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Return from the River Kwai

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Return from the River Kwai
Cinema Poster
Country UKD.jpg UK
Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen
Release Date 1989
Studio Roadshow Productions
Screenlife Establishments
Distributor Universal Pictures
Main Cast
Character Actor
Major Benford Edward Fox
Lt. Commander Hunt Nick Tate
Seaman Miller Timothy Bottoms
Lt Leyland Crawford Chris Penn
Lt Tanaka George Takei
Major Harada Tatsuya Nakadai
Colonel Grayson Denholm Elliott
Aboonrod Ronnie Lazaro

Return from the River Kwai is a 1989 WWII film directed by Andrew McLaglen. The film involves events surrounding the infamous "Death Railway" built in Burma during the war by the Japanese using forced labor that included captured POW's. A similar premise was famously seen in the classic 1957 film The Bridge on the River Kwai, but this film is not a sequel despite the name and had to carry a legal disclaimer stating so.

The following weapons were used in the film Return from the River Kwai:



An M1911A1 pistol is a personal weapon of Lt. Leyland Crawford (Chris Penn).

World War II issued Colt M1911A1 Pistol - .45 ACP
Lt. Crawford holds his pistol.
Lt. Crawford aims his pistol at Japanese soldier but hesitates to fire.

Nambu Type 14

Nambu Type 14 pistols are carried by Lt. Tanaka (George Takei) and other Japanese officers. In the final scene Lt. Commander Hunt (Nick Tate) and Major Benford (Edward Fox) are seen with Nambu pistols, taken from Japanese officers.

Nambu Type 14 - 8x22mm Nambu
A Japanese officer aims his Nambu pistol.
An officer on the airfield amis his pistol at Lt. Crawford.
Lt. Tanaka aims his pistol.
A view at the Nambu from rear.
Major Benford (Edward Fox) holds a Nambu pistol in the final scene.

Submachine Guns

Sten submachine gun

A Sten Mk II is used by Colonel Grayson (Denholm Elliott) in the scenes of the shootout in Miao village and of the attack on the POW Train. His SMG is equipped with a wooden stock.

Sten Mk II Submachine gun with wooden stock - 9x19mm
Colonel Grayson fires his Sten at Japanese patrol.

Sterling SMG

A Sterling SMG is used by Lt. Crawford (Chris Penn) during the attack on the POW train. In reality this SMG never appeared in the Pacific Theater until the postwar time.

Sterling Submachine Gun - 9mm
Lt. Crawford holds his Sterling.
A view at the muzzle.
Another view at Crawford's SMG.
Crawford carries a Sterling at his back.


M1903 Springfield

M1903 Springfield rifles (both M1903A1 and M1903A3 models) are widely used by Japanese soldiers. They are used to impersonate Arisaka, a standard rifle of Japanese army, but the guards of POW camp could really be armed with captured weapons. After a Japanese patrol was destroyed in Miao village, some of Miao tribesmen are seen with rifles taken from dead soldiers.

M1903A1 Springfield - .30-06
Remington M1903A3 rifle - .30-06
Japanese firing squad with Sprigfield rifles.
A close view at one of the rifles. Due to the shape of the bolt handle it can be identified as M1903A1.
A Japanese soldier holds his Springfield. Due to the shape of the bolt handle it can be identified as M1903A3.
A typical Japanese sword bayonet Type 30 is attached to M1903 rifle.
Aboonrod (Ronnie Lazaro), a leader of Miao fighters, carries an M1903 rifle.

Arisaka rifle

Arisaka Rifles are used by Japanese soldiers. Most of Miao tribesmen are also armed with Arisaka. They are never seen clear enough to identify them as Type 38 or Type 99.

Arisaka Type 38 rifle - 6.5x50mm Arisaka
Arisaka Type 99 battle rifle - 7.7x58mm
A Miao tribesman carries an Arisaka rifle.
A Japanese soldier holds his Arisaka.

Machine Guns

Browning M1919 (visually modified to resemble Type 92)

A visually modified Browning M1919 appeares as a Japanese Type 92 heavy machine gun. It is seen in the scene of air attack at the bridge in the opening scene. Later the same machine gun is seen mounted on a boxcar in the train and on a jeep of the airfield guard.

Browning M1919A4 on an M2 tripod - .30-06 Springfield
Type 92 Heavy Machine Gun - 7.7x58mm SR
A fake "Type 92" machine gun guards the bridge.
Japanese soldiers fire at Lt. Crawford's plane.
The same machine gun is mounted on the top of a boxcar of Japanese train.
The same machine gun is mounted on a jeep.

M1917 Browning

An Browning M1917 machine gun is seen being transported by Miao tribesmen until it gets damaged when dropped with other equipment.

Browning M1917 machine gun - .30-06
Colonel Grayson (Denholm Elliott) examines a damaged machine gun.

Browning M2HB

A Browning M2HB is seen mounted on the Japanese POW transport ship.

Browning M2HB on vehicle mount - .50 BMG

Browning M3

Browning M3 aircraft guns are mounted on Lt. Crawford's (Chris Penn) aircraft. Later the same guns are seen on a Japanese aircraft (that is in reality an American one).

Browning M3 Aircraft - .50 BMG
Browning is seen under the wing of Lt. Crawford's plane.
Lt. Crawford in the cockpit of a Japanese plane. An M3 is seen under the wing.
The machine gun fires.

Oerlikon 20mm Cannon

Several auto cannons are mounted on an US Navy submarine. Due to their size they are supposed to be 20mm Oerlikons.

erlikon Cannon - 20mm
Two Oerlikons are mounted on the submarine.
An Oerlikon is seen at the background.

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