Sessue Hayakawa became one of the first male sex symbols in Hollywood. His career was on a high during the era of silent films and continued to thrive after the arrival of talkies. For his brutally handsome looks, he was typecast as the sexually-aggressive villain in a lot of films. After having his breakthrough in the 1915 film ‘The Cheat,’ Sessue went on to star in many successful films, such as ‘Daughter of the Dragon’ (1931), ‘Yoshowara’ (1937), ‘Three Came Home’ (1950), ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’ (1957), for which he earned an ‘Academy Award’ nomination; ‘The Geisha Boy’ (1958), and ‘Hell to Eternity’ (1960). His unsuccessful films include ‘Alien Souls’ (1916), ‘An Arabian Night’ (1920), ‘The Big Wave’ (1961), and ‘Green Mansions’ (1959). Some of his TV appearances came in ‘Studio One in Hollywood’ (1958), ‘Wagon Train’ (1958), and ‘Route 66’ (1963).
After Japanese commandant Colonel Saito orders British POWs to build a railway bridge over the River Kwai, senior British officer Colonel Nicholson initially opposes illegal use of prisoners but later convinces fellow soldiers against delay-tactics in order to prove British superiority. Meanwhile, escaped US commander Shears is forced to join a four-man commando mission to destroy the bridge.
The film is based on the true experiences of Marine hero Pfc. Guy Gabaldon. Orphaned at an early age and raised by a Japanese-American family, he becomes fluent in Japanese and joins the US military as a translator during the WWII. When fight erupts at Saipan, he remembers his foster family and convinces Japanese soldiers to surrender, thus saving many lives on both sides.