|A Bridge Too Far
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An all-star war epic about the disastrous 1944 allied airdrop into holland. Studio: Tcfhe/mgm Release Date: 01/30/2007 Starring: James Caan Sean Connery Run time: 175 minutes Rating: Pg
This massive 1977 adaptation by director Richard Attenborough (Gandhi) of Cornelius Ryan's novel features an all-star cast in an epic rendering of a daring but ultimately disastrous raid behind enemy lines in Holland during the Second World War. A lengthy and exhaustive look at the mechanics of warfare and the price and futility of war, the film is almost too large for its aims but manages to be both picaresque and affecting, particularly in the performance of James Caan. The impressive cast includes Robert Redford, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Dirk Bogarde, Sean Connery, and Liv Ullmann among others. While not a classic war film, it nevertheless manages to be a consistently interesting and exciting adventure. --Robert Lane
- Great film, bad DVD
A Bridge Too Far has been one of my favorite films for a long time. It was the first more-or-less realistic war movie I saw as a kid and has held its own against more modern movies ever since, giving up its spot at the top of my list only to titles like Saving Private Ryan. That said, I was dissatisfied with the old DVD release, and looked forward to this special edition as a chance to get a better transfer of the film.
No such luck. The picture quality vacillates between decent, acceptable, and unforgivably hazy. Some scenes look like a badly compressed JPEG image, and others look as though someone had just breathed on the lens (not a problem in my old VHS release, which still manages to look better than this DVD). The special features are nice, especially the interviews with Richard Attenborough, but then again, I didn't buy A Bridge Too Far for the special features, did I?
Still waiting, patiently, for a better transfer. ...more info
- Monumental Movie Let Down By Fox. Should Be "A Fee Too Far".
I hate to rate this movie as three stars being that it's one of the greatest war movies ever made, but I have a real issue with Fox. First off, they are the most expensive BD's of all the studios and secondly, they omit all of the special features enjoyed on previous DVD versions. Instead of maxing out a BD50 disc with the MPEG2 codec, it would be great to use what other studios employ, namely VC-1 and utilising the extra space for special features. Fox charge at least $10 more for their titles in part probably due to the extra security measures they insist on using. The movie itself is not best conversion to Blu-ray I have seen and can seem a little too soft focused for the most part, but the the actual film is first class with one of the largest star lists I have ever seen including Sean Connery, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins and just too many to mention. If only Fox could just get their act together and treat movies like this, The Battle Of Britain, Master & Commander, Kingdom Of Heaven and others with the respect they deserve....more info
- One of the best war movies
I you are interested in fact based movies, this is a must see. This movie brings out the gritty truth behind one of the largest operations in the WWII. It does a very good job of showing the relationships between the men on both sides....more info
- A Bridge Too Far, A Classic
I am a major history buff and have a large library of war movies in my basement and I can say that is one of my favorites. When I found out that they had come out with a special addition with behind the scenes features I was willing to spend around 34 dollars and have sent over from England. I would like to point out some things that my fellow reviewers discussed about the movies. First off, Elliot Gould is perfectly fine in his portrayl of an Airbrone officer, and he adds some comic relief to the film. The battle scenes are well done, ESPECIALLY THE SCENE WHEN THE BRITISH PARATROOPERS AT THE BRIDGE DEFEAT THE GERMAN RECON FORCE, which was nicely done and showed how the British troops that were really there didn't go down without a fight and inflicting heavy casualties. The acting is amazing, an all star cast with each actor bringing his own unique effect on the movie. Mr. Attenbourough really makes you care about the soldiers and makes you see just how close the operation was to succeeding. The battle scenes are well done, and while not all the machinery in the movie is exactly authentic, people complaining about that should just get over it becuase Im sure the crew looked as hard as they could to find as much surplus as they could and also tanks don't make a good war, its the soldiers and their realtionships and hardships. This is a wonderful movie that should be viewed by any war movie buff not only for your own sake but also to help remember those men who fought in those desperate days in September....more info
- A Durable Film with Strong Appeal to History Buffs
`A Bridge Too Far', directed by Richard Attenborough, is a great sprawling war movie in the tradition of the much better classic, Darryl Zanuck's `The Longest Day'. Not only are both movies about a major World War II operation, they are both based on books by the same author, Cornelius Ryan.
Part of the problem where one movie succeeds and one fails is that the successful movie is about an allied success and the weaker movie is about an allied failure, but I suspect it goes further than that. Ironicly, I think much of the acting in `A Bridge Too Far' is really superior to that in `The Longest Day'. The Brits such as Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins, Dirk Bogart, Edward Fox, and Michael Caine are in great form. Some leading Yank actors such as Ryan O'Neal seem weak, especially playing the role of the very dynamic General James Gavin, the commander of the 82nd Airborne Division. Part of this may be that except for O'Neal, the generally exceptional Gene Hackman and the very photogenic Robert Redford, the Americans are playing lesser roles, as most of the really good stuff involved the British officers of XXX Corp (Armored spearhead of the land attack) and the First Airborne Division which landed at the deepest point of penetration in Arnham.
As an old military history wonk, I am really impressed by how accurate everything is in the weapons and tactics used in the film. Every last piece of hardware, from the German light machine guns to the British Firefly versions of Sherman tanks, to the Spitfire doing photoreconnaissance, to the type of breach block on the German anti-tank guns!!!
This realism may not have made a big impression when the movie was first released, but set against today's glut of computer generated effects, this `in the flesh' realism, not unlike what we see in even stronger measure in `Saving Private Ryan', is really refreshing, so I suspect this movie may be improving with age.
The thing which is so disappointing about the movie is that so little is made of the most interesting aspect of the operation. This is the fact that the Allied commanders were so fixed in their minds of the attractiveness and plausibility of the `Market Garden' plan that they refused to pull up and reconsider their plans when late intelligence showed that the Germans were not as weak in the area as they once were. But then, like `The Longest Day' before it, and like the Cornelius Ryan material behind it, the movie was really all about the characters `on the ground'.
As war movies go, this doesn't really have a lot of human drama (even the combat deaths seem to be rather abstract) but it probably tops the list for we grognards who love World War II simulations and tactical and strategic subtlities.
This movie has aged very well in the changing fashions of moviemaking.
- Over-rated and not especially entertaining
This movie has a star-studded cast that probably intrigues everyone to watch it, but a lot of the American cast seems to be playing spot cameo roles rather than being significant in contribution or in memorable acting jobs. Redford isn't seen until the movie is half over and he's most standing around. Ryan O'Neal as a commanding general is improbable and he sounds like he's reading 3rd grade text books. James Caan's role is bewildering altogether. Gene Hackman follows suit with the others. After the movie was made he even commented that the individual roles of all these stars was minimal because of the story.
While I realize there were lots of sub-stories to this operation, the constant jumping around from area to area only worsened the hoped for continuity of the film. Liv Ulman seems to have been thrown in so there's at least one female star. Her lines would not fill a typewritten page. And so it goes... this film is no Patton, Battle of the Bulge, or Platoon. If you have 3 hours to kill on a rainy day, perhaps you should pick up the book and read the story. It _might_ be more enlightening. Being a vet, I enjoy a good military novel/movie, and I checked this one out from my local library out of curiosity. Big disappointment....more info
- Great Movie
Great Movie that I have always enjoyed, and this time get it at a bargain price and high quality....more info
- Operation Market Garden
The title says it all. This is a story about the invasion of the netherlands that was supposed to bring a quik end to Nazi resistance in the ETO. For the most part it is historically accurate, and has an all star cast. The special effects were supprisingly well done considering the time it was filmed (1977). The Airborne scenes were top notch....more info
- "yes,well we just went a bridge to far"
this is a fine movie about the post d-day raid into holland that was to end the war in 1944. as planed by field marshal montgomery the allies would drop behind the lines,take several bridges and hold them as ground forces race to link up and relieve the airborne troops. the problem was that it ment al the airborne troops would be out numbered and had to link up to live,and the ground forces had to make a dash down a one lane road to link up and the germans were waiting for them. really the problem was that "monty" as they called him was still smarting over not being given more power and he hated the fact that ike was in overall command. his ego and refusel to listen to his own people ment that everyone was afraid to say no to him.
well enough of that lets get to the movie,which is one of the better epic war movies made. with a cast like this,james caan,sean connery,robert redford,michael caine,anthony hopkins,and many more this is one great war movie. besides the epic scope of the movie,it also takes time to give every actor so great little bits to play(i really like anthony hopkins packing for his jump,"pack my dinner jacket and golf clubs please!!) so if you like war movies this is one you need to have...more info
- The British were gentlemen
Great movie over all, some over acting on the US side of things other then that good actor's, very good story, plot was well planed. yes I'd buy this dvd. little pricey though Walmart $6.00 amazon 20.00 sorry but I had to go to the $6.00. Don't get wrong I shop here all the time....more info
- An epic war film.
British director Richard Attenborough has made this amazing and epic ww2 film about the daring but ultimate failure of a plan to raid behind enemy lines in Holland. The mission was to take hold of the bridge that bordered Germany and Holland but ended up being unseccessful when the Germans captured and killed a large number of British soldiers, the operation was called Market Garden and it begun in september 1944. The film has an allstar cast including Sean Connery as Major General Roy Urquart, Micheal Cane, James Caan ect. I don't remmember the rest cause theres too many but still the film was brilliantly made by Richard the whole film seemed authentic and the cinamatography was fantastic as we get to see paratroop landings and shots of the vast landscapes with the German nazis closing on in the tanks, anyway this is a real piece of history unlike U-571 and shows how heroic and brave the british soldiers were and of course shows the american side when Robert Redford's character leads another successful mission. This edition has plenty of special features including the documentary A bridge too far: Heroes from the sky and two featurettes A distant battle 17 mins and an interview with director Richard Attenborough. Now I'm not an expert on millitary or ww2 history but I found this film to be exciting and deffinently worth watching....more info
- Defeatist, fascist propaganda
Did Patton make this movie? Because it seems like it was done as a hatchet job against Richard Montgomery and the great people of Great Britain and Ireland. I love how they turned an operation that was 90% successful into a defeat. The anti-British racism in this movie is disgusting. The Germans are portrayed as great heros fighting against all odds stopping Market Garden. Montgomery is portrayed as the blundering fool. Watch this movie if you get WWII mixed up with the American revolutionary war....more info
I watched this movie after watching Gallipoli last night. Both pictures involve the stupidity of politics in fighting a war and not necessarily good military strategy and planning (think Iraq). What seems to be missing here and was stated at the beginning of the field was the distrust between Patton and Montgomery. Ike gave in to this operation not because he wanted it (he didn't) but because he was pressured from the higher echelon to placate Montgomery. This was all Montgomery's botched idea (although no one seems to have questioned it and if they did they could only obey it). In Gallipoli, after the massacre at Suvla Bay, Churchill quit the government. It was a massive failure and a great massacre. So, we haven't progressed one inch since these disasters....more info
- About an actual World War II operation
This film was made in 1977 about an actual srategic operation mounted in Europe in 1944. It was planned by Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, the British commander who was well-known for his competition with (and dislike of) the American General George S. Patton, who is not represented in the film.
Montgomery is the bloke who got credit for pushing Rommel's Afrika Korps out of the Sahara, and for trying (unsuccessfully) to beat Patton across Sicily.
Like many top commanders, he was extremely egotistical, but short on aggression, as Patton demonstrated, and in this case his "Operation Market Garden" turned out to be a hairbrained disaster and blood bath: the Aircraft and gliders missed many of their drop zones and failed to drop vehicles and armament as planned (gliders were a disaster on D-Day, too, and they should have known). Eisenhower, being more politician than general, and trying to placate the Brits, let Monty talk him into the disastrous plan.) In the story, at least, one of the top British commanders refused to accept photographic evidence that German "Tiger" tanks from an SS Panzer division near Ramaden (one of their targets, which was supposed to be a "cakewalk") because he didn't want the operation to be delayed, which resulted in many unnecessary deaths. At the end of the movie, he said, "Well, as you know, I always thought we were trying to go a bridge too far." Hence the title. The man he addressed, played by Connery, should have shot him on the spot. The route chosen for the main body of troops who were to support the
airborne units was too narrow, incapable of carrying the required traffic, and resulted in the operation taking over a week, instead of the planned two days. Then, there were the inadequate boats for crossing the Rhine. The operation was mounted in only seven days, as opposed to several months for D-Day, which accounted, perhaps, for the numerous foul-ups. That, and the unmitigated arrogance of the planners!
In short, Monty's plan was hairbrained and poorly thought out, but he claimed afterward that it was "Ninety percent successful." That was Sir Bernard Montgomery!
This movie was well-acted with many top name actors, all of whom did justice to their parts: Sean Connery, Dirk Bogarde, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins, Laurance Olivier, and Robert Redford, to name only a few. The film itself seemed to be well researched, and quite realistic foe that era.
One of the better World War II films, I recommend it for those of that endangered species, the WWII generation--those of us who are left--and will most appreeciate it.
Joseph (Joe) Pierre, USN (Ret)
author of Handguns and Freedom...their care and maintenance
and other books
- The WWII film for WWII fans
This is perhaps the best movie for the World War II buff. Might I must add this is for the buff only. If you watch a World War II movie for the passion of "Saving Private Ryan" or the formulaic melodrama of "Windtalkers," you may find yourself bored. "A Bridge Too Far" goes about as far as personal conflict with James Caan's attempt to rescue a fellow soldier to fulfill a promise that they won't die...but that lasts about ten minutes of the movie. The plot is all about the battle, the commanders, and the men who fought it, as well as the plans and actions that went behind the whole thing. If you saw "Tora Tora Tora" you'll know what I mean. And if "Tora Tora Tora" bored you, then you should probably avoid "A Bridge Too Far."
But if you like watching a movie with great attention to detail, then you will love this movie. No longer do we have American tanks with Iron Crosses painted on them, all the battles look almost like the way they would have looked in the real war. Perhaps the violence is not as graphically realistic as today's films, but being a film from the 70's you have to cut it some slack.
I can definately highlight the three best parts of this movie: 1) the airborne drops, which are filmed in first-person so that you see the paratroopers jumping out and even checking their parachutes afterward (adding to the realism); 2) the music - I don't know a collection of military themes that doesn't include the Bridge Too Far March; and 3) the cast, which was well picked for each part - I can't decide who I like better, Sean Connery as Urqheart, Edward Fox as Horrocks, or Sir Lawrence Olivier as a good-hearted Dutch doctor, but every one does their part like no other actor collection I've ever seen.
So in short, I highly recommend this for my fellow World War II historians who want to see a part of history re-animated in a near perfect fashion, then you should definately add this to your collection....more info
- Looks and sounds no better than standard DVD
Great movie, but I was extremely disappointed with the quality of this Blu-ray version. So my rating is not for the movie itself which I would give between 4 and 5 stars. I give it two stars on the technical quality. The video quality was no better than the standard DVD, which I already own, and the audio might even be worse than the standard DVD. All in All a very poor transfer to Blu-ray, do not waste your money on this version....more info
- BLU-RAY REVIEW
FOX BLU-RAYS ARE AMONG THE WORST. THIS ONE IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE. PATTON ON THE OTHER HAND IS EXCELLENT ON BLU-RAY....more info
- A Bridge Too Far and Lessons Too Close
I am no movie critic. The criteria I use to judge a movie is Do I like it? The response for this movie is YES. If you want descriptions of camera angles or photographic woners/failures then don't waste your time on this review.
Let me explain why this is a good movie and why I give it only four stars. Pros: Hollywood doesn't intrude too much, in fact hardly at all. Thankfully John Wayne is not here defeating the Germans single-handed. This work, like the book, is fair in its characterizations of the forces involved and their humanity. It certainly showed the character flaws of some of our great men. Generals who are so involved in stealing glory from each other that a half-baked plan with poor preparation is put into effect so Montgomery can get to Berlin before Patton. One thing hard to believe today is that a war thirsty leader would disregard intelligence because it doesn't fit his plan for making a battle. Of course nothing like that would happen now, but it did then. I found the long movie very interesting and even humorous at one point. An officer asks his aide if his golf clubs are packed for the invasion. Being assured that this is certainly done, the officer inquires after his dinner jacket. Who needs to worry if the radios work when you have the necessary social amenities. The con: I had trouble keeping track always where we were and who was fighting. Maybe the length of the movie was too much for my attention deficit resulting from commercial television. Anyway this is a small fault.
This movie is one of my favorite anti-war movies. It proves that war is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury and blood, and accomplishing nothing.
- A Correction
I saw a comment made on the first Google page about this movie that credits an "over acting" Elliot Gould as Major Julian Cook. Julian Cook was played by ROBERT REDFORD who definitley did not "Over Act" in his part. This is an extremely well done movie which is why I rated it the way I did.
I've read the other reviews and almost everyone comments that Ryan O'Neal was too young to play a general. If anyone studies the history of World War II and the 82nd Airborne they would know that General James Gavin was 36 when he commanded at D-Day and Arnhem. He got his second star at 37, which made him the youngest general to hold that rank since George Custer during the Civil War....more info
- Good Copy
Nice reproduction. It was originally filmed in great quality. Not real sure if the Blue-ray version is that much better. I viewed it on a 720p 42" LCD. But the price made it worth it....more info
- A Bridge from Classic to Modern War Film
A Bridge Too Far was one of the last epic WWII films. It cannot help but be linked to The Longest Day because they are both from Cornelius Ryan's books.
One of the differences in style from the previous film is the type of stars used for the main characters. Whereas Longest Day used many long-established stars, many who had been around for decades, the stars of Bridge are almost exclusively of contemporary vintage such as Robert Redford, Gene Hackman, Ryan O'Neal, Elliot Gould, Anthony Hopkins, etc. Even Connery and Caine, who reached stardom in the Sixties are only in their mid-forties at this time. Unfortunately, and this is my only complaint, Attenborough chose to go with the trendy "Great Gatsby" style glow with the cinematography. The humor put into Longest Day is almost totally absent from Bridge and further contributes to its modern realism. Speaking of realism, those familiar with the writing of Panzer commander Hans Von Luck will appreciate the effort and money spent on the war action. It is spectacular. The artillery shelling is fearsome, the airborne assault is awesome, and the boat attacks are hellish.
Mr. Attenborough impressively helms this massive story, keeping track of the big picture while drawing in the the viewer with short, poignant individual exploits. The most memorable of these lasts only a few seconds as the Dutch father turns to see his son, who has been so brave and helpful, has been killed by a stray bullet. The horror of war in that moment is more real than the entire three hours of movies like Apocalypse Now. Shortly after that, the camera fills the frame with a monstrous German tank, firing mercilessly straight toward you.
Of the star-studded cast, Connery, Caan, and Hopkins shine the most. James Caan gets one of the best scenes in the movie: a wild jeep ride through German lines to save a buddy. If Steve McQueen had been in the movie, this would have been his role, but Caan does it quite well enough. Sean Connery was reportedly miffed that Redford got more than he did for much less screen time. Sean has a point, he's outstanding and convincing in his role, while Redford is pretty much playing Redford. Anthony Hopkins, whose star was rising at this point, puts another notch in his career as the Tommy paratrooper Colonel who's sent to do the impossible. Much of Gene Hackman's performance of the Polish general is presenting a frustrated man who fully realizes the FUBAR scenario that he must participate in. On the minus side,Ryan O'Neal seems too youthful to be a general and Michael Caine has so little to do one wonders if there isn't quite a bit of extra footage laying around somewhere. Not that the film needs it, but it would be a nice DVD treat.
A Bridge Too Far is a great film. It's a pity Attenborough couldn't have assembled a similar cast and crew and gone on to make the definitive film version of Battle of the Bulge. That would have supplied the one thing lacking from Bridge-a victory.
- Less than meets the eye
This movie, which I viewed 25 years ago, does not age well. While the tension between the generals is effectively portrayed, there are too many hokey elements to the actual sets. Perhaps I am wrong and some European reader could correct me, but I find it hard, in the middle of the war, with prior bombing raids, to believe that the streets of the Holland town were immaculately clean. There is too much waiting around in this movie and not enough actual portrayal of action. Too many of the officers trapped in the town escape for me to regard the movie as realistic. And would a British general have gone that far forward--I know the real Sean Connery would have but a real British general?????????...more info
- A decent WWII flick, but shows what happens when ego's are allowed to rule
The biggest lesson to be learned from this film is what happens when large ego individuals are not properly disciplined and contained while legitimate concerns are ignored; things go too far. In this case a Bridge Too Far with predictably disastrous results!...more info
- Great movie, bad DVD
The movie itself is well worth seeing. Very entertaining and pretty historically accurate, but...
I bought the DVD at Best Buy and it "froze" early into the movie. I exchanged it at Best Buy for another DVD copy and that one froze in almost the same exact spot! Luckily I got my money back.
I'm not going to bother trying another copy. I don't know if Best Buy just got a bad batch or if this glitch occurs in most of the DVD copies....more info
- A Bridege too Far
A Bridge too Far is one of the best WWII movies made even better on Blue Ray. Audio and Video are what you would expect in this format....more info
- A long epic
2,000 men out of 10,000 survived in the charge for the five bridge. "I alway thought, we went one bridge too far". The movie is heavy with carnage, death, and civilian habitat destruction and decimation. The generals knew the campaign would be lost, if they did not keep schedule. Difficulties arose in logistics, defensive support, and interference by German Panzer divisions.
The movie is worth seeing, but don't expect alot of humour. The movie theme is very similiar to the movie "Patton" with its historical action direction. This movie is about a desparate attempt to establish a glorious "D-day" invasion by capture five key bridges. "Men die in war" was the cold calculated statement, as the Generals abandoned support for the fifth bridge. A cold cynical look at risk and lose in war....more info
- Great war movie
This movie takes place in WWII where the allies attempt to take a bridge in Holland.While expecting light resistance,they ignored their own intelligence,and realized only too late that two Waffen S.S.armored divisions from the eastern front were being retrofitted there.The allies then suffer horiffic losses thus raising the question of the title of this movie.It also has an all-star cast that makes it all the more worthwhile.While some of the equipment is not 100% accurate(showing that it was diffacult to locate WWII equipment even in the 70's)there is plenty of action that one would expect in a great war movie....more info
- True Heroism- a Tragedy that Market Garden Failed
The praises of this marvelous film have been expressed well by other reviewers, I would just like to make a few points-
(1) I realize that Field Marshal Montgomery comes out looking
bad from this film and his reputation is very poor in the United States, but the plan for Operation Market Garden, coming from such a cautious commander was very bold, and if the war could have been brought to and end in 1944, hundreds of thousands of lives would have been saved. Eisenhower and political echelons were aware there were risks, but they were willing to take them in order to try to end the war as soon as possible. The fact is that most commanders have their setbacks and Montgomery was NOT sacked after Market Garden, so those in charge realized that he was not the bumbling fool that many portray him as. However, the question remains why so little time was allotted for the preparations-perhaps the Allies were aware that German defenses were firming up as the Wehrmacht was retreating to the borders of the homeland.
(2) General Browning is portrayed as someone supremely overconfident, yet in reality, it was he who expressed the view that perhaps they were going a "Bridge too Far"
(3) I found the following scenes especially moving-the 504 Parachute Regiment (part of the US 82nd Airborne) crossing the river (scene with Robert Redford) in small boats, many of the troops paddling with their rifles in the face of murderous German fire and yet succeeding to reach the other side, reminiscent of Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg; the Polish paratroopers dropping right into a German-controlled area and being killed even before they hit the ground; and, of course,
Lt Col Frost's valiant defense with units of the British First Airborne Division of one end of Arnhem Bridge, and his stubborn pride, even after being captured.
In this troubled time we live in, this film will serve as a reminder of the price that has to be paid from time to time in order for the free world to maintain that freedom....more info
- Absolutely one of the best!
If you're tired of the pieced together, staged stuff we usually (almost always) get, this is for you. This must be the most expertly directed war film of all time. The stars we know today as headliners are just in this doing their part as expected; no "look at me" types. Well, Ryan O'Neal seems out of place, but he's OK. This is a keeper....more info
- A Bridge Too Far should've won a few Oscars
A Bridge Too Far is a epic war drama to see. The film tells the story of the illfated raid staged by the Allies in an attempt to seize bridges that connected Holland with the Rhine river that crossed into Germany. This film should have won a few Oscars for Best Cinematography,
Best Costume Design,
Best Art Direction
Best Director: Richard Attenborough
Best Musical Score
and for Best Screenplay.
Even though this film didn't get no Oscars, it's still a great epic movie to watch on a rainy summer day. If you want to see a great epic war movie, give A Bridge Too Far a try....more info