Ian P. Watt



Streaming Media


Nina Mae Kellogg lecture


1 hour 2 minutes


Ian Watt, an English literary critic and Professor of English at Stanford University, also served in the British Army as an infantry lieutenant from 1939 to 1946.

In this talk, Watt discusses his experience as a prisoner of the Japanese during World War II building the real River Kwai bridge and traces the evolution of this historical occurrence into fiction as it was described in Pierre Boulle's novel The Bridge on the River Kwai and the 1957 motion picture of the same title.

This lecture, Portland State's fifteenth annual Nina Mae Kellogg Award presentation, was introduced by Dr. Frederick Waller of the Portland State University Department of English.

Transferred and preserved by Portland State University Library’s Special Collections with the generous support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Oregon State Library.


World War -- 1939-1945, Motion pictures, History of the Novel, Western Literature

Original Format

Reel to reel, 3.75 ips, 1/4 track, mono


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Transcript added February 4, 2021.

PSU Library Special Collections and University Archives presents these recordings as part of the historical record. They reflect the recollections and opinions of the individual speakers and are not intended to be representative of the views of Portland State University. They may contain language, ideas, or stereotypes that are offensive to others.

Persistent Identifier