The film deals with the situation of British prisoners of war during World War II who are ordered to build a bridge to accommodate the Burma-Siam railway. Their instinct is to sabotage the bridge but, under the leadership of Colonel Nicholson, they are persuaded that the bridge should be constructed as a symbol of British morale, spirit and dignity in adverse circumstances. At first, the prisoners admire Nicholson when he bravely endures torture rather than compromise his principles for the benefit of the Japanese commandant Saito. He is an honorable but arrogant man, who is slowly revealed to be a deluded obsessive. He convinces himself that the bridge is a monument to British character, but actually is a monument to himself, and his insistence on its construction becomes a subtle form of collaboration with the enemy. Unknown to him, the Allies have sent a mission into the jungle, led by Warden and an American, Shears, to blow up the bridge .
|nudity||A small boy in a tribal village is seen naked from the waist down, his penis is barely visible. But this scene is not explicit in any way. No sex or adult nudity; the closest the film comes to this is bare-chested men.|
|violence||4/10 Some mild war violence. Blood is visible several times throughout the movie, most notably when a man is wounded in the foot and after some men are killed in the river. The Japanese colonel is implied to commit suicide if the bridge isn't completed on time.|
|alcohol||1/10 Two characters share a drink in a couple scenes.|
|frightening||4/10 Relatively intense throughout. Early in the film, a few characters attempt to escape the prison camp at night time but are shot and killed, one falls off a ledge and another is wounded but survives. The climax can be intense. The ending can be tragic to some.|