A Bridge Too Far (1977) - Drama, History, War

Hohum Score



Operation Market Garden, September 1944: The Allies attempt to capture several strategically important bridges in the Netherlands in the hope of breaking the German lines.

IMDB: 7.4
Director: Richard Attenborough
Stars: Sean Connery, Ryan O'Neal
Length: 175 Minutes
PG Rating: PG
Reviews: 31 out of 228 found boring (13.59%)

One-line Reviews (134)

It's well worth the watch.

The movie is very solid, well-acted and entertaining.

But there are some equally dreadful lowlights as well; Ryan O'Neal is unbearable as Jim Gavin in a portrayal that manages to reduce one of the most enigmatic soldiers in American history to a whiner you want to slap every time you see him.

During the 40s and 50s, when all the other genres were busy growing up, all war pictures were produced as propaganda or respectful tribute, simply due to the needs of the era.

The many star parts are both enjoyable and distracting.

It successfully portrays the vast waste of human life invvoled and offers no happy ending to justify the suffering.

Horrocks is also quite enjoyable.

The scenes in this film were shot pretty much as you see them - so the 35,000 parachutists storming Holland, the river crossing led by Robert Redford under intense enemy fire, and other such staggering combat sequences were filmed with thousands of extras and a good deal of meticulous planning and preparation.

The material was fascinating, the acting first rate, direction flawless and the overall production values top flight.

The movie acurrately showed what a waste the brave 82nd airborne daylight river crossing was only to have the British armor stop for tea time a mile away from rescuing their own Paratroops.

What happens indeed is a lot of confusion and flaws, lack of communication and coordination of the operation, bad planning, meteorological problems, resulting in the death of thousand of men.

The book offers so much utterly compelling and cinematic material ...

Lavish, gritty, engrossing .

Brian Horrocks - especially for his rousing speech prior to XXX Corps setting off on the narrow road to Arnhem.

What A Waste of Life .

It would been far better to focus on fewer characters and develop them well instead of relying on every war cliché imaginable and hoping it sticks like spaghetti thrown against the wall.

The movie is very solid, well-acted and entertaining.

Thoroughly entertaining and interest raiser .

The downs: Besides Robert Redford's pointless casting, there areother problems with the actors.

The direction by sir Richard Attenborough is wonderful, kinetic and gripping.

But the boredom I felt while I was watching this film (for the second time)is mammoth.

And he originally filmed the closing scene of the movie not with a triumphant parade of victorious infantrymen marching up the slopes to a peppy military tune but with an forlorn, exhausted, empty grunt, sitting at the water's edge and listlessly tossing pebbles into the waves.

The failure of the (over)ambitious 'Operation Market Garden' is a fascinating story.

It is a worthwhile film for war buffs, as there are a few rewarding battle scenes; but one has to wade through veritable spools of self-important and confusing - sometimes down-right boring - celluloid to get to them.

The actual final ending of the film was bland, and very heavy-handed.

Christened 'an hour too long' on its original release, this is 3 hours of strategic conversations and battle scenes interspersed with one or two stand alone scenes of some quality - Caan trying to save his buddy, Fox driving past his troops.

They will have to come to the conclusion that a movie that tells the story from every point of view, is unnecessarily confusion, overlong and focuses on far too many characters and plot-lines.

'Ted's evaluation: 3 of 4 -- Worth watching.

In "A Bridge Too Far", the dialogue and settings are so campy and obvious, the experience lapses into too many cliché scenes.

This makes the battle scenes majestic and the slow moments poignant.

Nearly every scene is filled with silly cliché drivel which has been used in war films from circa 1950 to 1965.

As a film it's entertaining.

Historical, accurate and engaging - watch it .

As there are so many strands and so many characters the overall narrative is completely disjointed.

Frost is very credible and entertaining.

This approach makes portions of "A Bridge Too Far" quite stirring and exciting, if you like that sort of thing.

The action is raw, in-your-face and intense, and quite graphic at times.

" and "Catch-22" all from 1970 and then just after this one in 1978 and 1979, "The Deer Hunter" and "Apocalypse Now," all offer something more contemporary and compelling in terms of style and movie-making.

Evocative as well as thrilling musical score by John Addison , this composer was a member of XXX Corps during the actual operation.

Because that's the real problem of the movie; It is big, ambitious and ponderous, the beat being much too slow and heavy for the sake of inserting all of these starry cameos and to prove how serious it has been researched.

I am intending to add this one to my DVD collection and highly recommend it to war movie buffs.

The music didn't help either, but parts of the movie are great and the all-star cast does lift it beyond the mundane, if you can get past Gene Hackman's strangled-cat attempts to reproduce a Polish accent.

Tight editing allows the battle scenes to be both engaging and taut.

The ideas are good, but the scope of the project was just way too large to coherently squeeze into a near 3 hour film and the disjointed multiple story lines end up zapping most of your interest in the outcome.

It is of course very entertaining.

The movie plays out like a documentary filled with a fair share of Monthy Python stereo types, but without the intended silliness, and otherwise bland Americans.

It is historically accurate and fascinating to watch.

Market Garden was plagued by "bad luck" apart from any bad-planning; the British radios which didn't work, the weather, the unexpected Panzer regiments.

He also wastes time with banal bits of metaphorical business, like the train-set spinning round in circles.

The cinematography is extraordinary; the music is suitably stirring; the potentially confusing story is handled with clarity and true-to-the-facts sensitivity; and amid the chaos a number of very memorable scenes emerge.

This exciting , overproduced wartime story is plenty of action , emotion , realized in documentary style , though sometimes results to be lifeless and overlong .

A Bridge Too Far is an entertaining and ambitious re-telling of Operation Market Garden, an unsuccessful attempt by Allied forces to capture key areas and bring about a quick end to WWII.

Individual scenes stand out like James Caan eluding Germans and forcing Arthur Hill to operate at gunpoint, Sean Connery getting holed up in an attic to avoid capture, and the tedious back and forth battle between British and German forces for a bridge.

Just when a scene becomes slow, we cut to an entirely new sub-story with an entirely new set of characters.

Sundry big names appear in totally unnecessary cameos, most of which simply detract from the main plot; this, I feel, adding to the confusion of an already muddled screenplay.

His arrangements are clear and meaningful, which also helps in the fast paced action scenes.

This sequence is intense and magnificently shot, with a great concluding scene.

But most of the time, it's a bore.

Those that say the movie is boring and not well made do not understand the real greatness of this film.

Whilst some may find the length of the film to be a bit tiresome, for someone such as myself who can't stand to see details skimped on, this helps to craft the storyline very effectively, moulding the rather hurried military planning with much of the human stories of those involved in making the military decisions not insignificant either.

It may look and sound like a history lesson, but it's an interesting and exciting lesson to learn.

Quite apart from the historical significance of the event (and the significance of the film of the event), this is rather worth watching.

Overall, A Bridge Too Far is worth watching, only if to see the ambition and creativity that was put forth into this film.

I saw the film in the theater but can't remember having been wowed by the jump sequence, which I'm sure must have been breathtaking.

The editing is strong as well, especially in the battle sequences which create the air of chaos and confusion to give the viewer an idea of the "fog of war" first hand.

Enjoyable, action-packed war epic .

" The battles are both thrilling and terrifying, a nicely struck balance.

Laurence Olivier and James Caan appear in two completely pointless almost-cameo roles.

Worth watching for the cast, uniforms, equipment, and settings ...

The movie acurrately showed what a waste the brave 82nd airborne daylight river crossing was only to have the British armor stop for tea time a mile away from rescuing their own Paratroops.

In Ryan's book it's easy enough to follow events and characters but, as edited, this movie is pretty confusing.


Large-scale boredom.

As genres go, the war movie went through a fairly slow and awkward evolution.

It is disappointing that the director, Attenbourgh - an Englishman himself, at times resorted to the tired and false Hollywood cliche of the British as being inept and over-cautious, 8000 of our boys died at Arnhem.

Here, there may be a lot thrown in, but it is compelling and the elements are for the most part important in showing what happened, which is what the film is trying to do.

The battle scenes could have been made more clearer as to just where they were taking place without having to resort to 'take note audience' type dialog by the principals for audiences unfamiliar with the historical facts about the battle, but of course, if not deftly done, this can make a film of this nature very ponderous; keeping the narrative flowing while giving a sense just where in the three cities (Eindhoven, Nijmegan & Arhnem) the action is taking place is difficult.

The downside is partly that the movie is too long.

The opening scene, with the Dutch family quivering under a candlelit nimbus straight out of Vermeer as the news of German retreat fills them with an almost unbelieving hope, is sublime setup for all to follow, and the battle scenes around Arnhem have a realness to them that's both painful and rousing.

The overall impression, however, is one of waste: waste of life, waste of effort.

For everyone else, an all-star cast and gripping war-action will entertain as well.

A largely historically accurate depiction of the failed Operation Market Garden, this is a thrilling and engrossing epic war film which explores the absolute necessity of a great deal of preparation in staging a major military operation.

Finally in addition to being precise to the events, and exposing in depth all the characters involved, it is very entertaining, and will keep you intrigued for the whole time.

The film is filled with huge battles and has some very exciting and poignant sequences.

This film avoids the cliché of making all Germans and Nazis as evil characters which was possibilities a more truthful portrayal.

His action scenes are breathtaking,while the casualty sequences are genuinely heart-rending.

And yet the whole thing is structured to provide a blend of the informative, the exciting and the moving.

The whole needless arc of a gruff non-com (James Caan) and a scared young officer who looks to him for protection is predictable from their first exchange.

The photography is stunning, the soft focus and smokey screen is a trademark of Unsworth, he used this to great effect in Superman The Movie.

Also, man probably argue that the movie dragged on too long.

The final damning indictment on the film was completed by the Pathe newsreel type music and the nauseatingly predictable and stereotypical background speech and shouted comments of the soldiers 'all doing their bit'.

The sight of Dakotas dropping hundreds of paratroopers over Holland is a stunning spectacle, as are the columns of tanks and battalions of costumed extras.

Flawed epic that has stolen 3 hours of my life.

When the allies dropped four airborne units(one a Polish brigade) into Holland near the end of 1944, only to have one of them defeated by unexpected resistance from German units and cheering crowds of Dutch, nobody took in account that they would make a movie about it some decades later.

It's a long film but worth watching, in particular it highlights the tenacity and courage of the British Paras, who held out at Arnhem for several days.

This movie is full of sorrow and stupidity and what seems to be a lot of tactical detail which makes it a thrilling work of film.

A battle to stay awake .

Too muddled and confusing as well.

Robert Redford's assault across the river is a symphony in olive drab, leading to a wonderful moment of exhilaration.

In all, this is a thrilling and well-crafted war film.

The movie makes Market-Garden seem more like a big adventure instead of a great waste of human life and treasure.

Accurate, Stunning and Shallow Epic .

In fact, the plot as a whole is quite hard to follow in the course of this overlong and over-repetitive screenplay.

Mostly downbeat film is well acted of course, but goes on far too long telling its ultimately doomed account of this failed mission.

Long, Boring, and Generally Badly-Handled .

Ryan O'Neal, Robert Redford and Eliot Gould were so-so, ho-hum.

I thought all the actors did well with their roles, with Edward Fox being as entertaining as usual, although Gene Hackman's Polish accent sounded a little forced.

The scale of it is breathtaking.

A lot of self indulgent, meandering direction from Attenborough doesn't help the matter either.

Military historians may relish every minute of this WW2 drama, but this film left me cold, bored and totally unengaged.

Painfully, agonizingly slow.

Really suspenseful too, even though I already know exactly how everything will play out.

It's almost as effective as a documentary, and is certainly more entertaining.

The film is extremely well detailed, using authentic vehicles, superb destruction sequences and stunning locations.

Either way this is a film worth watching at least once just so you can understand what your freedom cost.

The attention to detail is fascinating in small ways.

In that sense, it was very enjoyable.

It's a very enjoyable mix.

Like watching Saving Private Ryan, all I think watching this movie is what a waste of human life.

Some stories are so engaging, you can watch them over and over again.

A movie however needs more than just a fascinating premise.

The sequence of the boarding and dropping of the paratroops is a thrilling spectacle, shot on a colossal scale.

However A Bridge Too Far is a good film and is well worth watching, especially if you like war films or interested in WWII.

Any way you look at it, ATF is a thrilling, horrifying, thought- provoking, all around excellent film.

It also shows the power of film to bring history to life without being patronizing, overly dramatic or dull.

The scenes showing the drop of the British and American airborne forces are visually stunning and worth the price of a DVD for their own sake.

Michael Caine is laconic,Lawrence Olivier and Liv Ullman are compassion personified,Ryan O'Neal is intense and harassed and Gene Hackman gives one of his best perfomances of all time as a Polish General with grave misgivings about the whole thing.

The one downfall, as cited in an earlier review, is the situational confusion that ends up confusing the viewer.

From BAFTA nominated director Lord Sir Richard Attenborough (Gandhi, Cry Freedom), this may not the best war film I've seen, but certainly worth watching.

I highly recommend it.

Too many long, dull pauses, aimless dialogue over story points that carry little if any impact to the major story lines.

That's probably enough for people who are into it—and it's gripping, for sure, at its best.

TORA TORA BORA, THE LONGEST DAY (you ever spent watching a movie) - painstakingly technical, despite scattered scenes of destruction they are as dull as they are long.

but how do you think the GI, the British soldier, felt after almost two weeks of constant, intense battle?