A Bridge Too Far
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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.
In September 1944, flush with success after the Normandy Invasion, the Allies confidently launched Operation Market Garden, a wild scheme intended to put an early end to the fighting by invading Germany and smashing the Reich's war plants. But a combination of battlefield politics, faulty intelligence, bad luck and even worse weather led to disaster beyond the Allies' darkest fears.
- Feature-length trivia track
- Documentary feature: "Heroes from the Sky"
- Featurette: "A Distant Battle: Memories of Operation Market Garden"
- Featurette: "Richard Attenborough: A Filmmaker Remembers"
- Behind-the-scenes photo gallery
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Sometimes it just a bridge two far. Recommend to be part of anybody's DVD war library.
The Blu-ray case is full of holes, is lightweight and flimsy. This of course, requires the case to be replaced with a more substantial one (with no holes) and the original case goes into a landfill.
Light can also pass through the Blu-ray case, which may shorten the life of the Blu-ray. If a sturdier case with no holes were used this senseless waste could be avoided.
The Blu-ray version is MUCH better than streaming. There are no artifacts and video is sharp. Amazon streaming was grainy.
The movie itself, I liked, 5 Stars.
Dame Daphne Du Maurier, the widow of Lt.-General Browning, complained that her husband had been "made the fall guy" for the failure of "Operation Market Garden" by this film. Browning and the unseen Field Marshal Montgomery, who are shown as responsible for the failure, had both died by the time the film opened in 1977 (unlike the other commanders involved).
A familiar story element in the World War II genre war film is the blowing-up of a bridge. This is especially common in films with the word "bridge" in the title such as The Bridge at Remagen and The Bridge on the River Kwai. Ironically, this film A Bridge Too Far which features a quite a number of bridges in it, only the Son bridge is depicted as destroyed. Just as Col. Stout ('Elliot Gould') approaches the crossing, the bridge is blown up by German artillery (but the actual blowing-up of the bridge is not seen in the movie). The Germans also attempt to blow up the Waal Bridge at Nijmegen, but are unsuccessful when demolition charges fail to explode. In the case of this film, "A Bridge Too Far" refers to the over-ambitions of the Allied strategy in Operation Market Garden. In order for the campaign to be successful, the Allies needed to secure several enemy bridges in a very short period of time. They were tragically unsuccessful.
The film covers the Market-Garden operation planned by British Gen. Bernard Montgomery in late '44 to bypass the Siegfried Line, cross the Rhine and win the war in 1944 while the Germans were on the ropes. The film does a decent job of showing the deliberate ignoring of intelligence of powerful German units in the area of Arnhem as well as the planning issues that made it difficult for British paras to capture the bridge across the Rhine. It portrays the courage of allied soldiers well and shows the misfortunes that helped derail the operation.
The movie isn't completely accurate and doesn't reflect the effectiveness of Germans in the defense. There were some poingant scenes in the film, but the scene where the elderly Dutch woman trying to hail a taxi is shot by German snipers is simply over the top and silly. I felt some of the individual performances were good, such as Sean Connery's and that of James Caan but, on the whole, you got the feeling that a lot of them were just there for a paycheck and their performances weren't very "inspired" (Ryan Oneil, Robert Redford, Elliot Gould).
It's certainly worth a view, but not necessarily worth buying a new copy of this DVD for keeps. It's an "okay" war movie and I give it three stars.
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Hot Toasty Rag, September 30, 2017
Richard Attenborough’s extensive war epic A Bridge Too Far shows the numerous attempts the Allies...Read more