The Bridge on the River Kwai

The Bridge on the River Kwai quotes

37 total quotes (ID: 684)

Cmdr. Shears
Col. Nicholson
Col. Saito
Maj. Clipton
Maj. Warden
Other


Shears: Those new prisoners see us diggin' graves, they might all run away.
Kanematsu: No time for jokes. Finish work...Dig dig.


Warden: You'll go on without me. That's an order. You're in command now, Shears.
Shears: You make me sick with your heroics. There's a stench of death about ya. You carry it in your pack like the plague. Explosives and L pills. They go well together, don't they? And with you, it's just one thing or the other: 'Destroy a bridge or destroy yourself.' This is just a game, this war. You and that Colonel Nicholson, you're two of a kind. Crazy with courage. For what? How to die like a gentleman. How to die by the rules when the only important thing is how to live like a human being. I'm not going to leave you here to die, Warden, because I don't care about your bridge and I don't care about your rules. If we go on, we go on together.

I am Colonel Saito. In the name of his Imperial Majesty, I welcome you. I am the commanding officer of this camp which is Camp 16 along the great railroad which will soon connect Bangkok with Rangoon. You British prisoners have been chosen to build a bridge across the River Kwai. It will be pleasant work requiring skill. And officers will work as well as men. The Japanese Army cannot have idle mouths to feed. If you work hard, you will be treated well. But if you do not work hard, you will be punished. A word to you about escape. There is no barbed wire, no stockade, no watchtower. They are not necessary. We are an island in the jungle. Escape is impossible. You would die. Today you rest. Tomorrow you begin. Let me remind you of General's...motto:... 'Be happy in your work.' Dismissed.

I can think of a lot of things to call Saito, but reasonable, that's a new one.

Here lies Corporal Herbert Thompson, serial number 01234567, valiant member of the King's own, and Queen's own, or something, who died of beriberi in the year of our Lord 1943. For the greater glory of...[pause] what did he die for?...I don't mock the grave or the man. May he rest in peace. He found little enough of it while he was alive.

Are they both mad or am I going mad? Or is it the sun?

[on killing Joyce and Shears] I had to do it. I had to do it. They might have been captured alive. It was the only thing to do.

You give me powders, pills, baths, injections, enemas - when all I need is love.

He had the guts of a maniac. They were about to shoot him and he didn't bat an eye.

All men will work. Your officers will work beside you. This is only just. For it is they who betray you by surrender. Your shame is their dishonor. It is they who told you: 'Better to live like a coolie than die like a hero.' It is they who brought you here, not I. Therefore, they will join you in useful labor. That is all.

Don't bother about me, Colonel. I'm not anxious to get off the sick list.

Colonel Saito. Have you a knife? I just realized. The bridge has been mined.

I can't understand it. It's such a solid, well-designed job. Not like the temporary bridges the enemy usually throws together.

I tell you, gentlemen, we have a problem on our hands. Thanks to the Japanese, we now command a rabble. There's no order, no discipline. Our task is to rebuild the battalion. It isn't going to be easy, but fortunately, we have the means at hand, the bridge...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...It's going to be a proper bridge. Now here again, I know the men. It's essential that they should take a pride in their job.

Mostly Aussies, some Lime, some British, Indians, Burmese, Siamese...They died, of malaria, dysentery, beriberi, gangrene. Other causes of death: famine, overwork, bullet wounds, snake bites, Saito. And then there were some who just got tired of living.