1942: Boldly advancing through Asia, the Japanese need a train route from Burma going north. In a prison camp, British POWs are forced into labor. The bridge they build will become a symbol of service and survival to one prisoner, Colonel Nicholson, a proud perfectionist. Pitted against the... read more
“We shouldn't hesitate to adopt a principle of the enemy's if it happens to be a good one.”Colonel Nicholson
“Troops who are bored are troops doomed in advance to defeat. Let them get slack and you'll see an unhealthy spirit developing in the unit. But fill every minute of their day with hard work, and cheerfulness and health are guaranteed.”Colonel Nicholson
“That's the worst of rushing things, you always waste time in the end.”Colonel Nicholson
“I'd like to remind you of General Yamashita's motto: 'Be happy in your work.' Just bear that in mind.”Colonel Saito
“Reasonable work is the best thing in the world for keeping a man physically fit, and dysentery would think twice before attacking anyone who makes a daily effort to do his duty toward the Emperor.”Colonel Saito
“They're looking without seeing.”Shears, on Japanese troops patrolling the bridge.
“It was as exhilarating as drink and as soothing as opium. He <Shears> gave in to it completely and took care not to let it escape him again.”
“He <Joyce> came to realize that in cold blood and full possession of his faculties he would never be capable of the action which he insisted on picturing to himself.”
“When the time comes, would you be 'capable' in cold blood, of using this weapon?”
“It took him fairly a long time to appreciate how much the risk had been increased by the River Kwai's whimsical behavior.”
“An operation never takes place exactly according to plan. At the last moment there is always some small, trivial, sometimes grotesque occurrence which upsets the most carefully worked-out program.”
“Disaster never makes itself felt at once. The mind's natural inertia enforces a delay.”
“There's always a chance of something happening when you least expect it, Warden. You know that as well as I do. I don't know exactly why it is, but I've never yet come across a single instance of things going according to plan.”Shears
“After a long immersion in water a man's skin becomes so soft that mere contact with a rough object is enough to bruise it. Hands are particularly sensitive.”
“Always strive to multiply the number of unpleasant surprises and to invent fresh traps so as to sow confusion among the enemy just when he thinks he has at last been left in peace.”leitmotif of the Plastic and Destructions Company, Ltd.
“What one feels has got nothing to do with how one behaves.”Shears
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