Alec Guinness

Which actor starred in the 1957 film The Bridge on the River Kwai?

And the answer: Alec Guinness (along with William Holden, Jack Hawkins, and Sessue Hayakawa).

Widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, The Bridge on the River Kwai won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It tells the story of British POWs that are forced to build a railway bridge across the Kwai River for their Japanese captors in occupied Burma. Unbeknownst to them, the allied forces are planning a daring commando raid through the jungle to destroy it.

Photo credit: Amazon. 

The Bridge on the River Kwai made waves in post-war cinema. Interestingly, though, it almost wasn't created — the screenwriters, Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson, were on the Hollywood blacklist (accused of being communists during the era of McCarthyism) and could only work on the film in secret while living and working in exile in England. As a result, Pierre Boulle, the author of the original title, was credited and received the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Many years later, though, Foreman and Wilson posthumously received the Academy Award.

Of the starring actors in The Bridge on the River Kwai, Alec Guinness rose to the top as a name of prominence. Though he had already been voted the "most popular British star" in 1951, his performance in River Kwai cemented his popularity for years to come. After taking home the Academy Award for Best Actor, Guinness became a classic Hollywood face fit for his next widely popular role: Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars trilogy. Beginning in 1977, Guinness as Obi-Wan introduced his talents to a new generation of avid watchers, as well as an Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations.


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