guy’s hairdo at 1:35 of the movie. It’s ridiculous.

    [MORE]

    Once the wars ended or became rare, the aristos used their leisure time for little else but comfort and powdering their noses and sniffing snuff and sneezing. Sure, there were duels over honor, but mostly over petty egotistical matters. The aristos were into gambling and putting on big parties with rich food and decadence, and borrowed lots of money from Jews. Look at the aristos in BARRY LYNDON. What a bunch of toots.
    True, not all aristos were alike. The Northern Europe types, esp Anglos and Prussians, were more conscientious and responsible. Instead of wasting their fortunes on good times, they used their privilege to run relatively cleaner governments, push social reforms, advance science, and patronize culture. Still, as kids were born into pampered privilege, many turned out to be soft mama’s boys and floozers, like the pathetic son in BARRY LYNDON. Or consider Edward Fox’s character in THE SERVANT. What a useless clod. Many aristos were about unearned privilege as they were born into position. Others did the work, and they lived off taxing their labor; at the very least, the bourgeoisie ran enterprises and took big risks. And many aristos only cared for comfort and good times. Also, their sense of honor was less about serving the greater good than a matter of personal egotism. Duels over perceived slights or someone stepping on someone’s boots.

    At least in terms of ethos, the highest value among the bourgeois was respectability, not comfort and pleasure that came with the rise of modern consumerism. Bourgeoisie were into money-making but also into stuff like the Protestant Work Ethic, restraint, discipline, and frugality. They believed work was good. The ideal was to keep working even if one had sufficient wealth for relaxation and leisure. (At the extreme, it could turn into a kind of Scrooge-ism. All work and no play.) Unlike aristocrats who shunned work and preferred leisure and privilege(if they could have it), bourgeoisie felt they should never rest on their laurels and keep working even when they had lots of money. Work was constructive and good for one’s character, and so, one must work. Instead of spending one’s money on fun and pleasure, invest and expand the business or invest in future enterprise. Or use money for philanthropy and build libraries and universities and do ‘good work’.
    As the bourgeoisie rose under the aristocracy, they felt culturally inferior and sought to win respectability by emulating the style of the aristos. Some bourgeoisie married into aristo families(on the decline) or bought titles. The bourgeois sense of respectability feared scandal and disdained the shameless and uninhibited, which is why anarchists like Luis Bunuel loved to expose and ridicule bourgeois anxieties and hang-ups. The bourgeoisie were repressed, and it was only with the rise of modernism and Freud’s theories that things began to loosen up among the modernist children of the bourgeoisie. Also, the logic of capitalism transformed society from virtuous hard work and productivity to vice-laden hedonism and consumerism, but that came AFTER the cultural eclipse of the bourgeoisie and the rise of impulse-driven youth culture.

    The Anglos, more than others, developed a fusion of aristocratic and bourgeois ways. Anglo aristocrats were more productive than most other aristos, and Anglo bourgeoisie were more repressed and respectable than others. There is something of the aristo in Nicholson but also something of the shopkeeper. He’s like both a nobleman and a shop manager who counts every last penny. He believes in pride of work. He has boss mentality but also clerk mentality. He’s so eager to prove he is worthy.

    Since both Saito and Nicholson are master types, albeit at times “temporarily embarrassed” master types, the film needs a well-developed slave type as a contrast.

    This is all relative among both the Japanese and Anglos. Saito and Nicholson are both master and servant types. Over their own men, they are masters. But they are also duty-bound servants of men higher up. So, while they are the two highest ranking men in the movie, they are mere servants of men even higher up the chain. Bushido means to serve, and every Japanese, no matter how higher up, was in service to someone higher. Samurai served the daimyo who served a higher daimyo who served the Shogun who, at least in principle, served the Emperor. Even though the Japanese Emperor didn’t have much power, he was essential to the Japanese who believed everyone must serve someone higher, finally ending with the divine ruler. Same with the Brits. Everyone served someone higher. Every master was a servant to a superior, with the hierarchy ending with the King or Queen, who though not very powerful, symbolized the highest authority.

    This is where Jews are different and perhaps unique. While Jews may play servant roles in society, every Jew, via the Covenant, feels that HE HIMSELF is special and chosen. His ultimate meaning doesn’t come from serving someone higher or better but in valuing his own soul and self as having all the worth in the world by his personal connection to the one and only God who chose the Jews.
    This is why Jews are the only immigrant group in the US who didn’t come to serve others. Everyone else came to serve the mighty Anglos, but Jews had a powerful sense of self and believed, if anyone should serve anyone, the goyim should serve them cuz they got the Covenant, not the lowly goyim. In time, even the Anglos came to serve the Jews with such powerful sense of being.

    the character of Commander Shears is a brilliant encapsulation of the slave type: cowardly, dishonest, and cynical about honor. Shears’ character is brought into sharper focus by making him an American, since America is a thoroughly bourgeois society that took pride in throwing off European aristocratic civilization, although vestiges of its ethos survived among the military and Southern planters. Making Shears a womanizer to boot perfected the character.

    More like the Fugitive Slave type. A true slave type loves to serve. A slave has a kind of honor of his own. He believes he exists to serve others. He believes the meaning of his life comes from serving the master. A true slave would rather die for his master than live. It’s like dogs who live for the love and approval of the master. And in a way, Saito and Nicholson have this slave mentality as well. Like loyal dogs, they will die for higher authority. Saito cannot tolerate the shame of disapproval from higher up. He feels it in his bones. Nicholson is always mindful of his reputation, not only among his inferiors but superiors back home. In a way, the master type and slave type are one and the same, and one cannot exist without the other. A slave believes he must serve and die for his master. In that, he too has a sense of honor. An ideal slave is loyal to the end. Also, an ideal master doesn’t merely exploit his slave but appreciates the slave’s loyalty, and this binds him to the slave. He must take good care of the slave. And to prove to the slave that he is no weakling and coward, the master must be willing to die alongside the slave. It’s like lots of British officers died with the lowly soldiers in World War I.

    William Holden’s character of Shears isn’t a slave type. He has no sense of deep loyalty. He wants to be free and do his own thing. It’s a cowboy mentality, and to associate this with ‘slave mentality’ is ridiculous. Of course, one can say he’s a slave to his personal needs and desires, but then, 007 would be a slave too because he loves women and gambling and good times. By the way, womanizing was a sport among the aristos, not so much among the slaves.
    Also, Shears doesn’t come across so bad because he’s caught between empires. If he were an American soldier sent to Iwo Jima but dodged his duties for good times, he would be a lowlife rat. After all, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, and Americans had to fight back.
    But Shears is like a fish out of water between the British and the Japanese in some godforsaken Southeast Asian nowhere-land. Sure, Brits and Yanks are allies, and Japanese are the common enemy, but patriotism is rather hard to sustain in the jungles of Burma or Thailand or Malaysia or whatever. He feels like soldiers in Vietnam War: “What are we doing HERE?” As far as he can tell, it’s a war between empires in Southeast Asia, and he has no feelings about what the ‘Japs’ or the Brits are doing. He just wants to make it out of there alive.

    I wouldn’t call him cowardly but resourceful. His dishonesty is a survival mechanism among peoples he doesn’t care for. He has little use for the Brits and far less for the Japanese. He doesn’t feel like putting his neck on the line for either side. Also, his escape took some courage, and a true coward wouldn’t be so brazen. Holden sort of reprises his role in STALAG 17, and George Segal took it up a notch in KING RAT.
    Besides, there are varying degrees to cynicism, which doesn’t come in one flavor. Some are opportunistically cynical to justify greed and loutishness, and there is something of this to Shears. But cynicism is also a smart response to the BS all around. It’d be nice if US soldiers today were more cynical and saw through the BS about ‘honor, country, duty’ blah blah when, in effect, they are nothing but attack dogs of the Jewish globo-homo ruling elites. How better things would be if white Americans were more cynical and saw right through the BS of GOP. How better if white progs saw through the BS of MSM and Jewish Power. Shears is both a self-centered egotist and a savvy observer who sees through the BS of authority. And the British who blackmail him into serving the mission are cynical in their own way. If they were really into principle and honor, they would have him prosecuted and even executed for impersonating an officer and etc. But they play him in the most cynical manner. They too know it is a game.

    Shears is not bourgeois. He isn’t into respectability or reputation, what the bourgeoisie care about most. He cares about being an individualist, being free and his own man. This makes him self-centered and selfish at times, but he’s closer to the cowboy than the slave. He wants to roam free, and he doesn’t want to fight battles for which he knows little. It’s like the William Holden character in THE WILD BUNCH, a film that surely took some pointers from THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI. An outlaw, he’s out for himself, and he will deal with any side to get his cut.

    One can argue that Shears is something of a worm, but a worm seeks freedom, not slavery(though one can argue such a cretin deserves to be a slave). Not to patriotism, not to honor, not to whatever. A worm would be like the Italian character of Lina Wertmuller’s SEVEN BEAUTIES who spouts about dignity and ‘honor’ as a petty mafia hood, but when push comes to shove, chooses to save his own skin wherever and however.
    Of course, slavery, used broadly as metaphor, can signify just about anything. Even to the want of freedom because freedom can mean addiction to one’s appetites such as gluttony, sloth, and lust.
    But, it’s so easy to be cynical in war as all sides tell lies and betray trust. In LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, the higher-ups exploit Lawrence’s idealism and vanity to goad him into accomplishing something that will then be twisted and corrupted by diplomats who shill for oligarchs of the empire.
    It’s like the soldiers who fight and die in THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY seem foolish compared to the three men who figure life is worth risking only for their share of gold. And yet, freedom gains meaning in attachment to something, and in that sense, Shears is also a doomed figure. He can lie, he can cheat, he can squeeze out of tight situations, but ultimately what is he if he’s only for himself, if he has nothing to die for? It’s like the thief in Akira Kurosawa’s KAGEMUSHA, once having gained a glimpse of the Takeda Clan, wants to be part of it.

    Now, are we to believe that Americans embraced slave-mentality because they rejected the aristocratic ways of Europe? -???- Because Americans wanted to be free and not bound to higher authority, they were choosing to be ‘slaves’?
    In Europe, the general rule was only the noblemen owned land and were armed. In the US, cowboys could claim their own turf and carry their own guns. Somehow, this made the US ‘bourgeois’ and ‘slave’-like? In Europe, freedom and privilege were hogged by the aristocrats while their subjects lived helot-like existences. In the US, every person aspired to be free and equal under the law and maybe own his own plot of land. And anyone could ride horses and own guns. Sounds more like freedom than slavery to me. If something like aristocratism survived in the American South, it was because of black slaves. In other words, aristocracy cannot exist apart from slavery. You can’t have one without the other. Thus, aristocratic system is also a slave system.
    Many pro-aristocratic romanticists seem to believe that they themselves would have been noblemen lording over the peasants(much like every little girl who reads fairy-tales identifies with the precious princess than with serf girls who made up the bulk of society), but the chances are they would have been peasants because noblemen made up maybe 5% or less of any population in Europe. Aristocracy is slavery because only a few enjoy privilege while the rest are subjects without equal protection of the law.

    To be sure, US began as a semi-aristocratic enterprise. The Founding Fathers were bourgeois-aristocrats and landowners(and even slave-masters). And in the beginning, only land-owners could vote, which was less than 20% of the population. Thomas Jefferson believed in ‘natural aristocracy’ based on merit, which is a bourgeois ideal as success among the business class is determined by ability + diligence; it is earned than inherited(though children who inherit capital and live off interest are like the new aristos). He figured a smart person is a natural aristocrat and should have the freedom to rise freely.
    US became something closer to a real democracy under Andrew Jackson the populist, but if we follow Trevor Lynch’s logic, Jackson was the great enslaver since he dealt a blow to the quasi-aristocratic form of governance instituted by the Founders.

    As for the Southern Aristocracy, what a terrible bunch. The North relied on free white labor and equality under the law. South relied on black slave labor, which made the neo-aristocracy possible, even necessary. Again, aristocracy is built on slavery. If a few are to hog all the wealth and privilege, others must toil as helots.
    The North did better than the South for having equally free white folks. The North was bourgeois, the South was aristocratic. It was the South that became the source of the racial woes that came to haunt America by relying on slave labor, especially that of blacks who are more muscular and more aggressive than white folks. And Latin America was even more aristo, with Spanish elites relying on masses of brown helots. How did that turn out?

    White Nationalists can fantasize themselves as aristocrats all they want. The fact is aristocracy means special privileges for the 5% and slavery for the rest. How about freedom for all, and that is what Shears represents. Granted, freedom isn’t enough as people often do stupid shit with their freedom. And freedom in a degenerate post-bourgeois society like the US immersed in consumerism and vulgarity is being wasted in the worst way.

    Because aristocratism means special privileges for a few, it cannot exist apart from slave mentality. For a few to be aristocrats, most must be slaves. For a few to monopolize the power and formulate policy, most must be obedient dogs. That’s what we have today in the US though Jews cleverly disguise the neo-aristocratism with calls to ‘diversity, equity, inclusion’, and other BS. No, the US is about aristocratic rule by Jewish Supremacists who regard the rest of us as slaves or at best serfs. Whites can be either deplorable Field Honkeys who must be whipped or servile House Honkeys, like the Wasp-Cucks in the Deep State, who serve their Jewish masters, darn tootin’.

    But the solution isn’t aristocratism but neo-fascism, an ideology that ensures equal dignity and protection for all the volk who are served by an elite whose highest vision is the good of the nation and people than its own caste and privilege.

    The fact is Nicholsons of the world in US and UK would still loyally and ‘honorably’ serve the globo-homo Deep State whereas someone like Shears would see the utter BS through cynical eyes. Look at all those ‘honorable’ men in the CIA, FBI, NSA, and Pentagon. They dutifully serve their civilian leaders who, in turn as political whores, serve their Jewish donor-master class and quasi-prophets of satanic globo-homo.
    In this, the ‘master’ mentality is a ‘slave’ mentality. The master mentality always feels a need to be within the proximity of power. Thus obsessed with power and control, it doesn’t really ask whether something is good or bad. What matters most is to belong in the club and be in the game. Look at the master military class in the US. All slaves of Jews.
    Now, if some US soldier saw through the utter BS of the system and used whatever means to get out of the army and no longer serve the Jews, would that be a bad thing? Also, why not be dishonest with a system that is utterly corrupt and mendacious? If goons of the FBI come to your door, should one be honest when the agency is full of dirtbags?
    True, Shears is too carefree and self-centered to care about truth or meaning, but he’s someone who no longer wants to be a dispensable cog in the system, a slave of masters with their imperial dreams. He’s like a cynical version of Dr. Zhivago who doesn’t want to fight for the Whites or Red but simply wants to live. Sure, he’s a ‘deserter’ but he never volunteered to serve the Red and has no personal beef in the fight between the Reds and the Whites.

    And for someone who wrote a book called WHITE NATIONALISM that calls for universal nationalism for all people, why all this romanticism about the British Empire and sense of honor and duty? Duty to empire?

    BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI covers some of the concerns of Jean Renoir’s GRAND ILLUSION, which is also set in a prison camp and concerns the role of class in modern warfare. Even though it’s Germans vs the French, in some ways the German aristocrats and French aristocrats have more in common. In a way, it’s the last aristocratic war as well as the first truly people’s war(at least on a grand scale) as all sides appeal to nationalist populism despite the outsized role of aristocratic military elements on all sides. Unlike previous wars where aristocrats fought aristocrats with soldiers used as pawns, the common man matters in World War I. Modern War isn’t about lowly soldiers serving the superior classes but the higher classes claiming to fight for the honor of the entire nation where every soldier is worthy of dignity and pride. Or so every side claimed.

    Both GRAND ILLUSION and MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE suggest an aristocratism that goes beyond class. A kind of spiritual aristocratism. In the former, the French aristocrat sacrifices his life so that his men(one a prole, another a Jew) can make the escape. Why would a man of higher caste give his life for men of lower order? Because, at least in the spiritual sense, more is expected of superior men. Similarly, the anti-aristocratic attitude of Jack Celliers(David Bowie) is paradoxically intensely aristocratic, at least in the spiritual sense. Though he rejects the notion of being part of the Superior Breed, he chooses the Herculean task of sacrificing his own life so that others may live. Only a man of superior courage and will could have done that. And this brings us to the figure of Jesus Christ, often referred to as King of Kings. A crass aristo-monarch like Herod is comfy with his privilege and power. His superiority is social-political. But for a man to reach spiritual aristocracy, he must prove a higher morality, greater courage, greater compassion, and greater will to sacrifice himself for the good of others. Thus, aristocratism, at its highest spiritual reaches, sacrifices itself for others(the inferiors) than sits snug and smug in its superiority.

    Then Lean ended his career with Ryan’s Daughter (1970) and A Passage to India (1984), which fail as films in part because their slighter stories were overwhelmed by Lean’s epic style of treatment, which had hardened into mannerisms.

    Agree about RYAN’S DAUGHTER but not PASSAGE TO INDIA. Though I don’t care for the latter, the treatment suits the subject, and it was done with considerable restraint compared to RYAN’S DAUGHTER which is pictorialism gone wild. PASSAGE is stately and measured. It’s a grand work set among ancient ruins of India, but it doesn’t feel monumental; it focuses mostly on characters and drama than visuals. With Lean’s fingers fine-tuning the knob, it varies between intimacy and grandeur than goes for nonstop epic treatment, the failing of RYAN’S DAUGHTER, which is visually ‘high volume’ at every moment. PASSAGE TO INDIA is also equally literary and visual(even more so than THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI that, for all its location shooting and action, feels a bit stagy). But whether some Hindu touched a white woman or not, I simply didn’t care and wished the movie featured more elephants.

    It’s misleading to say Lean ended his career with RYAN’S DAUGHTER and PASSAGE TO INDIA as those two works are separated by fourteen years. They shouldn’t be seen as a pair. If anything, their difference owes to the harsh critical rebuke to RYAN’S DAUGHTERS having led Lean’s self-doubt and discouragement, which nearly ended his film-making career for good. He learned something from the criticism, which is why PASSAGE TO INDIA is so different in style and tone from RYAN’S DAUGHTERS. The latter was a case of Lean laying on epic film-making thick in utter disregard of the material. In contrast, PASSAGE TO INDIA has a sense of proportion. It is big when it needs to be, but also personal and intimate in other parts, like in his earlier films(which many critics consider to be his best). Lean learned from the failure, both box-office and critical, of RYAN’S DAUGHTER, which is why PASSAGE TO INDIA was greeted mostly with applause.

    • Thanks: SIMP simp
    • Replies: @Malla
    , @Malla
    , @Malla
  152. Malla says:
    @Priss Factor

    So, the British Empire wasn’t just about white man clobbering the darkies but elevating them to higher forms of civilization.

    Very true. Check out Churchill’s speech on the floor of the British parliament after the Amritsar Incident.

    Our reign in India or anywhere else has never stood on the basis of physical force alone, and it would be fatal to the British Empire if we were to try to base ourselves only upon it. The British way of doing things, as my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for India, who feels intensely upon this subject, has pointed out, has always meant and implied close and effectual co-operation with the people of the country. In every part of the British Empire that has been our aim, and in no part have we arrived at such success as in India, whose princes spent their treasure in our cause, whose brave soldiers fought side by side with our own men, whose intelligent and gifted people are co-operating at the present moment with us in every sphere of government and of industry. It is quite true that in Egypt last year there was a complete breakdown of the relations between the British and the Egyptian people. Every class and every profession seemed united against us. What are we doing? We are trying to rebuild that relationship. For months, Lord Milner has been in Egypt, and now we are endeavouring laboriously and patiently to rebuild from the bottom that relation between the British administration and the people of Egypt which we have always enjoyed in the past, and which it was so painful for us to feel had been so suddenly ruptured. It is not a question of force. We had plenty of force, if force were all that was needed.

    What we want is co-operation and goodwill, and I beseech hon. and right hon. Gentlemen to look at the whole of this vast question, and not merely at one part of it. If the disastrous breakdown which has occurred in a comparatively small country like Egypt, if this absolute rupture between the British administration and the people of the country had taken place throughout the mighty regions of our Indian Empire, it would have constituted one of the most melancholy events in the history of the world. That it has not taken place up to the present is, I think, largely due to the constructive policy of His Majesty’s Government, to which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for India has made so great a personal contribution.”

  153. Malla says:
    @Priss Factor

    through recruiting local collaborators or compradors(or traitors). British Empire required on the treason of the local elites. Japanese were the same way and had their own local flunkies.

    Sure that was the case, but many of the local elites joined in because the Brits saved them from some much more bigger kingdom next door who would have looted and killed them. Also the British Empire and the Japanese Empire, liberated local marginalized populations (like the Felaheen in Egypt) from local elites like Brahmans of India, Muslim rulers of India or the Yangban elites of Korea. No wonder the marginalized populations would have been in debt to the Empires for some period of time (before local elites sneakily spread propaganda against the Empires among the people with help from international forces like Jews, Marxists, enemy Empires etc…) and had been loyal to the Empire.
    The marginalized were small fish, the local arrogant elites like Brahmins/Yangbans/Turko-Egyptian elites etc.. were the big fish, but the Empire/ British colonial officer/Japanese colonial officer etc were the sharks who kept the local elites in line and thus helped the commoners/small fish. The small fish masses also enjoyed the shark sowing terror of the hearts of the big fish if they crossed their line and became predatory again, to get a watered down dose of their own medicine so to speak.

    but bringing of civilization unto benighted folks around the world.

    Because of the effect of Christianity and more precisely Protestant thinking combined with Northern Euro genes, created a mentality that the population does not fight for tribe and race but for some superior moral reasons. To fight fascism, fight slavery, fight Oriental despot etc…
    That is why the Anglos fought the German Third Reich while making an alliance with the USA and USSR during WW2. Third Reich Germany was not Kaiser German Empire, Hitler said he wanted an alliance with Britain and he had nothing against the British Empire (in the beginning, later he turned against it), hell he even offered an army of German crack-troops to help the British Empire if needed. Comparatively both the USA and USSR wanted the British Empire destroyed. On the other hand, both the USA annd the USSr was hostile to the British Empire for a number of reasons.Yet because the government brainwashed the people that fighting Nazism “is the moral thing to do”, the British went against self interest and fought Germany. And then they allowed millions of immigrants to come and settle in Britain after sacrificing men and materials fighting the Axis forces. This is also the reason, why so many Whites throughout the World opposed Apartheid. If Apartheid would have been blacks ruling non blacks (which is what South Africa is becoming today), most blacks would have never opposed black Apartheid (except a few Westernised moral black people), they would simply not have gone against their own self interest.
    The truth is, thanks to the influence of Christianity especially Protestant hyper morality mixed with Northern European ancestry, created a mentality where Whites will fight crazy for some higher morality or ideology more than self preservation. Maybe this is some higher evolution thing. This mentality from North Western Europe has seeped into other Whites up to some extent both Southern Europeans or Eastern Europeans. North Eastern Europeans are very vulnerable too, to this mindset, but thanks partly to Orthodox Christianity and Social Realism Movement inside the Warsaw pact World, Communist countries became more nationalist with time, they are still more ready to fight for tribe and nation.
    So fighting “Nazis” was “good” from a moral point of view but idiotic from a self preservation point of view for the British. But when they come across immigrants, either blacks, Muslims as well as Jews etc… the same British or French etc… who fought like lions in two World Wars, cannot do much. Why? Because Jewish controlled history and the media presents reality in such a way that darkies and Jews are always “poor victims” and Whites are “evul snob”s by default. So now Whiteys are paralyzed and cannot bring himself to raise some kind of significant opposition. So the same White Americans who raised troops to fight the British cannot do much against the BLM barbarian hordes. Because King George was presented as “evul snob” (which was bullshit) while BLM is presented as “revolutionaries fighting for Justice” (By St. Soros, this is rubbish too). That is why the Western elites have always to moralise any action the nations take “fighting dictators, mass murderers”. So want to get at Yugoslavia, show Milosevic as the devil (which was bullshit) and the others as angels. Wanna get at Iraq, show Saddam as super evul and so on. The elites take advantage of a childish black Vs good, darkness Vs light mentality of White people. Such a mentality may be good within the nation/race/civilization but a disaster when dealing with people of other races especially when the elites can present some nation or person as “evul Satan” and thus as knights of Light, Westerners are incited to get into a holy crusade.
    But now Jews have presented Whites themselves as “evul snobs”, so white people are attacking themselves. Earlier it was some Oriental Despot Sultan, Some Dictator Nazi, some oppressive snob, whitey would rile up and fight for righteousness. Now Jew media and academia skillfully show Whites themselves as “evul snob”, so whitey starts attacking himself, Whites start attacking their own race, like a strong man punching himself, like White blood cells attacking its own body.

    Northern European DNA mixed with Christian super-morality exploited by Jews, whose morality is simply “Is it good for the Jews?”. White people need to pick up this Jew morality “Is it good for the White race?”
    Millions of non-White infiltrators migrating to Whitelands, is it good for the White race? No.
    Excessive intermarriage in between Whites and non Whites, is it good for the White race? No.
    Unnecessary War in between Russia and West, is it good for the White race? No.
    History taught is anti-White propaganda, is it good for the White race? No.
    Holohoax Memorials, are it good for the White race? No.

    Whitey must think like Jews and become survivalists and give up all this high morality. Keep this high morality for the mute animals not for non-White humans. Rescue Lions and Wolves, they will remember you whitey and thank you. Rescue darkie/ Jew, he or she will backstab you.

  154. Malla says:
    @Priss Factor

    This moral superiority thing of the British being an asset but also a liability is well explained in Gandhi’s book Hind Swaraj. Gandhi openly says that first thing, there are very few White settlers in India and British India is basically run by Indians. If the Indians withdraw, British Raj would collapse.
    But most importantly, the British Empire prides itself on moral superiority. So Gandhi would out-moral the British. If Indians would try what we did during the mutiny, i.e. revolt and kill British people in India, then the British would fight like lions and retake India. Gandhi accepted that the British were a physically and mentally gifted people as well as a courageous people. But if we out-moral the British, then the British people themselves will support our independence struggle.
    And that is exactly what happened, Gandhi in his loincloth defied the mighty British Empire by peaceful means. This technique would not have worked against the USSR or the Ottoman Empire or the Mughals, only something like the British of that period. And the British people in Britain slowly became more pro-Gandhi and anti-British Raj in India. Of course, these people were naive of what was really happening in India, the colonial officers on the ground in India, knew the real conditions in India, knew Gandhi’s tricks, what he really represented but not the majority of British people back home.

    Check out how popular Gandhi was among the British people back in 1931 when he went there for a Round table conference.

    In any sane world this should not be happening. If some Kashmiri leader or Naga leader seeking independence from India would go to Delhi, average Indians would never greet them like this, it is not in their tribal interests. Except maybe the few Anglified liberal Indians (called traitors by most Indians).

    The same tricks were used by Mandela and Martin Luther King. You can fool whitey to death by talking high flatulent moral things and being morally superior “victims”. Most whites in Europe/ New Zealand/ USA etc… did not know the reality on the ground of South Africa and they started becoming more pro-Mandela and anti-Apartheid Government.

    • Replies: @BlackFlag
  155. BlackFlag says:
    @Malla

    Ha, this was basically Alinsky’s conclusion on Ghandi’s civil action tactics. British rules was very light and as Nehru explained, Ghandi had no problem using force against Pakistan in the conflict over Kashmir once India had the guns. Whites are extremely gullible.
    By the way, what would a system of Hindutva look like?

    • Replies: @Malla
  156. The person, Philip Toosey, on whom the Col. Nicholson character is based was a very impressive man

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Toosey

  157. Malla says:
    @BlackFlag

    By the way, what would a system of Hindutva look like?

    It would eventually end up like the USSR or even North Korea but instead of some form of Marxism, it would be Hindutva as the ruling ideology. An Orwellian Hindutva Society.
    The upper house of the parliament would be reserved for Hindu holy men.
    There would be more temples than hospitals and schools.
    English would be banned but the elites would secretly learn English, they would keep English only for themselves and force everybody to learn Sanskrit. Ironically while earlier Sanskrit was the language of the elites, banned for commoners to learn or speak. Now English will turn into the language of the elites, forbidden by commoner Indians to speak or learn.
    All Muslims and Christians and eventually all Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs etc… would be forced to reconvert to Hinduism and they would be given lower caste status.
    All mosques, churches, Buddhist sites etc… would be destroyed.
    Slowly the caste system, Sati (immolation of widows), humping of lower caste women by Brahmins on her marriage etc… would make a come back.
    Western science would be rejected for “Vedic science”, but since you cannot make rin a modern society with Vedic science, Western science is a must, so it would be reintroduced back as partsof Vedic science.
    Cows would be Lords but still live shitty lives because it is all rituals then true feeling sin many cases.
    Drinking cow pee would be compulsory in school.
    Indians would be constantly told that their country “Bharat”/ “Aryavartha”/ India is a Vedic superpower while the rest of the World are barbarians.
    Maybe the more Caucasoid Upper castes would live in air conditioned domes while the more Australoid lower castes would live in shitty slums outside.

    Actually there was a Netflix serial on a future Hindutva Orwellian India called Leila about a coming Hindutva India. It was inspired from the Handmaiden’s Tale.

    Leila, Official Netflix Trailer (English subtitles)

    The videos below explain the video series.

    #ReasonsWhy: ‘Leila’ Is a Show That Will Force You to Re-Think (in English)

    Leila Review: 10 Reasons why the Netflix series is too close to todays India | Ep.95 The DeshBhakt
    Hindi with English subtitles, click on subtitles/CC

    • Thanks: BlackFlag
  158. I love the movie but it’s pretty much a fantasy. The Japanese engineers didn’t need British help. The design was quite satisfactory. The POW’s simply provided labor. It was never damaged in the war and it’s still in use today. It looks nothing like the movie version. The columns are concrete and the structure is steel.

  159. Absolutely outstanding review of an outstanding film.

    The film also cries out for a remake, perhaps refreshed for contemporary audiences on whom subtlety is typically lost.

    May I suggest: “Bridge on the Rio Grande”? The plot would be something like this: A group of heritage Americans (the “Crew”) are apprehended by federal agents for the use expired hunting licenses, convicted of insurrection, and dispatched to a camp in what was once southern Texas. There, they are hired out to a putatively minority-owned construction business that has been granted a federal contract to build a new bridge to facilitate increased migrant flows into the USA. (In truth, the “minority-owned” label is a ruse, and, although most tasks are carried out by government-approved minority types, the company is owned and managed by a shadowy financial outfit from “Back East.”)

    Company management has dispatched a representative to oversee operations (the “Commandant”), including management of the token minorities as well as the Crew. The Commandant’s arrival also allows for some marvelous slapstick humor with the occasionally witty Commandant, including some pie-in-the-face and fart routines when the camp is visited by federal equity inspectors. Nuck nuck.

    Somewhat predictably, the Commandant deems the Crew to be sexual deviants due to their heterosexual proclivities and, for therapeutic reasons, they are forced to hold nightly cabaret shows. This sparks considerable resentment, proving that the members of the Crew are not only mentally ill, but have still not come to grips with their mental illness. And this thoroughly irrational resentment leads to an uncooperative attitude about assisting in bridge construction.

    Unfortunately, the minority types, led by Three Fingers F’quaw’, keep running into problems with bridge construction. Materials such as copper keep disappearing, employees don’t show up for work (sometimes after having been shot), and even the design displays a rather peculiar angle. After several collapses, systemic racism is identified as the source of the problem and HR sets up mandatory seminars for the Crew to unlearn their Whiteness.

    For inexplicable reasons (remember, this is fiction and requires suspension of disbelief), the Crew volunteers to take over bridge construction so long as they no longer have to endure anti-Whiteness training. HR agrees, but only as a form of commemorating Juneteenth.

    The Crew breaks out historical architectural journals and settles on a replica of the pont neuf, upon which the men proudly labor for several months. Finally, the day to unveil this marvelous achievement arrives. The bridge is such a thing of beauty that luminaries from government, academia, industry, and media arrive for the unveiling. Google creates a special doodle for the entire month. … All to celebrate yet another achievement by Black Americans.

    • LOL: Trevor Lynch
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