"Colonel Saito. Do not speak to me of rules. This is war!": First Edition of The Bridge Over the River Kwai; Signed by Pierre Boulle and Actor William Holden

  • The Bridge Over The River Kwai.

The Bridge Over The River Kwai.


Item Number: 40014

New York: The Vanguard Press, Inc, 1954.

First edition of the novel that was the basis for the film of the same name, which is widely considered to be one of the greatest films in history. Octavo, original cloth. Translated from the French by Xan Fielding. Signed by Pierre Boulle and actor William Holden, who starred in the film. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket with light rubbing. This novel is rare signed by Boulle, with none appearing at auction in the last 60 years; most likely unique signed by both the author and legendary actor William Holden.

The Bridge Over The River Kwai is a fictional story but uses the construction of the Burma Railway, in 1942–43, as its historical setting, and is partly based on Pierre Boulle's own life experience working in Malaysia rubber plantations and later working for allied forces in Singapore and Indochina during World War II. The novel deals with the plight of World War II British prisoners of war forced by the Imperial Japanese Army to build a bridge for the "Death Railway", so named because of the large number of prisoners and conscripts who died during its construction. The novel won France's Prix Sainte-Beuve in 1952. It is the basis for the British-American epic war film directed by David Lean and starring William Holden, Jack Hawkins, Alec Guinness, and Sessue Hayakawa. It went on to win seven Academy Awards (including Best Picture) at the 30th Academy Awards. In 1997, the film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress. It is widely considered to be one of the greatest films in history.

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