“The Bridge on the River Kwai”

Julie Summers

The film “The Bridge on the River Kwai” concerns British prisoners who surrendered in Singapore in 1942 and were forced to build a bridge for the Japanese. The bridge was to be used by the Japanese to bring troops up through Thailand and Burma (now Myanmar) for an anticipated invasion of British India.

Sir Alex Guiness plays Lt. Colonel Nicholson. Nicholson was based on the actual grandfather of Julie Summers, Philip Toosey. Her book about her grandfather is called “The Colonel of Tamarkan: Philip Toosey and the Bridge on the River Kwai.”

During the interview, Miss Summers discusses her grandfather and some of the similarities, and differences, of the actual events versus what were portrayed in the film.

The film itself is based on a novel by a French author named Pierre Boulle. It was directed by David Lean who went on to direct “Lawrence of Arabia” which was also produced by legendary Hollywood figure Sam Spiegel.