As the leader of his fellow prisoners in a P.O.W. camp in Burma during World War II, Colonel Nicholson (Alec Guinness) has resisted all efforts by its ruthless commander, Colonel Saito (Sessue Hayakawa), to get his men to construct a bridge across a gorge of the strategic River Kwai. Yet, after coming to see it as a way to restore morale among his men, Nicholson capitulates and sets out to build the best bridge possible. As Nicholson becomes obsessed with the task, Shears (William Holden), an escaped American P.O.W., makes his way to Australia where, caught impersonating an officer, he's sent by British Major Warden (Jack Hawkins) with a team of guerillas back to Burma to destroy the bridge.
Won: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Writing - Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Guinness), Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Music - Scoring, 1958 Academy Awards