1970s A Bridge Too Far (1977)

Published on March 21st, 2007 | by Chris

1

A Bridge Too Far (1977)


Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On March 21, 2007
Last modified:October 4, 2012

Summary:

there are too many things going on here, too many interlude stories, and too many talking heads to try and keep track of. If they'd focused on just a couple less, it might've made for a far more compelling story.

A Bridge Too Far (1977)A Bridge Too Far is a long and complex look at the spectacularly failed Operation Market Garden, where Allied troops were to drop behind enemy lines into Holland and take bridges to support an advancing ground force in September 1944.  As history has shown, it didn't go as planned.  At all.

This movie is rather long (3 hrs) and for the first two, is a mixture of rather dull scenes of talking-head-generals discussing strategy and a disjointed and confusing following of no less than five different groups going after their respective goals.

The problem here is that once they get going into a bit with one of the groups, a battle begins, we're abruptly taken away to another force who's either doing nothing, or doing something seemingly unrelated.

The last hour chronicles the final failing hours of the operation, and is actually quite a moving bit of film.  If you've made it that far, that is.  A "reel too far" maybe.

The ensemble cast is spectacular: Caan, Connery, Redford, Gould, Olivier, Hackman, Hopkins... they all do marvelous jobs.  It's just there are too many things going on here, too many interlude stories, and too many talking heads to try and keep track of.  If they'd focused on just a couple less, it might've made for a far more compelling story.

A Bridge Too Far (Collector's Edition) A Bridge Too Far (Collector's Edition)
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Description

An epic film that "re-creates in stunning detail one of the most disastrous battles of World War II" (The Hollywood Reporter), A Bridge Too Far is a spectacular war picture. Painstakingly recreated on actual battlefield locations and boasting a remarkable cast that includes Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins, Sir Laurence Olivier and Robert Redford, A Bridge Too Far accurately recaptures the monumental scope, excitement and danger behind one of the biggest military gambles in history...

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Brand: Sony
Manufacturer: MGM (Video & DVD)
Original Release Date:
Actors:
  • Sean Connery
  • Ryan O'Neal
  • Michael Caine
  • Laurence Olivier
  • Gene Hackman

Reviews

Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review

160 of 174 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mustering Dutch Courage, September 16, 2005
By 
Michael S. Mahoney (Louisville, KY United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Bridge Too Far (DVD)
In a film of beautiful nuance, Richard Attenborough captures the horrors or war and the dignity of those who must endure, soldiers and civilians alike. The stellar cast of "A Bridge Too Far" (a veritable who's who of acting greats) sets this film apart. Sean Connery leaves behind the cool assuredness of Bond and faces futility with a mug of tea while Anthony Hopkins, a proper Englishman in Hell, surrenders with dignity, only reluctantly accepting chocolate from the enemy. James Caan is a particular standout. With true American grit, he bends all the rules and makes good on a pledge. The scale of the film could have wrought disasters on par with the campaign it portrays. Fortunately, the immensity of the Market-Garden campaign, which historically met its Waterloo at Arnhem, doesn't swallow up the stories of individual characters, of the Brit with umbrella for instance or the Dutch resisters who spy for the Allies.

Few World War II flicks showcase the absolute beauty of... Read more
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71 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literally filmed on location, January 8, 2000
By 
Kevin R. Austra (Delaware Valley, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Bridge Too Far (DVD)
Cornelius Ryan's nonfiction saga is masterfully told in the film adaptation. MARKET GARDEN, hoped to be one of the death blows to the German Reich, was daring and ambitious, but failed to bounce the Rhine and bring the war to conclusion. Locations in the Netherlands included the actual Nijmegen Bridge, drop zones outside of Oosterbeek (which is next to Arnhem), the Deventer Bridge closely doubling as the bridge at Arnhem, and many scenes filmed at the Dutch Infantry training center at nearby Harskamp. Producer Joseph E. Levine and Director Richard Attenborough drew equipment from numerous nations, including quite a few museum relics, to create this film. What they did not have, special effects and props departments created in order to create a realistic and mostly historically accurate rendition of this September 1944 battle in Holland. Where the film deviates from the book is that the movie tends to paint the Allied planners as blind to the possible flaws in the... Read more
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75 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Film -- Historically Accurate., July 20, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: A Bridge Too Far [VHS] (VHS Tape)
In my opinion, the best war movie ever made -- a notch better than "Saving Private Ryan," which contains certain historical inaccuracies. "A Bridge Too Far" masterfully adapts Cornelius Ryan's meticulously-researched book of the same title. More importantly, with the exception of the German tanks and armored personnel carriers depicted in the failed attempt to capture the northern end of the Arnhem bridge, the uniforms, machine guns, rifles, tanks, landscape, etc. depicted in the film are accurate -- unlike the vast majority of war films that cut corners, film off location, fail to research key facts, etc. The "second Omaha Beach" crossing of the Waal River by the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division -- filmed on loaction -- is the most riveting scene in the movie. Also spectacular is the reenactment of the dropping of hundreds of paratroopers over Holland from C-47 Dakotas. The only negative is that the movie... Read more
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A Bridge Too Far (1977) Chris

Summary: there are too many things going on here, too many interlude stories, and too many talking heads to try and keep track of. If they'd focused on just a couple less, it might've made for a far more compelling story.

3.0


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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.



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