Black SplatThe Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

"I hate the British!”

The Bridge on the River Kwai - Sessue Hayakawa as Colonel Saito

Description - Intolerant words of Japanese Colonel Saito (Sessue Hayakawa) in the motion picture The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957).

Responsible for a group of captured British officers and soldier who are ordered to build a railroad bridge, Colonel Saito becomes impatient with the obstinate British officer Colonel Nicholson (Alec Guinness) and lashes out:

“I hate the British! You are defeated but you have no shame. You are stubborn but you have no pride. You endure but you had no courage. I hate the British!”

Within the story, American soldier Major Shear (William Holden) escapes from the Japanese prison compound to a British hospital in Ceylon where he is blackmailed into returning on a mission to destroy the bridge that Colonel Siato is building over the River Kwai for the Burma-Siam railway.

Not thrilled with having to return to the Burma Jungles, Shears explodes at British Major Warden (Jack Hawkins):

"You make me sick with your heroics. There’s a stench of death about you. 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 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.”

In the film’s climax, the bridge is destroyed. Surveying the corpse-littered riverbed, Army doctor Major Clipton (James Donald) laments, “Madness! Madness!”

Note: The motion picture Fire Over England (1937) offers additional disdain for the British when Raymond Massey as King Phillip II of Spain comments, “I lived a year with Englishmen. I hated every one of them. And how it rained.”

In the film A Fish Called Wanda (1988), dim-witted Otto West (Kevin Kline), who thinks Americans are better that anyone else, says to a very, very British Ms. Wendy Leach (Maria Aitken):

"Oh, you English. You’re so fucking superior, aren’t you? Well, would you like to know where you’d be without us, the old U. S. of A., to protect you? I’ll tell you—the smallest fucking province in the Russian Empire.”

The Bridge on the River Kwai - Movie Poster

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