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The Bridge at Remagen (1969)

M  -  Action | Drama | War  -  23 October 1969 (Sweden)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 5,156 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 13 critic

As the Allied armies close in, the Nazis decide to blow up the last Rhine bridge, trapping their own men on the wrong side. But will it happen?

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Title: The Bridge at Remagen (1969)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lieutenant Phil Hartman
...
Maj. Paul Kreuger
...
Sgt. Angelo
...
Major Barnes
...
Brig. Gen. Shinner (as E. G. Marshall)
...
Gen. Von Brock (as Peter Van Eyck)
Hans Christian Blech ...
Capt. Carl Schmidt
Heinz Reincke ...
Holzgang
Joachim Hansen ...
Capt. Otto Baumann
Sonja Ziemann ...
Greta Holzgang
Anna Gaël ...
French Girl (as Anna Gael)
Vít Olmer ...
Lt. Zimring (as Vit Olmer)
...
Corp. Grebs
Robert Logan ...
Pvt. Bissell
...
Corp. Jellicoe
Edit

Storyline

In the last days of World War II, the Allied Army desperatly searched for a bridgehead across the impenetrable Rhein River, in order to launch a major assault into the center of Germany. "Bridge at Remagen" tells the true story of the battle for this last bridgehead, from both the German and American perspective. Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bridge | rhine | army | battle | nazi | See more »

Taglines:

Thus ended the last great German stand in the West. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

23 October 1969 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

The Bridge at Remagen  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The producers were granted the right to blow up large parts of the town of Most, but they decided not to blow up the local Communist party headquarters building; Soviet forces were already preparing to invade Czechoslovakia at the time and the producers didn't want to offend the soon-to-be-arriving Russians. See more »

Goofs

Kreuger says to Von Brock that he heard the Russians were at the Elbe River. The Russians didn't get there until April, after the Remagen bridge was taken. Kreuger should have said the Russians were at the Oder River, which would have been correct for Jan.-Feb. 1945. See more »

Quotes

Major Barnes: Look, uh, Hartman, I know it's been a hard blow. It's always a shock to lose a buddy, a man you worked with and fought with. I mean, we're all human. I guess what I'm trying to say is... I realize Captain Colt was your friend. He was my friend, too.
Lt. Phil Hartman: Bullshit.
[Long pause]
Major Barnes: Would you, uh... care to rephrase that, Lieutenant?
Lt. Phil Hartman: You don't have any friends out here, Major. Neither do I. We can't afford them. Neither one of us.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Guns for Hire: The Making of 'The Magnificent Seven' (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Well-acted WWII Drama with Excellent Battle Sequences
9 April 2005 | by (St. Davids, Pennsylvania, USA) – See all my reviews

American director John Guillermin, known for several epic "clunkers", pulls together this rather tense look at one of the most important battles of World War II: American forces clash with the Germans at Remagen, where the last intact bridge over the Rhine stands between the two opposing forces.

The script divides attention evenly and fairly between the two forces. George Segal ("The Longest Day") is Lt. Hartman, a burned out and pretty tired junior officer who doesn't want to accept the responsibilities of command when his company commander is killed. The war is almost over, and Hartman is concerned with getting his men home. On the other side of the river, German Major Kreuger (Robert Vaughn) is equally concerned with saving lives – German lives. He becomes obsessed with keeping the bridge intact in order to allow retreating German soldiers to attack, despite orders from the High Command to blow up the bridge to prevent its' capture by the Allies.

The supporting cast is filled with fine performances. The standouts are Hans Christian Blech ("Battle of the Bulge") as Captain Schmidt, a weary Wehrmacht Officer who feels his duty is to protect the civilians whom Kreuger puts in harm's way by continuing a hopeless fight. Blech's acting ability ranges from quiet humility to occasional fits of rage, bringing a dimensionality to a role not commonly found in war epics. Joachim Hansen ("Breakthrough") disagrees with Schmidt; he is devoted to the High Command and wants a battle with the Americans more than anything. Both actors bring passion to their roles and make these very believable wartime officers, not simply normal caricatures and stereotypes.

Guillermin takes these characters and puts them in intense combat situations, making their humanity all the more believable. The best battle scene in the film has a platoon of American soldiers advancing onto the bridge under a smokescreen, but while they are in the open, the smoke begins to clear giving the Germans a clear field of fire. As some men are shot in the open, others move underneath the bridge to try and rip off as many explosives as they can before the Germans can ignite a secondary fuse to blow up the bridge.

In the aftermath of battle scenes like this, the human drama unfolds. Sgt. Angelo (Ben Gazzara, "Fireball Forward") is a tough GI who loots the bodies of the dead and sees the war around him as a chance to get rich and take the wealth home when it's all over. But when he must shoot a Hitler Youth member who is sniping at his men, then weeps when he realizes he has shot a mere pre-teenage boy. During a lull in the siege on the bridge, Hartman faces off with Maj. Barnes (Bradford Dillman), who wants him to take his men onto the bridge and capture it despite enemy fire and the threat of the bridge's imminent destruction. Hartman argues that he cannot risk the lives of his men; Barnes states that it will help to end the war faster is the bridge is captured, thus saving more lives in the end. It's a tough choice to make, and both decisions have their drawbacks.

The performances are complimented by three crucial technical elements: scoring, scenery and cinematography. Elmer Bernstein provides a sweeping score which resounds with the troops when they are victorious, yet mourns and seems to cry during some heart-wrenching scenes, such as an important scene between Angelo, Hartman and Schmidt at the film's conclusion. The Czech locations look magnificent – the film looks and feels real because it was lensed in Europe, in a location which passes for Germany perfectly. The cobblestones streets, rustic villages, rolling hills and clear rivers look amazing. Finally, Stanley Cortez's cinematography is fantastic; the composition of every shot looks well-planned and detailed. There is action going on in the background and foreground most of the time. The focus is not just on the main characters, but as in real life, there is stuff going on around them. Scenes of the battle on the bridge are standouts, as the action is captured from every possible angle, it's very clear what's going on and who is where at all times.

"The Bridge at Remagen" is a fine World War II film which succeeds in showing history, American patriotism and the horrors of war at the same time. It will leave you feeling glad that the Allies won the war and agonized over the great cost of such small gains. But when you realize how much a "small" gain really matters in the big picture, it won't seem as small anymore.


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