In honor of Memorial Day, I direct you over to the May movie page, where we celebrated with war movies all month long, but for the day itself, I'm singling out another great one that I haven't mentioned yet- and that's David Lean's 1957 Best Picture winner The Bridge on the River Kwai. This is the slow burn story of British prisoners at a Japanese prison camp during WWII, and specifically the character study of Alec Guinness's Lt. Colonel and the Japanese commander Saito (Sessue Hayakawa). Great acting by the two leads carries the film, and William Holden also stars as an escaped American POW, but the bulk of the film centers on Guinness's seemingly inexplicable dedication to finishing the bridge he and his officers are instructed to build. It's hard to believe this is the kind of movie that could once rule both the box office and the awards season (I can't imagine audiences sitting still for this thing today), but it's one of the great war movies of all time, and Oscar winner Guinness really earned the accolades for his iconic Colonel Nicholson.
Original 1957 Trailer: