I have the evening to myself and one of my favorite movies is on TCM--The Bridge on the River Kwai. I get to watch Sir Alec Guinness be incredibly British and slightly insane. It's a wonderful reminder to me of the perils of absolutely doing your best under all circumstances. In case you hadn't seen the film, Sir Alec plays a British army officer who is a WWII POW held in SE Asia. The detainees are being forced to build a railroad bridge for the Japanese. Sir Alec's character, Colonel Nicholson, figures out that the bridge is not being built properly and cannot tolerate the possibility that a bridge built by British army engineers might fail, so he re-designs it and takes over the construction project for the Japanese camp commander, thus ensuring that the Japanese military will have a workable train line through the jungle. The dawning realization of what he's done and the horror on his face make this one of Sir Alec's best performances.

Watching Sir Alec as Colonel Nicholson reminds me a great deal of the character Higgins that Jonathan Hillerman played on Magnum, P.I. Very proper and absolutely expecting that things will be done just so. Short of death, there appears to be no acceptable excuse for failing to do anything properly.

I believe I will knit on my sorely neglected Swan Lake stole for the duration and fix a nice pot of tea, since we have a bit of British cinema.

As an aside, the autobiography of Sir Alec, entitled My Name Escapes Me, is a pretty good read if you like to read memoirs.


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