Do not speak to me of rules. This is war! This is not a game of cricket!

Colonel Saito

[to Nurse] You give me powders, pills, baths, injections, enemas; when all I need is love.

Commander Shears

Major Shears: You make me sick with your heroics! There's a stench of death about you. You carry it in your pack like the plague. Explosives and L-pills - they go well together, don't they? And with you it's just one thing or the other: destroy a bridge or destroy yourself. This is just a game, this war! You and Colonel Nicholson, you're two of a kind, crazy with courage. For what? How to die like a gentleman... how to die by the rules - when the only important thing is how to live like a human being.

One day the war will be over. And I hope that the people that use this bridge in years to come will remember how it was built and who built it. Not a gang of slaves, but soldiers, British soldiers, Clipton, even in captivity.

Colonel Nicholson

Be happy in your work.

Colonel Saito

I'd say the odds against a successful escape are about 100 to one. But may I add another word, Colonel? The odds against survival in this camp are even worse.

Commander Shears

I can think of a lot of things to call Saito, but "reasonable"... that's a new one.

Commander Shears

It is quite understandable; it's a very natural reaction. But one day - in a week, a month, a year - on that day when, God willing, we all return to our homes again, you're going to feel very proud of what you have achieved here in the face of great adversity. What you have done should be, and I think will be, an example to all our countrymen, soldier and civilian alike. You have survived with honor - that, and more - here in the wilderness. You have turned defeat into victory. I congratulate you. Well done.

Colonel Nicholson

What have I done?

Colonel Nicholson

Colonel Saito: Do you know what will happen to me if the bridge is not built on time?
Colonel Nicholson: I haven't the foggiest.
Colonel Saito: I'll have to kill myself. What would you do if you were me?
Colonel Nicholson: I suppose if I were you... I'd have to kill myself.
Colonel Nicholson: [raising the glass of scotch he previously declined] Cheers!

Colonel Green: You were an accountant in Montreal?
Lieutenant Joyce: Yes, sir. Uh, not really an accountant, sir. That is, I didn't have my charter.
Colonel Green: Exactly what did you do?
Lieutenant Joyce: Well, sir, I just checked columns and columns of figures which three or four people had checked before me, and then there were other people who checked them after I had checked them.
Colonel Green: Sounds a frightful bore.
Lieutenant Joyce: Sir, it was a frightful bore.

The fact is, what we're doing could be construed as - forgive me sir - collaboration with the enemy. Perhaps even as treasonable activity. Must we work so well? Must we build them a better bridge than they could have built for themselves?

Major Clipton

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The Bridge on the River Kwai Quotes

Maj. Warden: I belong to a rather rum group called Force 316. Our headquarters is up in the botanical gardens.
Commander Shears: Protecting rare plants from the enemy?

You are defeated but you have no shame. You are stubborn but you have no pride. You endure but you have no courage.

Colonel Saito