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March From the River Kwai [Colonel Bogey March]

Autori Vari / Different Authors / Différents Auteurs
Language: Instrumental


Related Songs

Letters from Iwo Jima [ 硫黄島防衛の歌 ]
(Kyle Eastwood)
Percy Sledge: When a Man Loves a Woman
(GLI EXTRA DELLE CCG / AWS EXTRAS / LES EXTRAS DES CCG)
Freedom
(Anthony Hamilton)


[Originally: 1914]
Colonel Bogey March: Musica / Music / Musique / Sävel: Kenneth J. Alford [ten. F. Ricketts] (1881-1945)
March from the River Kwai – Colonel Bogey: Sir Malcolm Arnold (1921-2006)
Incisa da / Recorded by / Enregistrée par / Kaiverrus: Mitch Miller (1911-2010)
Dalla colonna sonora originale del film / From the original motion picture soundtrack / D'après la bande sonore originale du film / Elokuvan älkuperäisestä ääniraidasta:
The Bridge on the River Kwai, David Lean, 1957
Il ponte sul fiume Kwai, David Lean, 1957
Le pont de la rivière Kwaï, David Lean, 1957
Kwai-joen silta, David Lean, 1957


kwairiver1pontekwai






Il film completo in italiano.


Il ponte sul fiume Kwai (The Bridge on the River Kwai) è un film del 1957 diretto da David Lean. Liberamente tratto dall'omonimo romanzo di Pierre Boulle, del quale rispetta solo parzialmente la trama, è un film epico che si propone di mostrare la follia della guerra e l'assurdità dell'etica militare.

Nel 1998 l'American Film Institute l'ha inserito al tredicesimo posto della classifica dei migliori cento film statunitensi di tutti i tempi, mentre dieci anni dopo, nella lista aggiornata, è sceso al trentaseiesimo posto.

Trama

Birmania, seconda guerra mondiale: in un campo di prigionia giapponese il colonnello inglese Nicholson, dopo aver subìto lunghe torture inflittegli dal comandante Saito per il suo rifiuto di far lavorare gli ufficiali, in violazione delle norme della Convenzione di Ginevra sui prigionieri di guerra, ottiene di dirigere i propri uomini nella costruzione di un ponte sul fiume Kwai, dopo che i giapponesi, nonostante le continue punizioni ai prigionieri, non sono riusciti a progredire in alcun modo nei lavori.

Durante le torture gli uomini di Nicholson gli erano rimasti tutti fedeli, e per questo accettano di lavorare al meglio delle possibilità quando egli decide di collaborare. Solo l'ufficiale medico inglese del campo prospetta al colonnello la possibilità che la sua opera venga vista «...come collaborazionismo o addirittura tradimento...», mentre Nicholson - al contrario - vede nella realizzazione di quest'opera una dimostrazione della superiorità dell'abilità tecnica inglese rispetto a quella dei giapponesi, oltre che una sorta di rivincita morale nei riguardi del nemico. Nel frattempo un prigioniero americano, il soldato semplice Shears, che al momento della cattura si era spacciato per ufficiale per ottenere un trattamento migliore in prigionia, riesce ad evadere con una rocambolesca fuga e ad informare il comando alleato del progetto.

Mentre i lavori di costruzione avanzano, un commando alleato, guidato suo malgrado dall'ex-prigioniero americano Shears, che è costretto a partecipare dopo che si è scoperto che egli non è un ufficiale, e comandato dal maggiore Warden, viene paracadutato in una zona ad alcuni giorni di marcia dal ponte, con il compito di raggiungerlo e farlo saltare in aria a costruzione ultimata, possibilmente durante il transito del treno giapponese carico di truppe, che dovrebbe inaugurarlo. Attraverso una marcia forzata nella giungla, nonostante un morto e un ferito (il comandante), il commando raggiunge il ponte in tempo utile; tuttavia, non conoscendo l'ora di arrivo del treno, non può utilizzare le spolette a tempo. Con il favore delle tenebre, le cariche vengono quindi piazzate e collegate ad un detonatore, che verrà azionato da uno dei componenti del commando al momento del passaggio del treno.

La mattina successiva i prigionieri transitano marciando sul ponte per raggiungere il nuovo campo di prigionia, mentre Nicholson rimane per assistere al passaggio del treno. Mentre passeggia sul ponte, egli scopre il filo di collegamento delle cariche al detonatore ed allerta il suo collega giapponese sul tentativo di sabotaggio. Quando i due stanno arrivando al detonatore, un membro dei commando uccide il colonnello Saito: inizia quindi un immediato fuoco incrociato fra i giapponesi e il commando. Nicholson, nel tentativo di ostacolare a tutti i costi il sabotaggio, dapprima ingaggia un corpo a corpo col militare addetto ad azionare il detonatore e solo dopo aver visto fra i componenti del commando Shears, tornato indietro per distruggere il ponte, si rende conto dell'insensatezza di ciò che ha fatto. Nicholson allora, colpito dallo scoppio di una bomba sparata da un mortaio, morendo, cade deliberatamente sul detonatore, che fa esplodere le cariche e saltare il ponte proprio mentre il treno vi sta transitando. Nella concitata azione finale perdono la vita alcuni soldati del commando, tra i quali lo stesso Shears. Il maggiore medico Clipton, che osserva la scena da uno degli accessi al ponte, mormora sgomento la sua accusa contro l'assurdità della guerra: "Pazzia, pazzia!".

Veridicità storica

La trama è liberamente ispirata alla costruzione di un ponte ferroviario sul fiume Mae Klong nel 1943 in Thailandia. Secondo la Commonwealth War Graves Commission:

«La famosa ferrovia Birmania-Thailandia, costruita da prigionieri di guerra dell'Impero britannico, olandesi e americani fu un progetto giapponese guidato dalla necessità di migliorare le comunicazioni per sostenere il grande esercito nipponico in Birmania. Durante la sua costruzione, morirono circa 13 000 prigionieri di guerra e i loro corpi furono sepolti lungo la ferrovia. Si stima che da 80 000 a 100 000 civili siano morti nel corso del progetto, erano principalmente manodopera forzata deportata dalla Malesia e dalle Indie orientali olandesi, o arruolati in Thailandia e in Birmania. Due forze lavoro, una con base in Thailandia e l'altra in Birmania, lavorarono partendo dalle estremità opposte della linea verso il centro».

Gli incidenti mostrati nel film sono per la maggior parte opera di fantasia; le condizioni erano peggiori di come sono state raffigurate e sarebbero state troppo spaventose per gli spettatori. Il vero ufficiale superiore alleato in servizio presso il ponte era il tenente colonnello inglese Philip Toosey. Nel programma della BBC Timewatch, un ex-prigioniero del campo afferma che è improbabile che un uomo come l'immaginario Nicholson potesse essere salito al grado di tenente colonnello, e se l'avesse fatto, sarebbe stato "tranquillamente eliminato" da parte degli altri prigionieri.

Julie Summers, nel suo libro The Colonel of Tamarkan, scrive che Pierre Boulle, che era stato prigioniero di guerra in Thailandia, ha creato il personaggio di Nicholson basandosi sui suoi ricordi di ufficiali francesi. Toosey era molto diverso da Nicholson e certamente non si sentiva obbligato a lavorare con i giapponesi. Tentò di ritardare la costruzione del ponte il più possibile facendo persino raccogliere un gran numero di termiti per danneggiare le strutture in legno e in cemento. Nel film Nicholson disapprova gli atti di sabotaggio.

Alcuni dei personaggi del film hanno i nomi di persone reali che sono state coinvolte nella costruzione della ferrovia birmana. Per esempio, nel film, il colonnello Saito è comandante del campo e, in realtà, un sergente maggiore Risaburo Saito era vice-comandante. Risaburo Saito era rispettato dai suoi prigionieri perché era relativamente misericordioso e giusto nei loro confronti. Toosey lo difese nel processo contro i suoi crimini di guerra e i due divennero persino amici.

In una scena ambientate nelle giungla, i soldati inglesi e americani provano a sintonizzare la radio, e si può sentire, per un istante, la voce di una donna che dall'emittente Radio Tokyo invita gli americani a non offrirsi volontari per andare in guerra: Radio Tokyo era, infatti, una emittente fautrice di una propaganda disfattista gestita dalla conduttrice Iva Ikuko Toguri, americana di origini nipponiche.

La distruzione del ponte, come descritta nel film è completamente inventata. Effettivamente sono stati costruiti due ponti: uno provvisorio in legno e uno permanente in acciaio e cemento pochi mesi più tardi. Entrambi i ponti sono stati utilizzati per due anni, fino a quando non sono stati distrutti dai bombardamenti aerei alleati. Il ponte in acciaio è stato riparato ed è ancora in uso.

Musica

Una caratteristica memorabile del film è il motivo che viene fischiettato dai prigionieri di guerra (Colonel Bogey March) mentre entrano nel campo: divenne subito famoso. Il pezzo fu originariamente scritto nel 1914 da Kenneth Alford. Era accompagnato da una contromelodia (nota come The River Kway March) scritta dal compositore del film, Malcolm Arnold, e suonata dall'orchestra fuori dallo schermo che sostituisce quelli che fischiettano. Mitch Miller ebbe un gran successo con la registrazione di entrambe le marce.

Oltre a simboleggiare il coraggio e la dignità britannica di fronte alla privazione, la Colonel Bogey March suggeriva uno specifico simbolo di sfida per gli spettatori cinematografici britannici, perché la sua melodia era legata a versi volgari su Hitler (Hitler Has Only Got One Ball), il leader della Germania nazista e il principale alleato del Giappone durante la guerra. Benché il testo beffardo non venga usato nel film, gli spettatori britannici del tempo lo conoscevano abbastanza bene da cantarlo mentalmente mentre ascoltavano il motivo musicale. Gli spettatori del nord Italia e della Svizzera italiana invece potevano ben sorridere al motivetto poiché nel testo dialettale locale era molto conosciuto con il titolo di "sciura".

Il ponte

Il ponte non è stato ricreato in studio, ma dal vero, nell'Isola di Ceylon. Difatti secondo il produttore Spiegel "L'autenticità è necessaria per trasmettere l'intera esperienza emotiva di una storia. La ricostruzione in uno studio cinematografico non provocherebbe, nel pubblico, la stessa reazione emotiva". Il legno che serviva per costruire il ponte fu trasportato da 100 elefanti circa.

it.wikipedia


rivierekwai


The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 British-American adventure epic war film directed by David Lean and based on the 1952 novel written by Pierre Boulle. The film uses the historical setting of the construction of the Burma Railway in 1942–1943. The cast includes William Holden, Jack Hawkins, Alec Guinness, and Sessue Hayakawa.

It was initially scripted by screenwriter Carl Foreman, who was later replaced by Michael Wilson. Both writers had to work in secret, as they were on the Hollywood blacklist and had fled to the UK in order to continue working. As a result, Boulle, who did not speak English, was credited and received the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay; many years later, Foreman and Wilson posthumously received the Academy Award.

The film was widely praised, winning seven Academy Awards (including Best Picture) at the 30th Academy Awards. In 1997, the film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress. It has been included on the American Film Institute's list of best American films ever made. In 1999, the British Film Institute voted The Bridge on the River Kwai the 11th greatest British film of the 20th century.

Plot

In early 1943, British POWs arrive by train at a Japanese prison camp in Burma. The commandant, Colonel Saito, informs them that all prisoners, regardless of rank, are to work on the construction of a railway bridge over the River Kwai that will help connect Bangkok and Rangoon. The senior British officer, Lieutenant Colonel Nicholson, informs Saito that the Geneva Conventions exempt officers from manual labour. Nicholson later forbids any escape attempts because they had been ordered by headquarters to surrender, and escapes could be seen as defiance of orders.

At the morning assembly, Nicholson orders his officers to remain behind when the enlisted men march off to work. Saito threatens to have them shot, but Nicholson refuses to back down. When Major Clipton, the British medical officer, warns Saito there are too many witnesses for him to get away with murder, Saito leaves the officers standing all day in the intense heat. That evening, the officers are placed in a punishment hut, while Nicholson is locked in an iron box.

Meanwhile, three prisoners attempt to escape. Two are shot dead, but United States Navy Lieutenant Commander Shears gets away, although wounded. He wanders half-dead into a Siamese village, where he is nursed back to health before completing his escape downstream and eventually to the British colony of Ceylon.

Meanwhile, the prisoners work as little as possible and sabotage whatever they can. Should Saito fail to meet his deadline, he would be obliged to commit ritual suicide. Desperate, he uses the anniversary of Japan's 1905 victory in the Russo-Japanese War as an excuse to save face and announces a general amnesty, releasing Nicholson and his officers and exempting them from manual labour.

Nicholson is shocked by the poor job being done by his men. Over the protests of some of his officers, he orders Captain Reeves and Major Hughes to design and build a proper bridge, in order to maintain his men's morale and pride in their professionalism. As the Japanese engineers had chosen a poor site, the original construction is abandoned and a new bridge begun downstream.

Shears is enjoying his hospital stay in Ceylon when British Major Warden invites him to join a mission to destroy the bridge before it is useful to Japanese forces. Shears is so appalled he confesses he is not an officer; he impersonated one, expecting better treatment from the Japanese. Warden responds that he already knew and that the American Navy agreed to transfer him to the British to avoid embarrassment. Realising he has no choice, Shears "volunteers".

Meanwhile, Nicholson drives his men hard to complete the bridge on time. For him, its completion will exemplify the ingenuity and hard work of the British Army long after the war's end. When he asks that their Japanese counterparts pitch in as well, a resigned Saito replies that he has already given the order. Nicholson erects a sign commemorating the bridge's construction by the British Army, from February to May 1943.

The four commandos parachute in, though one is killed on landing. Later, Warden is wounded in an encounter with a Japanese patrol and has to be carried on a litter. He, Shears, and Canadian Lieutenant Joyce reach the river in time with the assistance of Siamese women bearers and their village chief, Khun Yai. Under cover of darkness, Shears and Joyce plant explosives on the bridge towers below the water line.

A train carrying important dignitaries and soldiers is scheduled to be the first to cross the bridge the following day, so Warden waits to destroy both. However, by daybreak, the river level has dropped, exposing the wire connecting the explosives to the detonator. Nicholson spots the wire and brings it to Saito's attention. As the train approaches, they hurry down to the riverbank to investigate.

Joyce, manning the detonator, breaks cover and stabs Saito to death. Nicholson yells for help, while attempting to stop Joyce from reaching the detonator. When Joyce is mortally wounded by Japanese fire, Shears swims across the river, but is himself shot. Recognising the dying Shears, Nicholson exclaims, "What have I done?" Warden fires a mortar, wounding Nicholson. The dazed colonel stumbles towards the detonator and collapses on the plunger just in time to blow up the bridge and send the train hurtling into the river below. Witnessing the carnage, Clipton shakes his head, muttering, "Madness! ... Madness!"

Screenplay

The screenwriters, Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson, were on the Hollywood blacklist and, even though living in exile in England, could only work on the film in secret. The two did not collaborate on the script; Wilson took over after Lean was dissatisfied with Foreman's work. The official credit was given to Pierre Boulle (who did not speak English), and the resulting Oscar for Best Screenplay (Adaptation) was awarded to him. Only in 1984 did the Academy rectify the situation by retroactively awarding the Oscar to Foreman and Wilson, posthumously in both cases. Subsequent releases of the film finally gave them proper screen credit. David Lean himself also claimed that producer Sam Spiegel cheated him out of his rightful part in the credits since he had had a major hand in the script.

The film was relatively faithful to the novel, with two major exceptions. Shears, who is a British commando officer like Warden in the novel, became an American sailor who escapes from the POW camp. Also, in the novel, the bridge is not destroyed: the train plummets into the river from a secondary charge placed by Warden, but Nicholson (never realising "what have I done?") does not fall onto the plunger, and the bridge suffers only minor damage. Boulle nonetheless enjoyed the film version though he disagreed with its climax.

Filming

Many directors were considered for the project, among them John Ford, William Wyler, Howard Hawks, Fred Zinnemann, and Orson Welles (who was also offered a starring role).

The film was an international co-production between companies in Britain and the United States.

Director David Lean clashed with his cast members on multiple occasions, particularly Alec Guinness and James Donald, who thought the novel was anti-British. Lean had a lengthy row with Guinness over how to play the role of Nicholson; Guinness wanted to play the part with a sense of humour and sympathy, while Lean thought Nicholson should be "a bore." On another occasion, they argued over the scene where Nicholson reflects on his career in the army. Lean filmed the scene from behind Guinness and exploded in anger when Guinness asked him why he was doing this. After Guinness was done with the scene, Lean said, "Now you can all fuck off and go home, you English actors. Thank God that I'm starting work tomorrow with an American actor (William Holden)."

The film was made in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). The bridge in the film was near Kitulgala.

Guinness later said that he subconsciously based his walk while emerging from "the Oven" on that of his eleven-year-old son Matthew, who was recovering from polio at the time, a disease that left him temporarily paralyzed from the waist down. Guinness later reflected on the scene, calling it the "finest piece of work" he had ever done.

Lean nearly drowned when he was swept away by the river current during a break from filming.

In a 1988 interview with Barry Norman Lean confirmed that Columbia almost stopped filming after three weeks because there was no white woman in the film, forcing him to add what he calls, "a very terrible scene" between William Holden and the nurse on the beach.

The filming of the bridge explosion was to be done on 10 March 1957, in the presence of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, then Prime Minister of Ceylon, and a team of government dignitaries. However, cameraman Freddy Ford was unable to get out of the way of the explosion in time, and Lean had to stop filming. The train crashed into a generator on the other side of the bridge and was wrecked. It was repaired in time to be blown up the next morning, with Bandaranaike and his entourage present.

The producers nearly suffered a catastrophe following the filming of the bridge explosion. To ensure they captured the one-time event, multiple cameras from several angles were used. Ordinarily, the film would have been taken by boat to London, but due to the Suez crisis this was impossible; therefore the film was taken by air freight. When the shipment failed to arrive in London, a worldwide search was undertaken. To the producers' horror, the film containers were found a week later on an airport tarmac in Cairo, sitting in the hot sun. Although it was not exposed to sunlight, the heat-sensitive colour film stock should have been hopelessly ruined; however, when processed the shots were perfect and appeared in the film.

Music and Soundtrack

British composer Malcolm Arnold recalled that he had "ten days to write around forty-five minutes worth of music" - much less time than he was used to. He described the music for The Bridge on the River Kwai as the "worst job I ever had in my life" from the point of view of time. Despite this, he won an Oscar and a Grammy.

A memorable feature of the film is the tune that is whistled by the POWs—the first strain of the march "Colonel Bogey"—when they enter the camp. Gavin Young recounts meeting Donald Wise, a former prisoner of the Japanese who had worked on the Burma Railway. Young: "Donald, did anyone whistle Colonel Bogey ... as they did in the film?" Wise: "I never heard it in Thailand. We hadn't much breath left for whistling. But in Bangkok I was told that David Lean, the film's director, became mad at the extras who played the prisoners—us—because they couldn't march in time. Lean shouted at them, 'For God's sake, whistle a march to keep time to.' And a bloke called George Siegatz ... —an expert whistler—began to whistle Colonel Bogey, and a hit was born."

The march was written in 1914 by Kenneth J. Alford, a pseudonym of British Bandmaster Frederick J. Ricketts. The Colonel Bogey strain was accompanied by a counter-melody using the same chord progressions, then continued with film composer Malcolm Arnold's own composition, "The River Kwai March," played by the off-screen orchestra taking over from the whistlers, though Arnold's march was not heard in completion on the soundtrack. Mitch Miller had a hit with a recording of both marches.

In many tense, dramatic scenes, only the sounds of nature are used. An example of this is when commandos Warden and Joyce hunt a fleeing Japanese soldier through the jungle, desperate to prevent him from alerting other troops. Arnold won an Academy Award for the film's score.

Historical Accuracy

Many historical inaccuracies in the film have often been noted by eyewitnesses to the building of the real Burma Railway and historians.

The plot and characters of Boulle's novel and the screenplay were almost entirely fictional.

The conditions to which POW and civilian labourers were subjected were far worse than the film depicted. According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission:

The notorious Burma-Siam railway, built by Commonwealth, Dutch and American prisoners of war, was a Japanese project driven by the need for improved communications to support the large Japanese army in Burma. During its construction, approximately 13,000 prisoners of war died and were buried along the railway. An estimated 80,000 to 100,000 civilians also died in the course of the project, chiefly forced labour brought from Malaya and the Dutch East Indies, or conscripted in Siam (Thailand) and Burma. Two labour forces, one based in Siam and the other in Burma, worked from opposite ends of the line towards the centre.

Lieutenant Colonel Philip Toosey of the British Army was the real senior Allied officer at the bridge in question. Toosey was very different from Nicholson and was certainly not a collaborator who felt obliged to work with the Japanese. Toosey in fact did as much as possible to delay the building of the bridge. While Nicholson disapproves of acts of sabotage and other deliberate attempts to delay progress, Toosey encouraged this: termites were collected in large numbers to eat the wooden structures, and the concrete was badly mixed. Some consider the film to be an insulting parody of Toosey. On a BBC Timewatch programme, a former prisoner at the camp states that it is unlikely that a man like the fictional Nicholson could have risen to the rank of lieutenant colonel, and, if he had, due to his collaboration he would have been "quietly eliminated" by the other prisoners. Julie Summers, in her book The Colonel of Tamarkan, writes that Boulle, who had been a prisoner of war in Thailand, created the fictional Nicholson character as an amalgam of his memories of collaborating French officers. He strongly denied the claim that the book was anti-British, although many involved in the film itself (including Alec Guinness) felt otherwise. Ernest Gordon, a survivor of the railway construction and POW camps described in the novel/film, stated in a 1962 book, Through the Valley of the Kwai: "In Pierre Boulle's book The Bridge over the River Kwai and the film which was based on it, the impression was given that British officers not only took part in building the bridge willingly, but finished in record time to demonstrate to the enemy their superior efficiency. This was an entertaining story. But I am writing a factual account, and in justice to these men—living and dead—who worked on that bridge, I must make it clear that we never did so willingly. We worked at bayonet point and under bamboo lash, taking any risk to sabotage the operation whenever the opportunity arose."

A 1969 BBC-TV documentary, Return to the River Kwai, made by former POW John Coast, sought to highlight the real history behind the film (partly through getting ex-POWs to question its factual basis, for example Dr Hugh de Wardener and Lt-Col Alfred Knights), which angered many former POWs. The documentary itself was described by one newspaper reviewer when it was shown on Boxing Day 1974 (The Bridge on the River Kwai had been shown on BBC1 on Christmas Day 1974) as "Following the movie, this is a rerun of the antidote."

Some of the characters in the film use the names of real people who were involved in the Burma Railway. Their roles and characters, however, are fictionalised. For example, a Sergeant-Major Risaburo Saito was in real life second in command at the camp. In the film, a Colonel Saito is camp commandant. In reality, Risaburo Saito was respected by his prisoners for being comparatively merciful and fair towards them. Toosey later defended him in his war crimes trial after the war, and the two became friends.

The major railway bridge described in the novel and film didn't actually cross the river known at the time as the Kwai. However, in 1943 a railway bridge was built by Allied POWs over the Mae Klong river – renamed Khwae Yai in the 1960s as a result of the film – at Tha Ma Kham, five kilometres from Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Boulle had never been to the bridge. He knew that the railway ran parallel to the Kwae for many miles, and he therefore assumed that it was the Kwae which it crossed just north of Kanchanaburi. This was an incorrect assumption. The destruction of the bridge as depicted in the film is also entirely fictional. In fact, two bridges were built: a temporary wooden bridge and a permanent steel/concrete bridge a few months later. Both bridges were used for two years, until they were destroyed by Allied bombing. The steel bridge was repaired and is still in use today. - en.wikipedia


rivkwa


Le Pont de la rivière Kwaï (The Bridge on the River Kwai) est un film de guerre britanno-américain réalisé par David Lean, sorti en 1957. Il s'agit de l'adaptation du roman de même nom de Pierre Boulle (1952).

Résumé

Durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, lors de l'expansion de l'Empire japonais en Extrême-Orient, le colonel Saïto commande un camp japonais de prisonniers de guerre en Birmanie. Dans ce camp perdu au beau milieu de la jungle, Saïto reçoit un nouveau groupe de prisonniers britanniques, commandés par le colonel Nicholson. Il doit aussi faire construire un pont faisant partie de la « voie ferrée de la mort » et passant au-dessus de la rivière Kwaï, avec une échéance impérative : un train d'importance stratégique doit y passer.

Le colonel Saïto décide donc de mettre à l'ouvrage ses prisonniers et exige du colonel Nicholson que même les officiers britanniques se mettent au travail. Nicholson refuse ce dernier point, non conforme à la convention de Genève de 1929 sur les prisonniers de guerre. Saïto le brime alors sévèrement et met à l'épreuve sa résistance physique, espérant ainsi le forcer à céder. Mais le Britannique ne cède pas, par principe, malgré les sévices subis. Tenant tête à ses geôliers, il inspire une grande admiration à ses hommes.

Mais Nicholson voit aussi l'effet de la détention sur les militaires dont il est responsable ; forcés de participer à la construction du pont, ils exécutent mal ce travail volontairement et se livrent à du sabotage. Il parvient donc à un accord avec Saïto : le pont, mal conçu, sera construit sous son commandement et suivant ses plans. Nicholson met au travail ses officiers et, constatant que le temps manque, convainc les malades et blessés de participer, allant ainsi au-delà de la demande initiale de Saïto. L'ouvrage productif, et le but commun à atteindre par les Britanniques ont un effet très positif sur le moral des prisonniers : Nicholson a trouvé le moyen de remettre de l'ordre chez ses subordonnés et de leur donner un sentiment positif de fierté pour le travail accompli, alors qu'ils sont vaincus et prisonniers.

En parallèle, un détenu américain, le commandant Shears, est parvenu à s'enfuir du camp et fait part aux Alliés de la construction du pont. Cela les inquiète et les Alliés décident de renvoyer l'ancien prisonnier avec un commando pour plastiquer le pont, dont il faut à tout prix empêcher la réalisation. Shears refuse dans un premier temps de retourner dans l'enfer duquel il s'est échappé, mais il est rattrapé par son passé : ayant usurpé son grade et son identité lors du naufrage de son bâtiment, il est démasqué et contraint d'accepter la mission, qui sera menée sous les ordres du major Warden.

Le commando arrive sur place la nuit précédant le passage du train. Il met en place les explosifs sur le pont, achevé la veille par les Britanniques, puis attend l'aube. Leur but est de faire sauter le train avec le pont.

En attendant le passage du convoi, les deux colonels du camp vivent des moments opposés : le colonel Saïto se prépare à se donner le seppuku plutôt que devoir le pont aux prisonniers britanniques, tandis que le colonel Nicholson aperçoit le dispositif de destruction, le niveau de la rivière ayant baissé durant la nuit. Perdant tout à fait de vue que la construction du pont sert l'ennemi dans une guerre qui dépasse les enjeux locaux, Nicholson prévient le colonel Saïto et provoque la réaction du commando qui affronte les soldats de Saïto. Les hommes du commando trouvent la mort sauf le major Warden, blessé au pied durant le voyage, qui couvrait ses hommes en hauteur. Quand Shears nage à travers la rivière pour aller au boîtier de commande des explosifs, il est abattu. Reconnaissant Shears alors que ce dernier est mourant, Nicholson s'exclame : « Qu'est-ce que j'ai fait ? »

Mais, au cours de la fusillade, Nicholson est mortellement blessé par l'explosion d'un obus de mortier lancé par Warden sur les soldats japonais. Dans ses derniers instants, il retrouve sa lucidité et, dans un dernier souffle déclenche de lui-même l'explosion du pont en tombant sur la boîte de commande des explosifs, au moment même où le train franchit le pont. Témoin du carnage, le médecin britannique Clipton secoue la tête, marmonnant, « la folie, la folie ».

Musique

La Marche du colonel Bogey
Pour l'entrée des prisonniers dans le camp, Carl Foreman et Sam Spiegel réfléchissent à la manière dont ceux-ci pourront faire la nique aux Japonais et de façon subtile. C'est finalement David Lean qui propose La Marche du colonel Bogey (dont l'adaptation française est Hello le soleil brille), une chanson anglaise peu connue hors du Royaume-Uni avec des paroles vulgaires et qui a été composée en 1914 par Kenneth Alford24. Conscient de ne pas pouvoir l'utiliser à cause de la censure, Lean propose que les soldats la sifflent24. Cependant Foreman et Spiegel sont plus que réticents car ils considèrent que cette mélodie n'aura aucun impact auprès des Américains ainsi que sur l'ensemble du marché international. Ils proposent de la remplacer par la chanson Bless Them All mais David Lean refuse catégoriquement car cette chanson n'a pas la même implication que La Marche du colonel Bogey. Il ajoute : « Laissez-moi faire. Ça marchera si c'est bien fait ».

Après avoir entendu la Marche, Malcolm Arnold décide de composer une « contre-marche » qui s'accordera avec les sifflements24. Cette composition en harmonie avec les sifflements deviendra La Marche de la rivière Kwaï. Ce thème de « contre-marche » devient le leitmotiv de la bande originale du film avec un arrangement de type fanfare de cirque (avec introduction et crescendo en fanfare). Seule exception : la danse dans le camp, où les prisonniers donnent un spectacle de travestis, sur une mélodie de type Swing Dixieland.

Le succès du film et de la chanson permet, pendant plusieurs années, à la veuve du colonel Alford de toucher d'énormes royalties grâce aux droits d'auteur pour La Marche du colonel Bogey. - fr.wikipedia


kwaijoen


Kwai-joen silta (The Bridge on the River Kwai) on vuonna 1957 ensi-iltansa saanut sotaelokuva, joka kertoo toisesta maailmansodasta. Se perustuu Pierre Boullen samannimiseen romaaniin. Elokuva palkittiin seitsemällä Oscarilla.

Elokuvan tapahtumat ovat kuvitteelliset, mutta ne sijoittuvat historiallisiin tapahtumiin Burman rautatien rakennustyömailla vuosina 1942–1943.

Sotavankien viheltämästä elokuvan tunnussävelmästä, nimeltään ”Colonel Bogey March", on tullut instrumentaaliklassikko. Toisen maailmansodan aikana sävelmään liitettiin natsijohtoa pilkkaava sanoitus ”Hitler Has Only Got One Ball”. Kun Kwai-joen silta sai ensi-iltansa, brittiyleisölle oli hyvin selvää, mihin sävelmällä viitattiin.

Muut tunnustukset ja jälkimaine

Kwai-joen silta valittiin vuonna 1997 Yhdysvaltojen kongressin kirjaston National Film Registryyn, johon kootaan esteettisesti, historiallisesti tai kulttuurisesti merkittäviä amerikkalaiselokuvia. Vuonna 1999 British Film Instituten kyselyssä Kwai-joen silta äänestettiin kaikkien aikojen 11. parhaaksi brittielokuvaksi. Vastaajina oli tuhat Ison-Britannian elokuva- ja televisioammattilaista. The New York Timesin kriitikot valitsivat elokuvan vuonna 2004 yhdeksi kaikkien aikojen tuhannesta parhaasta maailmassa.

Kwai-joen sillan tunnussävelmä vaikutti Suomessa omalta osaltaan iskelmälaulaja Olavi Virran uran lopulliseen kääntymiseen alamäkeen. Levytukku-yhtiön kahden kärkilaulajan, Veikko Tuomen ja yhtiön tuotantopäällikkönä työskennelleen Virran välille oli 1950-luvun puolivälistä lähtien muodostunut kummankaan alun perin tahtomatta verinen kilpailuasetelma. Virta päätti haastaa Tuomen kaksintaisteluun siten, että kumpikin laulaisi levylle elokuvan tunnussävelmän, johon Virta oli kirjoittanut suomenkieliset sanat salanimellään Pauli Ström. Tämän jälkeen oli tarkoitus katsoa, kumman levytys menestyy myynnillisesti paremmin. Virta hankki orkesteritaustaksi filmissä käytetyn levyn, jota ei ollut lainkaan tarkoitettu solistin pohjaäänitystä varten. Virran ja Tuomen versiot julkaistiin lokakuussa 1958 peräkkäisillä levynumeroilla Philips-merkillä. Loppujen lopuksi kumpikaan levytys ei menestynyt mainittavasti – paljon paremmin menestyi Fazerin julkaisema, Reino Helismaan sanoittama kuorolevytys – joten molemmat hävisivät vedonlyöntinsä. Kyseessä näyttää olleen myös tekijänoikeusrikkomus, koska Levytukku menetti Philips-levymerkin käyttöoikeuden Fazerille. Tämä episodi oli Virran edesottamuksia jo pitempään seuranneelle toimitusjohtaja Niilo Saarikolle viimeinen pisara ja niinpä hän antoi Virralle potkut loka- ja marraskuun vaihteessa 1958. Ilmeisesti Saarikko katsoi Tuomen siinä määrin osasyylliseksi syntyneeseen sotkuun, että myös Tuomen levytykset Levytukku-yhtiössä päättyivät tähän. Lopputili Levytukusta oli Virran osalta ratkaiseva isku, joka johti hänen taloutensa romahtamiseen ja myös hänen perheensä hajoamiseen. Myös Tuomi, joka oli lähtenyt leikkimielellä juoneen mukaan, häpesi tempausta myöhemmin. Tapauksen kulku ja yksityiskohdat pysyivät vuosikymmenien ajan salassa, koska ne olivat ilmeisesti vain Virran ja Tuomen tiedossa ja kumpikin katsoi parhaaksi pysytellä asiasta vaiti. Peter von Baghin, Markku Kosken ja Pekka Aarnion kirjoittamassa elämäkerrassa Olavi Virta – legenda jo eläessään (WSOY 1977) Kwai-joen silta -kappale mainitaan ohimennen; kirjan tekijöiden mukaan kappalevalinta osoittaa esiintyjänä erittäin kokeneelta Virralta ”vakavaa arvostelukyvyn puutetta”. Toimittaja Jyrki Hämäläisen Virrasta kirjoittamassa elämäkerrassa Kwai-joen silta -tapausta ei mainita lainkaan. - fi.wikipedia


Contributed by Riccardo Venturi - 2020/8/29 - 11:59



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