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Kelly's Heroes (1970)

GP  -  Action | Adventure | Comedy  -  23 June 1970 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 28,363 users  
Reviews: 165 user | 39 critic

A group of U.S. soldiers sneaks across enemy lines to get their hands on a secret stash of Nazi treasure.

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Title: Kelly's Heroes (1970)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Hal Buckley ...
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Jeff Morris ...
Richard Davalos ...
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Tom Troupe ...
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Pvt. Willard (as Dean Stanton)
Dick Balduzzi ...
Gene Collins ...
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Storyline

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 <david.jenkins@smallworld.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gold | colonel | gold bar | hippie | lieutenant | See more »

Taglines:

They set out to rob a bank... and damn near won a war instead! See more »


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

23 June 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kelly's Warriors  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Gross:

SEK 13,570,000 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Clint Eastwood signed to do the film mainly because his friend and favorite director, Don Siegel, was set to direct it. However, Siegel ran into post-production problems while finishing up Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970) and had to withdraw from the project. Brian G. Hutton was then signed to direct. Eastwood, who had already signed a contract to do the film, couldn't pull out. See more »

Goofs

Camera shadow visible on men as they walk out of mine field. See more »

Quotes

Big Joe: I thought I told you to bring me some good-looking kid, not this fat, sausage-chewing wino!
Kelly: Well, if you were looking for a young boy, you should have sent somebody else, Joe.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bloodmoon (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(uncredited)
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Heard in the village when the villagers celebrate their liberation
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great WW2 Buddy Pic
5 July 2003 | by (St. Davids, Pennsylvania, USA) – See all my reviews

Utterly hilarious World War II adventure picture, with some great acting by all of the leads, fine action sequences and superb scenery.

Kelly (Clint Eastwood) captures a German colonel (David Hurst), who inadvertently tells him where the Germans are hiding $16,000,000 worth of gold bars. Kelly enlists the aid of his platoon to trek behind the German lines and steal the cash.

The movie features a top-notch cast of veterans and would-be stars. Eastwood (THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY) has a quiet, serious role and floats through the entire picture. Telly Savalas (PANCHO VILLA) makes a great counterpart as the loud, short-tempered and cynical platoon sergeant. Donald Sutherland (THE EAGLE HAS LANDED) steals the show, though, in a very offbeat role as a hippie-style tank commander. He delivers some utterly 60s dialog with great style and is uproarious. Don Rickles is funny, too, in a smaller role as Crapgame - a rear-echelon supply clerk who goes along on the trek for a profit and gets more than he bargains for. Carroll O'Connor (THE DEVIL'S BRIGADE) has an un-necessary but zany role as General Colt, a blustering officer who can't understand why his red-blooded American soldiers aren't cutting through the German army. The role is obviously a knockoff of George C. Scott in PATTON, and O'Connor does an excellent job.

The supporting cast is fine, too, though not many make much of an impact. Jeff Morris is a hoot as Cowboy, a transplanted Texas hick, with Harry Dean Stanton in support as his sidekick; Stuart Margolin is a jittery radio operator; Len Lesser is a construction officer who gets conned into going along to build a bridge for the guys, and ends getting really screwed over by Kelly's boys; Hal Buckley is the platoon commander who only cares about getting his yacht to Paris; Gene Collins is the baby-faced youngster. David Hurst is lovable as the dim-witted German colonel, and it's really a shame he gets killed - especially by one of his own tanks. Karl Otto Alberty (THE GREAT ESCAPE) has a nice, small role near the end as a Tiger tank commander, and there's an anti-war spin when Kelly and crew let him escape unscathed. Watch for John G. Heller (OPERATION CROSSBOW) as the German patrol leader during the minefield scene.

The movie also features some terrific action scenes. The minefield debacle is suspenseful and nail-biting, and eventually filled with tons of gunfire and neat explosions. The final battle, in which the dozen or so heroes manage to wipe out a garrison of Germans in a small French village is expertly filmed, with some great camerawork and lots of good, convincing special effects. Some major aspects of this sequence were ripped off in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN - Tiger tanks in the street, a sniper in a bell tower, machine gunners firing from bombed-out buildings - the whole general look of the sequence was completely conned.

The Lalo Schiffrin score is light-hearted fun, and Mike Curb Congregation's "Burning Bridges" theme is a good song but doesn't at all fit the theme of the movie. The film was shot in Yugoslavia to take advantage of lower production costs. It actually looks a lot like central France, with plenty of hedgerows, bombed out buildings and such - nothing like the mountains and rivers of THE BATTLE OF NERETVA.

I saw this movie on Turner Classic Movies, appropriately letterboxed at about 2.35:1 with hardly a flaw in the print. Colors are accurate and the image is pretty sharp. TNT used to play an awful, orange-looking print of the movie (with the dialog edited to pieces, also) The audio is fine and sounds clear and loud, but the gunfire and explosions lack intensity. The film is also available on DVD.

KELLY'S HEROES is a witty, lighthearted WWII adventure which I don't think any fan can miss. If you need to sit back and watch American GIs kick German butt for 2 and a half hours for a goal as lofty as pure, all-American greed then this is your flick.


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