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. However, mismanagement and poor planning result in its failure.
Nun Sara is on the run in Mexico and is saved from cowboys by Hogan, who is preparing for a future mission to capture a French fort. The pair become good friends, but Sara never does tell him the true reason behind her being outlawed.
During World War II a German Colonel is captured by the Americans but before he can be interrogated an artillery barrage hits the camp. However, Ex-Lieutenant Kelly manages to reach the Colonel, get him drunk and learn that he is on a secret mission to ship $16,000,000 of gold to a base in France. Kelly is determined to get the gold and plans for himself and a few of his fellow soldiers to slip into enemy territory and steal the bullion. Written by
Dave Jenkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Kelly, Big Joe and the other recon soldiers wear the shoulder patch of the 35th Infantry Division, which was fighting in the area of Nancy, France, in late summer 1944. See more »
When Kelly and the guys ambush the German patrol after leaving the minefield, A grenade is thrown into a group of enemy soldiers firing from across the road. We then see the grenade land, and finally detonate. The problem is that when the grenade explodes, we see the plume of smoke and debris, but we also see that the "can" is dislodged from the ground and visible. When the pyrotechnical experts set a charge for a movie set, it is loaded into a metal or thick cardboard canister and buried just below the surface, and the location carefully marked for the benefit of the actors safety. This separates the explosive compounds from ground moisture and errant spark or flame from filming any action scenes. In this case, the detonation of the charge lifted the can partially out of the ground and into camera range. See more »
[looking at aerial pics of the a remaining bridge]
suppose the bridge ain't there?
Don't hit me with them negative waves so early in the morning. Think the bridge will be there and it will be there. It's a mother, beautiful bridge, and it's gonna be there. Ok?
[Later: Oddball is looking through binoculars at the bridge]
[planes fly and bomb the bridge]
... No it ain't. See what sending out them negative waves did, Moriarty?
That ain't my fault, Oddball, I've done ...
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Kelly's Heroes does not try to trivialize war. It portrays a comedy within the boundaries of war's absurdity. (Quite frankly, I did not like the film MASH because I felt it did try to trivialize war).
What makes Kelly's Heroes a success is that the director never forgot that the point of comedy is to make us laugh. There's no message here; just pure entertainment.
The film is believable because it stretches, but never steps over, the line of plausibility. The story is preposterous, but in the confusion of war we can believe something like this could happen. Those who have served in the military have all met characters like the ones in Kelly's platoon, even Oddball. Yes, Donald Sutherland was clearly cast out of time, from the 60s, but he somehow personified the rebel in all of us, and that spans generations. If anything, Oddball subliminally told us it was okay to view the film from our vantage point of 1970. His character worked. And so did all the others.
On top of that, the filmmaker spent the extra time and expense to insure reasonable technical accuracy. The uniforms were authentic and I was most impressed by the fact that the vehicles and equipment, for both sides, were accurate. (My biggest gripe about 'Patton' was that it used M-41 tanks for both sides, just painted differently).
The structure of the film is excellent. We believe everything is real. The early scene where the platoon is sitting on the side of the road while a seemingly endless convoy of Sherman tanks passes is a perfect example. There may have only been a few tanks but the way they were looped about continuously gave the impression of 'a cast of thousands'. The Yugoslavian backdrop was reflective of WWII Europe.
Watch this film a few times and you'll catch the slight nuances not normally found the first time through. It's classic how seemingly unimportant early events or dialog enhance the humor of later scenes. For example, when Oddball first shows Kelly his tanks he says they have loud speakers to calm their nerves and paint in their shells to scare the Germans. Early Sherman tanks had a low velocity shell that was ineffective against German armor. Later we roar when Kelly catches a Tiger from its vulnerable rear, but Oddball forgets to fire an anti-tank round and instead splatters it with pink paint! The railroad yard attack scene, (which is superbly choreographed, and tactically accurate) becomes absolutely riotous when Oddball's crew plays 'I've been working on the Railroad' after destroying the place and rumbling away.
Don Rickles should have won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Crapgame. He congeals all the other elements and characters in the film.
The parody scene of 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' is superb. Like Oddball, its being out of time somehow enhances its own effect.
I read somewhere that Clint Eastwood was a bit disappointed with this film because he was not allowed to give it one more edit before its release. I don't know how on earth he could have improved on it.
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