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Hello and welcome to the however many edition of Movie Clip Wednesday this is. This week's theme is favorite movie from the 1950's. MCW founder and regular participant Boxer came up with this week's theme. Here was the reaction from the throngs of bloggers.
I didn't know how many movies from the Fifties I had seen but turns out there have been more than a couple. High Noon was one. On the Waterfront, Shane, and Rio Bravo were some others. All great movies. All way at the top of my favorites list but when I found the movie in this week's clip I knew it was a done deal. The Bridge on the River Kwai isn't so much a war movie as it is a study in the contrast of cultures. The difference in not just how to lead men, but in what the cultures choose to be valuble. William Holden is the big star in this along with Alec Guinness, who won the Oscar for Best Actor but to me the man who has always been the star of this movie, gave it the strength to be one of the best ever and had the most complex character as far as dealing with the cultural issues is Colonel Saito playe by the great Japanese born actor Sessue Hayakawa.
Hayakawa came to Hollywood in the 1910's and was one of the top paid actors of the decade, pulling in $200,000.00 in 1919. That's twice what Will Ferrell should ever be paid. To me, Saito was dominating in every scene, and when he was in any scene with Guinness it was pure cinema gold.
I've picked two clips. If you only have time for one, then pick one. The first clip shows the aforementioned contrast while the second is just Hayakawa showing the dominance of Saito. Enjoy and happy MCW.