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.
A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won't make it into town alive.
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 <email@example.com>
Approximately 20 minutes were cut from the movie by MGM and studio boss James T. Aubrey before theatrical release. MGM even changed the title of the movie. Originally it was called "The Warriors", then in post-production it was changed to "Kelly's Warriors": and then to "Kelly's Heroes". Clint Eastwood mentioned in interviews that he was very disappointed about the way movie was re-cut by MGM because many deleted scenes not only gave depth to the characters but also made the movie much better.
Some of the deleted scenes were shown on promotional stills and described in interviews with cast and crew for Cinema Retro's special edition article about the film:
Oddball and his crew pack up to go over the lines to meet up with Kelly and others while local village girls are running around half naked.
The platoon encounters a group of German soldiers and naked girls swimming in a pool.
While they wait for Oddball in the barn at night, Kelly and Big Joe have a conversation about their disillusionment with the war and why Kelly was made a scapegoat for the attack that resulted in his demotion. Another scene was deleted from this part where the platoon decides they don't want to continue with the mission and Gutkowski threatens Kelly at gunpoint, but Big Joe and Crapgame side with Kelly and everything turns out OK.
Gen. Colt is in bed with some women when he gets a call that Kelly and others have broken through the enemy lines.
During the attack on the town, production designer Jon Barry had a cameo as a British airman hiding from the Germans.
One promotional still shows Kelly finding a wounded German soldier among the ruined houses during the final town attack.
Kelly, Oddball and Big Joe discuss tactics while standing on an abandoned Tiger tank before the scene where they talk with the German tank commander.
When Kelly and the platoon drive off at the end, a bunch of soldiers shout at them that they are headed in the wrong direction.
Interesting enough, reading through the comments on this film, I noted only one detractor, some sorehead from Canada who completely missed the point of the film. No, Sr. Canadiense. This is not a serious film about WW2. Read some of the excellent commentaries here about the social and temporal context of this film, i.e., the height of the Vietnamese war. Yes, Sutherland, your fellow countryman, was an active anti-war protester and fully embraced the anachronistic hippie role. The mad-cap story which tweaks the nose of the "establishment," in this case, the military establishment, is plausible when you let go of the blood, guts and glory of the war film genre. And, it is a damn funny film. Eastwood is at his clenched jaw, cynical best; Savalas is great as the Sergeant big-guy; Carrol O'Conner is riotious as the general; Rickles is, well, Rickles. But, Sutherland steals the show. The scenes where they tanks come out blasting the Germans to the tune of twangy Country-Western music is hilarious. Sutherland's out-of-time-sync "...no negative vibes... hey, man...yeah, baby..." is side-splitting. The final confrontation scene between the three striding up to the German tank commander, with Sutherland loosening his side arm, ala Clint Eastwood in Fist full of Dollars is a riot. This film is full of funny stuff. And, you can see it again and again and find new business to laugh about. Buffs will delight at seeing Harry Dean Stanton in a pre-Repo Man role and Richard Davalos who played James Dean's doomed brother Aron in East of Eden. This is a great piece of satire that was overlooked, cast aside and has still survived to the delight of those of us who enjoy it again and again. But, hey, don't just take my word for it. Of the 30 or so commentaries here-- and do read them, as there are some excellent ones-- only one was a detractor.
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