Reality: In WW2, the Japanese used mostly British POW's to build a train trestle, of bamboo, over the river Kwai. At first, the British prisoners, refusing to assist in the Japanese war effort. In doing so, they became a mob, acting more like today's prison inmates than trained soldiers. A British major, seeing this organized the men and returned them to soldierly fashion as they effficiently built the trestle. Near completion, a British commando team appeared to blow up the bridge. After the war, the Major was tried and aquitted for treason. The movie follows most of these events. The differences being that, in the movie, the prisoners marched to work whistling a catchy tune. Also, in the movie, the major blew up the bridgevwith his dying effort. Sir Alec Guiness played the major and won the oscar for his performance. Overall, a good movie. Four stars out of five.