THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI
2014, Sony Repertory, 161 min, UK, USA, Dir: David Lean

David Lean won the first of two Academy Awards for Best Director for this epic portrait of the clash of wills between a British POW, Col. Nicholson (Alec Guinness, who initially turned down the role), and a tradition-bound Japanese officer (silent-film star Sessue Hayakawa) over the building of a railway bridge in the jungle during WWII. William Holden stars as the cynically realistic American POW who is forced to trek back into the hellish jungle to destroy the bridge with Jack Hawkins and his rag-tag team of commandos. Brilliantly adapted by Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson from Pierre Boulle’s novel, with an unforgettable score courtesy of Malcolm Arnold. “There has been a lot of argument about the film’s attitude toward war. I think it is a painfully eloquent statement on the general folly and waste of war.” -David Lean


THE TONG MAN
1919, 58 min, USA, Dir: William Worthington

Japanese-American Sessue Hayakawa produced and starred in this unusually violent silent film about smuggling and the Chinese mafia, featuring realistic gun and knife fights and even a hatchet to the face! Hawakaya's extraordinary presence dominates the screen. Almost 40 years later, the actor received an Oscar nomination for his role in David Lean's BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER KWAI.


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