Published on September 14th, 2007 | by Chris4
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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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 InformationBinding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Manufacturer: Warner Home Video
Original Release Date:
- Clint Eastwood
- Telly Savalas
- Don Rickles
- Carroll O'Connor
- Donald Sutherland
- Clint Eastwood Collection
97 of 99 people found the following review helpful
Off-beat WW2 classic with all-star cast!,
This review is from: Kelly's Heroes (DVD)
This is definitely one of the funniest war movies of all time! Donald Sutherland, who plays a hippie(!) tank commander, seems out of place in a WW2 setting. However, he had me laughing the whole way through! I can't imagine what this film would be like without his hysterical performance. One of my favorite scenes is when Sutherland's three Sherman tanks attack a Nazi railroad station while playing Hank Williams' music on a loud speaker! I realize that this "WW2 movie" has a definite 70's feel to it (especially with one of the hit songs of the decade, Burning Bridges), & some don't like this movie for that reason. I can't help but have fun everytime I see this! The tanks, even the German ones, look much more authentic than those in Patton or The Battle of the Bulge. This is a real treat for WW2 tank buffs like me who appreciate authenticity. I know the plot is hokey, but who cares? If you want to see a war movie that isn't depressing (like most) or boring then this is for you!
44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
"To a New Yorker like you...a hero is some kind of sandwich",
This review is from: Kelly's Heroes (DVD)Exciting, humourous and well paced WWII action film sees Clint Eastwood and Co. looking to liberate $16 million worth of gold bullion from the retreating Nazi forces in Europe !
Director Brian G. Hutton (who directed Clint in the WWII thriller "Where Eagles Dare") is at the helm of this movie and again demonstrates his passion for fiery, loud battle scenes !!
Eastwood plays Kelly...just another war weary soldier slogging through the muddy battlefields of France until he comes across a German colonel and top secret information about a bank full of plundered Nazi bullion...now all he needs is a skilled team to carry out this most audacious of bank heists in the middle of a war ! Kelly enlists the assistance of tank commanding flower child "Oddball", (Donald Sutherland in an unforgettable performance ) fast talking hustler "Crap Game" ( I don't think Don Rickles was acting ! ), battle hardened sergeant "Big Joe" ( Telly Savalas )....along... Read more
43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Shame, Shame, Shame,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kelly's Heroes (DVD)Well, I'd really like to joint the chorus of accolades for this version but sadly I can't, not until the folks at Warner Home Video feel inclined to include two missing scenes.
The scenes in question are not that big a deal story wise but why have them in the VHS version, but not in the DVD. I mean that's the reason we all wait for DVD versions of our favorite movies.. right!?
The scenes are as follows, when Oddball's tank and crew members show up at the bridge they need to cross in order to help Kelly and his men, they look out on it feeling happy that it's still there,but the very next second an Allied plane flys by and bombs it out of commission. The next scene missing is where Oddball contacts Len Lesser's character and his bridging group to help repair the aforementioned bridge.A classic line includes Lesser's line "That job will take at least a hundred guys to get it done, where am i going to find a hundred guys just sitting around doing nothin'?."... Read more
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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.