on April 27, 2004
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!
on December 4, 2000
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 with a motley crew of troops including Harry Dean Stanton as "Willard" and Jeff Morris as "Cowboy".
I know some reviewers tend to be a bit critical of some of the humourous aspects of this movie....but what the heck...it's not trying to be "All Quiet on the Western Front" or "Paths of Glory"...the movie is a fictional tale about an elaborate bank heist thrown in amongst a very noisy war, and peopled with some larger than life colorful characters. "Kelly's Heroes" is an enjoyable little cult film and is a fun way to spend a lazy evening watching a "Boys Own" action adventure.
Great to finally have "Kellys Heroes" out on DVD (although a few extra goodies would have been nice)....picture and sound quality is very good...and I always enjoy "The Mike Curb Congregation" singing "Burning Bridges" (the film's theme track)......
on September 2, 2005
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'?."
It's a shame that these two small scenes, are missing especially when part of the Lesser scene is included in the final credits!.
Anyway,if these two missing parts are un-important to to you, then by all means pick the DVD up, if they ARE important to you as they are to me, then join me in a loud chorus of BOOOs instead!.
Sorry about the "negative waves"
Mr Movie guy
on October 11, 2000
It's not for nothing that Kelly's Heroes has enjoyed a growing cult following over the past 30 years--it's that exceptional. The cast is a remarkable gathering of some of the biggest names in entertainment by 1970 and each actor fits perfectly into his role in a way that's practically unheard of these days. I can only imagine the fun the actors had making this film because their enthusiasm is obvious--it rubs off on the viewer. This is a playful historical fiction, delightfully revisionary at times, and as irreverent comedy, the film is classic; it features some well calculated anachronisms, such as Oddball (note to Leonard Maltin: why do you think they really called him Oddball?), played unforgettably by Donald Sutherland, a Vietnam-era soldier/poet/lover/flower child, whose chutzpah acts to counterbalance the uptight Big Joe (Sevalas) and the disaffected, self-motivated Kelly (Eastwood). "Crap Game" (Rickles) is the quintessential New York hustler and the film wouldn't be the same without his performance, the unforgettable lines like, "make a deal, maybe the guy's a Republican." (It helps to see the film in light of its own time).
The strength of the film is in it's characterization (many of the soldier characters coming straight out of a Bill Mauldin cartoon), the performances, and the story (itself a sort of classic, copied by the makers of "Three Kings"). And yet Kelly's Heroe's was probably the most accurate WWII movie up to it's time (and then some) for military equipment and dress. For example, the dark and enigmatic German Mark VI "Tiger" tanks, with their black-suited SS crewmen, are wonderfully reproduced even down to the anti magnetic mine paste.
Kelly's Heroes is cool, confident, unassuming, irreverent, and early anti-war WWII movie (from a time when the war was seen very much as "the good war") and what better way to achieve this than as a comedy, even a black comedy (you probably won't see perhaps a more realistic and jarring depiction of a man stepping on an anti-personel mine than in this film). Kelly's Heroes flies in the face of contemporary political correctness compulsions; today an anti-war film has to be heavy-handed, symbolic, and have some sort of social or political message (as did "Three King's"). When "Saving Private Ryan" first ran, some reviewers compared it to Kelly's Heroes, citing that the latter was "not serious and realistic enough." Kelly's Heroes is growing in popularity as a cult film precisely because it's makers weren't so hung up on verisimilitude and social realism that they couldn't create a fun, interesting story with some good old-fashioned humor. That's fiction, Leonard M., F-I-C-T-I-O-N.
What an early Eastwood gem! Eastwood as Rowdy Yates rode off into sunset of Spaghetti Westerns in the 60's, but came back to start is long career in Hollywood movies with several quirky, oddball movies Two Mules for Sister Sara and Kelly's Heroes. This is a totally funny movie, with strong acting from an all star cast. HOWEVER - I really wish since we have DVD and can add so much, that they would put out the FULL LENGTH version of this movie. I have seen the longer version and it's so good. So many of the funny stuff was whacked out for length! WHY they did not do the longer version is beyond me!
The heroes are not Kelly's, they actually belong to Big Joe (Telly Savalas) - well actually to Maitland, their absentee Capt. - and they are not heroes. You quickly learn from Oddball (Donald Sutherland in his pre-Hawkeye rebel role), that a hero is nothing but a sandwich to most of these guys. Maitland is the general's nephew who is more interested in looting the countryside, so he leaves the weary misfits under Big Joe's capable care. Only, Kelly (Eastwood) discovered there is a bank behind enemy lines with millions of dollars in gold bars. Kelly quickly decides a bank job that isn't a bank job is much better than just getting shot by Germans.
Along for the ride is Sutherland's tank team - with Gavin Macleod as his second in command. Some of Sutherland's and Macleod's "making with them negative waves" banter is just so perfect! Then there is Cowboy (Jeff Morrsi and Willard (Harry Dean Statton, who actually gets to sing!) "Damn right!", Gene Collins' Pvt. Babra "Stop calling me Barbara!" and Don Rickles as Crapgame.
Toss in scenes that are witty, a parody of Eastwood Spaghetti showdown, this is just brilliantly directed, paced, acted and written from beginning to end. Don't miss Sutherland and his dog imitations, the exploding shells of paint or Crapgame's encounter with the outhouse!
on October 1, 2000
Anyone that has ever seen this movie knows it's a great movie. However, for those that haven't here are the highlights. If you liked "Three Kings" you should LOVE Kelley's Heroes. Three Kings was a reasonably good modern day copy of Kelley's Heroes, but as in most cases, comes up well short of the original. Kelly (Clint Eastwood), a cashiered lieutenant, discovers that the Germans (this is WWII) have hidden about 16 million in gold in a small town in France. With the help of an unlikely cast (Don Rickles, Donald Sutherland, Telley Savalas, and Gavin Macleod), he decides to try to take it away from the Germans. The rest is, by and large, pretty predictable if you haven't seen the movie, but also surprisingly fresh with more laughs then you could reasonably expect of a movie dealing with WWII. In my opinion at least, one of the best casted movies ever made. Carroll O'Connor (aka Archie Buncker) is hilarious. I've probably seen this movie a few dozen times, and was looking forward to the DVD simply to add it to my collection, but found the digital transfer to be exceptional. Everything from the picture to the sound is much enhanced over the old analog version.
This movie is a MUST for any DVD collector, especially if they're a Clint Eastwood fan.
on August 14, 2000
It's World War II, and Kelly (Clint Eastwood) has found out that behind enemy lines there's a bank full of GOLD! Now all he has to do is figure out a way to get it it without getting killed and without having to divide it with too many of his comrades. This movie has action, suspense, comedy, and drama. It is filled to the gills with stars who play unique characters. Among the stars of this film are Telly Savalas, Don Rickles, Carroll O'Connor and Donald Sutherland who by the way, gives an epic performance. This is one movie you can watch again and again and again, and still love it. Oddball, (played by Donald Sutherland) demonstrates the power of positive thinking and has the most unique way of attacking the enemy while riding in a tank. This isn't one of those low budget films that leave you wondering what in the world is going on. It is a masterpiece of writing and directing. Friends of mine who are currently in the military or who are long retired veterans adore this film. Everyone who plays in this movie give stellar performances, plus, it shows just what a little team work and positive thinking can do. This is a review for the vhs version of the movie.
on March 8, 2000
There are a number of reasons that this movie is a stand a lone classic. It has a cast of actors many of which were already well known and highly regarded, and others that became stars later in their careers. The combination of humor, drama, (characters did die during some of the action scenes), and good old fashion "shoot em up" action, makes a good mix for an extremely enjoyable movie. The VHS version of this movie was one of the first videos I ever purchased, (and videos were a lot more expensive than they are today), and I was sorry that it was'nt in the letter box format. The scene where three soldiers walk "Italian Western" style, down a narrow village street to confront a Tiger tank, is not the same without full frame viewing. In viewing this movie, one must remember that it was a "child" of the 80's. So you have a Hippie soldier, and perhaps some humor reflecting the period of time that this movie was made. I don't believe however that the humor is at all dated. In regards to the Tiger tanks in the movie, which someone in another review suggested were actually modified T-34 tanks. I doubt seriously that this is the case, since many countries around the world had military equipment left over from World War II. I am a military hobbiest with many reference books, and those tanks sure looked real to me. Finally, I have seen some of the actors that were in the cast of this movie, refer to it in interviews on television. Years after working together, they still seemed to have fond memories of making the movie, and I got the feeling that they were a bunch of guys that had a great time. I think their enjoyment of acting together, is reflected in the smooth interaction that comes across in the film. They played off each other very well. So after you've "had a little wine and caught a few rays", sit back and enjoy a really great movie. Maybe you'll agree with "Odd Ball", and say "Woof, Woof!", in real appreciation of this entertaining movie.
on March 28, 2006
I love this movie, it's one of my favorites....BUT...... yep, there are a couple of those. Here's what makes it great: The cast is excellent. The guys they got to play the minor parts, like Mulligan the mortar man and Carroll O'Connor's staff, help stretch this movie into the great category. The scale is great. The Allied and German army extras make it feel like, well, there's a war going on. The scenery is fabulous... it has that European flavor all over it. The machinery... here's where the production team scores and the movie really makes it for me. The equipment crew gave German soldiers GERMAN WW2 vehicles the U.S. soldiers had U.S. WW2 vehicles. Remember Fonda's "Battle of the Bulge"? Well, the use of US Korean-era tanks for King Tigers really hurt the "ambiance" of that movie. In this picture, you almost have REAL German Tiger Ones. Why almost? Take a look at the treads and wheels. It looks like they took a Tiger body and turret (or modified one) and put Russian T-34 tracks/wheel assemblies on them. By 1969, there probably weren't many Tiger Is around, but the movie's effort on this front is astounding. There's just enough comedy to "keep the movie real" without turning it into another Fonda farse like "My Name is Nobody". Downside? Well, while Oddball's band is entertaining, they don't fit the era. That said, the movie is enriched by them. The movie really "pushes the envelope" of the era by sneaking in vulgar terms. Now look what our movies are like. My vote for best acting job? Don Rickles. Give the guy a statue! Buy the movie. Enjoy.
on February 22, 2002
Because I live in Japan, whenever I see American movies on the television, I have the terrible disadvantage of having to see the movie with many scenes taken out! So when I taped "Kelly's Heroes", I was only able to watch 1 hour and 50 minutes of this 143 minutes movie! Finally I am able to watch the whole movie through, and in the wonderful picture quality, sound, and color of DVD! What a thrill it was to get this DVD for my birthday, and I sincerely thank my parents for it!
When a group of soldiers from World War II complain that, "There's no action!", Lieutenant Kelly (Clint Eastwood) gives them 'a proposition', even when his tough superior Sergeant Big Joe (Telly Savalas) threatens him not to. 25 miles away in Clermont is a bank with Germans guarding 14,000 bars of solid gold - which comes up to about 16 million bucks! And since it's behind enemy lines, Staff Sergeant Crapgame "The Hustler" (Don Rickles) is absolutely correct when he says that 'it could be the perfect crime'! Sharing in their adventure is also Oddball (Donald Sutherland), who is, as you've probably already guessed, a nut but an able tank commander. And of course there's the rest of 'Kelly's Heroes', Little Joe (Stuart Margolin), Cowboy (Jeff Morris), Moriarty (Gavin MacLeod), Gutowski (Richard Davalos), Fisher (Dick Balduzzi), Babra who is always called 'Barabara' (Gene Collins), and plenty of other guys, too. But of course they have a long way to go to reach their destination. They'll be hindered by a sixty foot river, German patrols, and even have to beware of their own planes! And even if they reach Clermont, will they be able to go up against - not one, or two - but three Tiger tanks? Also starring is Carroll O'Connor as Major General Colt who wants the American Army to 'get back into the war', his nephew Captain Maitland played by Hal Buckley, and of course there is Mulligan acted out by George Savalas, who is the brother of Telly Savalas (notice the similarities, although their roles are very different from each other's).
A 'no-doubt-about-it' five star movie, though if I could give it more, I would! "Kelly's Heroes" is in a genre of it's own, having a bit of everything; action, war, comedy, suspense, and drama. And please don't believe that this is only 'a guy's film'. Yes, the movie is mostly aimed for guys but still, I'm a girl and I LOVE this movie!
The movie is well-paced for it's 143 minutes of film time. Some movies seem to be drawn out and too long but "Kelly's Heroes" doesn't have that case. I cannot actually tell you which are my favorite scenes because, well, the whole movie is good! But if I had to answer that question, I would say that the last part where Kelly and his 'heroes' are going into Clermont is one of the best parts of the movie. And of course, the scene where Kelly, Big Joe, and Oddball confront the Tiger tank. That is most definitely a classic scene, imitating western movies like Clint Eastwood's, "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly". And if you listen closely, you can actually here the clink of spurs! :-) The music is terrific, too, especially the song, "Burnin' Bridges". I love the intro with the drums and trumpets! The music also really pumps you up with excitement and suspense at just the right times.
As for the DVD, I would only give it four stars out of five. I must admit that the front cover and back cover is really nice. The first thing I thought when I opened of the front flap was, "WOW, that is a cool picture of Clint Eastwood!" The movie is also divided into 37 chapters, the more the better for me, since I love it when DVD's have many chapters. But I was a mite disappointed at the lack of special features. The theatrical trailer was really fun to watch but as for the "Cast and Crew" part, though about nine people are mentioned, you only get to see Clint Eastwood's filmography! They could have at least put filmographies and a short biography on Telly Savalas, Donald Sutherland, and Don Rickles.
Oh, well. But the movie itself certainly makes up for my little disappointment in the DVD. Great movie for anyone though I think the movie's better for kids 13 and up, rather than younger kids. If you have any 'negative waves' on this movie, maybe rent it out first although I'm sure anyone could love this movie!