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Quotations from The Bridge on the River Kwai

The Bridge on the River Kwai is a historical adventure drama about a British colonol PoW who initially refuses to help build a bridge over the River Kwai because of the Geneva Conventions. However, the Japanese commandant of the camp is insulted and locks him in "the oven" without food or water and the rest of the officers are forced to stand in the heat all day. After his release, he agrees to build the bridge, using new plans, to help his men's morale. Little do they know that the Allies plan to destroy the bridge as soon as possible. Directed by David Lean. Starring William Holden, Jack Hawkins, Alec Guinness, Sessue Hayakawa, James Donald, and Geoffrey Horne. Based on the novel of the same name by Pierre Boulle.

The Bridge on the River Kwai was a well received film that received great financial success at the box office and went on to win seven Oscar awards and was nominated for another. The wins include Best Actor (Alec Guinness), Best Director, and Best Picture. Continue reading for some quotes from The Bridge on the River Kwai.


Colonel Nicholson: What have I done?
Colonel Saito: I hate the British! You are defeated but you have no shame. You are stubborn but you have no pride. You endure but you have no courage. I hate the British!
Colonel Nicholson: I'm adamant. I will not have an officer from my battalion working as a coolie.
Colonel Saito: Do not speak to me of rules. This is war! This is not a game of cricket!
Colonel Green: You were an accountant in Montreal?
Lieutenant Joyce: Yes, sir. Uh, not really an accountant, sir. That is, I didn't have my charter.
Colonel Green: Exactly what did you do?
Lieutenant Joyce: Well, sir, I just checked columns and columns of figures which three or four people had checked before me, and then there were other people who checked them after I had checked them.
Colonel Green: Sounds a frightful bore.
Lieutenant Joyce: Sir, it was a frightful bore.
Commander Shears: [to Nurse] You give me powders, pills, baths, injections, enemas; when all I need is love.
Colonel Nicholson: We can teach these barbarians a lesson in Western methods and efficiency that will put them to shame. We'll show them what the British soldier is capable of doing.
Colonel Saito: Be happy in your work.
Colonel Green: Good show! Jolly good show, Major!
Major Clipton: Madness! Madness!
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