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River Kwai

February 24, 1987 | United Press International
Japan is withholding support at present for a Japanese company's proposal to rebuild the "Death Railway" running over the bridge on the River Kwai of World War II infamy, a Japanese Embassy official said Monday. The Chiyoda Engineering Consultant Co. has talked with Thai officials about a plan to restore the line, and the full Cabinet is expected to review the plan.
January 15, 2011 | By Lauren Beale, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
A Palm Springs home once owned by the late film star William Holden is listed at $1,495,000. The post-and-beam Midcentury Modern house has a tongue-and-groove ceiling, terrazzo floor and glass walls. Sitting on nearly an acre of land encircled by ficus trees, the nearly 5,000-square-foot house includes four bedrooms, four bathrooms and a detached guest casita. A wet bar sits poolside. There are two double garages. Holden, who died in 1981 at 63, lived in the house for 18 years.
Throughout Southeast Asia, a flood of Japanese trade and aid is starting to submerge memories of wartime atrocities. But here, amid sugar cane plantations and jungle-covered hills in western Thailand, memories are big business. Just north of this agricultural center of 35,000 people, the bridge over the River Kwai stands as a grim reminder of the last great war.
November 3, 2010
POP MUSIC Snoop Dogg and Mike Epps The "Doggfather" has tapped comedian turned rapper Mike Epps to be co-headliner for the limited run mini tour, " Imagine That!" The rhyming and styling duo combine their stage show with a humorous story about two suave nightclub performers who end up arrested and have to find their way out of the slammer. Gibson Amphitheatre, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City. 8:15 p.m. $34-$92. (818) 622-4440. . Elton John and Leon Russell A reunion almost 40 years in the making, Elton John has teamed up with his longtime idol Leon Russell to record "The Union," a critically acclaimed collection of duets.
March 28, 1993 | Associated Press
On the banks of the River Kwai, below the famous bridge built by slaves and POWs, a former Japanese Army interpreter apologized Friday to the former British prisoner he helped interrogate 50 years ago. Nagase Takashi and Eric Lomax, two graying 75-year-olds, shook hands and wept in the courtyard of a museum dedicated to the "Death Railway," whose construction cost the lives of 116,000 Asian and Allied prisoners.
Pierre Boulle, the French author of the best-selling novels "Bridge on the River Kwai" and "Planet of the Apes," which were turned into popular films, has died in Paris. He was 81. Boulle, an engineer with no literary training who began writing in middle age, died Sunday night. The highly successful 1957 film "Bridge on the River Kwai," starring William Holden and Sir Alec Guinness, won the Academy Award for best picture in 1958 and five other Oscars, including best screenplay.
March 27, 1993 | From Associated Press
On the banks of the River Kwai, below the famous bridge built by slaves and POWs, a former Japanese army interpreter apologized Friday to the former British prisoner he helped interrogate during torture 50 years ago. Takashi Nagase and Eric Lomax, two graying 75-year-olds, shook hands and wept in the courtyard of a museum dedicated to the "Death Railway," whose construction cost the lives of thousands of Asian and Allied prisoners.
November 19, 1990 | From Times Wire Services
A mass grave has been discovered near the site where tens of thousands of Asian slave workers and Allied prisoners died building a railroad for the Japanese during World War II. The remains of up to several hundred people have been unearthed since Tuesday, when the excavation began. It is being carried out by the Pothipawana Songkroh Foundation, a Buddhist group that wants to provide proper burials.
November 21, 1992 | JEFFREY WELLS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; Wells is a Los Angeles-based free-lance writer.
Film restoration and preservation is a growing faith in Hollywood. Almost everyone is a believer, for commercial if not for altruistic reasons, especially since the successful, high-profile restorations of "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Spartacus." And yet some distributors, it appears, aren't as devout as some restoration specialists would like. As Robert A. Harris, who supervised the "Lawrence" and "Spartacus" restorations, puts it, "Some are willing to settle for good enough.
Sir David Lean, the Oscar-winning director whose grandiose epics over six decades often made him a bigger star than many of his actors, died Tuesday in London. His lawyer, Tony Reeves, issued a statement about his death but it did not disclose the cause. Lean was 83 and had been hospitalized in Paris in January after being stricken on the set of what proved his final film, "Nostromo," based on the Joseph Conrad novel. Work on the film had since been suspended.
October 31, 2010
THAILAND Natural and man-made landmarks On Friendly Planet Travel's "A Taste of Thailand," travelers journey along Bangkok's waterways and visit many of the country's highlights, including the Bridge at the River Kwai, ornate palaces, massive Buddhas and UNESCO World Heritage sites. The itinerary provides ample leisure time for independent exploration and to partake in optional add-on experiences that include bathing elephants or sunbathing in Phuket. Itinerary: Bangkok to Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi, the River Kwai and back to Bangkok Dates: Multiple nine-day departures offered between Nov. 22 and April 25 Price: Starting at $1,499, double occupancy (single supplement $199)
May 5, 2007
SOME of Kenneth Turan's complaints about "Spider-Man 3" are not only unfair, they also come across as cheap shots ["Can't Buy Everything," May 2]. For example, he bemoans the amount of dollars, man-hours and pixels used to create the movie, as if it were evidence of how a film can go wrong. But these statistics, when taken out of context, have little or no meaning. What difference does it make how many hours of effort went into a piece of entertainment, whether it's Spider-Man's uniform, costumes for Elizabeth Taylor or the bridge over the River Kwai?
January 11, 2004
Thank you for Scarlet Cheng's fine article about Anna May Wong ("An Uneasy Success," Jan. 4). This enjoyable read, however, got off on the wrong foot by erroneously calling Wong "the first Asian movie star in the West." Wong was preceded in the Hollywood limelight by Sessue Hayakawa (1889-1973), a Japanese immigrant who began his acting career in Los Angeles. Despite playing a villain, Hayakawa's charismatic turn in Cecil B. DeMille's "The Cheat" (1915) catapulted him to stardom.
October 10, 2003 | Susan King, Times Staff Writer
The late British director David Lean was a consummate filmmaker who had the uncanny artistic ability to transform epics into intimate character studies, as illustrated by his Oscar-winning "The Bridge on the River Kwai" and "Lawrence of Arabia," as well as "Doctor Zhivago" and "A Passage to India." Beginning today, the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre presents "These Mad Places: The Epic Cinema of David Lean." In addition to the films above, the first major L.A.
Leaves of teak trees rustle in the moist wind. Smiling villagers tend papaya, pineapples and bananas in neat patches. Below the cliff, the River Kwai sweeps grandly around a bend. A soothing landscape -- for all but Rod Beattie, striding over the field, pointing and intensely conjuring up hellish scenes of six decades ago. "Here was the isolation area where they came to die," Beattie says. Their withered bodies were cremated where the teak trees stand.
May 14, 2000
Reader Mark Landsbaum, so scornful of The Times for describing "The Bridge on the River Kwai" as an "antiwar movie" (Letters, " 'Kwai's' Messages," May 7) reminds me of the fellow pontificating so pompously about Marshall McLuhan in "Annie Hall" that Alvy (Woody Allen) is forced to reach off-screen and produce McLuhan himself in order to refute the guy's wrongheadedness. Not being so fortunate, I can't produce director David Lean or screenwriters Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson, but it's easy enough simply to point to the evidence on screen.
Takashi Nagase, 72, remembers very well what happened during the building of the bridge on the River Kwai in the jungle here. The discovery of a mass grave last fall made his memories all the more excruciating. As an intelligence officer with the Imperial Japanese Army helping oversee construction of the "Death Railway" from Bangkok to Rangoon, Nagase witnessed numerous acts of cruelty against Allied and Asian prisoners. "The history (of atrocities) cannot be erased," he says.
May 7, 2000
Only The Times (and perhaps the Village Voice) could describe "Bridge on the River Kwai" as an "antiwar movie" (Calendar Listings, April 30). There are many messages in this wonderful movie, but antiwar isn't one of them. Among the clear messages are: that the Allies were right to combat the Japanese by destroying the bridge; that the imprisoned British soldiers were wrong to have efficiently aided their captors in constructing the bridge; that the Japanese prison camp authorities were brutal in their treatment of the prisoners; and that the prisoners and the Allies dispatched to destroy the bridge were courageous and patriotic.
Ex-British soldier Eric Lomax returned to the infamous Bridge on the River Kwai to pay homage to all his fellow POWs who suffered here at the hands of the Japanese. He came with a surprising companion--the Japanese interrogator whose face and voice have haunted him since torture sessions during the building of the "Death Railway" in World War II. "Time heals all wounds, but there is no cure for torture," Lomax said.
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