A Song For Hot Weather

Something for the weekend.  The theme song from The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957).  A combination of the Colonel Bogey March and the River Kwai March, performed by Mitch Miller.

Central Illinois is experiencing Indian Summer and the above film came to mind.

The scene below from the film completely captures both Nicholson and Saito, and their impact on each other:


For anyone who hasn’t seen the movie, it is magnificent.  Alec Guinness plays Lieutenant Colonel Nicholson, absolutely indomitable in the face of the most savage treatment from his captors.  Ultimately he wins his war of nerves with his captor, Colonel Saito, over the issue of whether British officers must work in other than an administrative captivity, but fails to understand that by building the bridge he is collaborating with the enemy.  Nicholson is a man of rules and discipline and in many ways he is a heroic figure, willing to die to uphold what he perceives as civilized standards, and is beloved of his men who he also loves.  However, he is a tragic hero in that he fails to see that following what he thinks are the rules in his circumstances will benefit the enemy by building them a strategic rail bridge.   He rectifies his mistake at the cost of his life.  The film is an absolutely riveting character study of both Nicholson and Saito, stunningly portrayed by  Sessue Hayakawa, a Japanese immigrant to the United States, who fought with the French Resistance during World War II, helping downed Allied fliers.





Published in: on September 17, 2022 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
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  1. You’re right on all counts. The tune was the first record I ever bought. The movie is unforgettable, so many great — career — performances. Burma’s survivors — George MacDonald Frazier, Ernest Gordon, John Masters, William Slim — wrote masterpieces on this ultimate hell of war. Writing a year before the movie, Slim’s comments on the Japanese could not be printed today.

  2. Slim proved that a great soldier can be a great writer. His Defeat Into Victory and Frazier’s Quartered Safe Out Here are the two finest military memoirs of World War II.

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