A Bridge Too Far

{4.5/5} “Actually the plan’s really very simple. We’re going to fly 35 000 men 300 miles and drop them behind enemy lines. It’ll be the largest airborne operation ever mounted. Quite frankly, this kind of thing’s never been attempted before.”

It’s 1944. The Allies have cancelled a bunch of their recent plans for one reason or another. They have a new audacious plan, Operation Market Garden, and they’re not going to cancel this one no matter what — even if they receive warnings that it might not be as easy as they first thought. Several groups are going to parachute into Holland — General Urquhart’s group will hold the bridge at Arnhem.

A Bridge Too Far was released in 1977. It’s based on a true story.

I’m not big on war movies but this one drew my attention for 2 reasons: it’s a well-regarded movie starring Sean Connery, and it was written by William Goldman (The Princess Bride).

It’s about how decisions are made in wartime. It’s about the horror and absurdity of war — and how easily things can go wrong.

The movie depicts a complex operation, in which each piece is necessary for the whole to work.

It shows a wide variety of characters, mostly on the side of the Allies but also occasionally the Germans. Although the characters are in the middle of a war, they are often quite funny.

The scene with dozens of parachutes floating down is pretty amazing.

Although it’s a long movie, it’s worth watching.

The majestic music is by John Addison (Tom Jones). Addison actually took part in the operation depicted in the movie.

Sean Connery (Playing By Heart) plays General Urquhart. Gene Hackman (The Royal Tenenbaums), Michael Caine (Now You See Me), Anthony Hopkins (Red 2), and James Caan (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs) all play soldiers.

Later in the movie Elliot Gould (Ruby Sparks), Robert Redford (The Sting), and John Ratzenberger (Brave) all show up. Laurence Olivier (Wuthering Heights) plays a Dutch doctor.

The movie was directed by Richard Attenborough (Gandhi).

This entry was posted on Friday, January 24th, 2014 at 10:51 pm and is filed under Reviews of movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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