1970s Kelly's Heroes (1970)

Published on September 14th, 2007 | by Chris

4

Kelly’s Heroes (1970)


Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On September 14, 2007
Last modified:October 8, 2012

Summary:

Really this is a good film. It follows a band of misfit soldiers as they head out on their own in search of a stash of Nazi gold behind enemy lines. Of course with any film like this, getting there is 90% of the fun, and Kelly's Heroes doesn't disappoint.

Kelly's Heroes (1970)Some movies simply defy a proper explanation.  Kelly's Heroes is just one of those movies.

Really this is a good film.  It follows a band of misfit soldiers as they head out on their own in search of a stash of Nazi gold behind enemy lines.  Of course with any film like this, getting there is 90% of the fun, and Kelly's Heroes doesn't disappoint.

The adventures (if you want to call them that) they get into range from the normal wartime far (getting stuck in a minefield) to the bizarre (taking out a rail station with the tanks) and even the intense (eliminating the enemy resistance around the bank.)

What's the problem then?  Well, if you take a decent World War II action movie, and add a dash of vintage 1960's "flower power" soundtrack from Hell in the Pacific and THX 1138 soundtrack wiz Lalo Schifrin, with a healthy (?) heaping helping of 60's hippie "positive waves, man"... and you get this.  The end result is an enigma, albeit a humorous one, there's no denying that.

If you can put aside the cultural transplants, you'll really get a kick out of this one.  Clint Eastwood plays Private Kelly in usual gruff, hardcore, textbook Eastwood style, which I suppose makes him the straight man in all this comedy.  Telly Savales is there as "Big Joe," in an equally gruff, but still likable role.  Then you've got Don Rickles as "Crapgame" the dealing quartermaster, Carroll O'Connor as the damn-funny general Colt, and the equally enigmatic Harry Stanton as Willard.

Of course the real star of the picture is Sgt. Oddball (Donald Sutherland) and his gang of tank driving hippies, including "Moriarity" (Gavin McLeod.)  These guys steal the show whole heartedly, even though their presence and actions present the biggest puzzler of the show.

And who can not mention the ever type-cast Karl-Otto Alberty as the German tank commander they coerce into helping them get the gold. (Whoops! Spoiled it!)

If there's a flaw to Kelly's Heroes its the ending.  It'd have been nice to see them try to get the gold *out* of the town and out of Europe, but then you're looking at probably another good hour of movie.  (What?! No sequel?)

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Description

Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Donald Sutherland. A top-flight cast highlights this big-scale story of a WWII American platoon that abducts a German general and accidentally discovers a fortune in gold...

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Brand: EASTWOOD,CLINT
Manufacturer: Warner Home Video
Original Release Date:
Actors:
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Telly Savalas
  • Don Rickles
  • Carroll O'Connor
  • Donald Sutherland

Features

  • Clint Eastwood Collection

Reviews

Customer reviews
Average Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Family Movie, May 15, 2016
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This review is from: Kelly's Heroes (Amazon Video)
This is a classic old movie in the same mold as Von Ryan's Express and The Great Escape. Several of the cast became major-league actors in later years (Telly Savalas, Clint Eastwood, Donald Sutherland) and every cast member turns in a great performance. This isn't the disturbing acerbic humor of Catch 22 or the "wacky wildness" of MASH; rather it is a sideways view at individual human aspiration in the midst of death and unfairness. And although the idea of a bunch of GIs deciding to become "independent contractors" in order to loot a stash of Nazi gold may not seem the most sound foundation for a moral tale, that's actually what this is. Life isn't fair, some people die when they should have lived, and you only get what you can take for yourself.

It's funny, touching, occasionally suspenseful, and basically a great movie for everyone over the age of 8. One for all the family.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Laughs, June 16, 2017
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kelly's Heroes (Amazon Video)
A WW2 classic comedy with lots of bombings and killings so why is it a comedy. Theres nothing funny about war and still I was made to laugh. Without Don Rinkles and Donald Sutherland characters, I know i would not have enjoyed this movie as much. When i was a kid, I watched Kellys Heros and Ive never forgotten it. I still get laughs from it so I bought it. What can I say, the casting is the best along with the storyline. It shows us all that gold can motivate opposing sides to work together for one common goal.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine comedy/war movie with plenty of action and how can ..., July 22, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kelly's Heroes (DVD)
Kelly's heroes review. A fine comedy/war movie with plenty of action and how can you not like this movie with all the star line in this film? I always watch this film every memorial day weekend and veterans day. Clint Eastwood and Telly Savalas including Donald Sutherland are featured in this film along with other Hollywood film veterans. This a great movie to watch and go get a copy for yourself and it's over 2 hours long and great for a popcorn flick on a lazy Saturday afternoon!
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Kelly’s Heroes (1970) Chris

Summary: Really this is a good film. It follows a band of misfit soldiers as they head out on their own in search of a stash of Nazi gold behind enemy lines. Of course with any film like this, getting there is 90% of the fun, and Kelly's Heroes doesn't disappoint.

4.0


User Rating: 0 (0 votes)


About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.



4 Responses to Kelly’s Heroes (1970)

  1. As is usually the case for a Memorial Day Weekend, several cable/satellite networks will be chock full of classic war movies this coming weekend. Namely Turner Classic Movies, Fox Movie Channel, and AMC. I’m sure there are many more but these are “The B

  2. Pingback: Memorial Day 2012 Movies on TV | War Movie Reviews and News | War Movie Blog

  3. “Do you realise what’s inside that bank, baby? There’s about sixteen million dollars in gold bars in there.”

    “That’s sixty-five million marks.”

    “And sergeant, all you have to do to have an equal share is to crank that turret around and blow a hole in that door.”

    The SS tank driver hardly needed coercion after hearing that offer.

  4. kevin says:

    My fav

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