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Kelly's Heroes (1970)

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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(as Troy Kennedy Martin)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Hal Buckley ...
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Jeff Morris ...
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Tom Troupe ...
Job
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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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy | War

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

23 June 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kelly's Warriors  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 into Kelly's Heroes. Clint Eastwood mentioned in interviews that he was very disappointed about the way movie was re-cut by studio 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 Kelly's Heroes;
  • 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 as a scapegoat for the attack that resulted in his demotion. Another scene was deleted from this part where 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 O.K.


  • General 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 amongst 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 German tank commander.


When Kelly and platoon drive off at the end, a bunch of soldiers shout at them that they are headed in the wrong direction. See more »

Goofs

The sniper rifle used in the church bell tower is a Russian made Mosin Nagant 91/30 with a 3.5X power side mounted telescope, which is correct for the rifle and time period. However, the rifle fires Russian ammunition, in a caliber unique to the Russian military, which would not have been available to U.S. soldiers in WWII. The 91/30 sniper rifles were however imported in great quantity after World War II by many U.S. importers, and would have been readily available to serve as props in movie making. New England Firearms and Remington Arms, both U.S. companies, fulfilled U.S. contracts to produce approximately 2.8 Million 91/30 rifles after WWI. Both Remington and Winchester produced ammunition for these rifles. While it is highly unlikely that a U.S. soldier would use a 91/30, it was possible. However, no U.S. company made any PU scopes. The acquisition of some of these rifles was possible by U.S. troops in the ETO at the time. See more »

Quotes

Pvt. Petuko: [running into camp after the air attack] Hey, what happened Joe?
Big Joe: What happened? Where the hell have you been?
Pvt. Petuko: [whispering] I had to go!
Big Joe: [shoves Petuko away] We all have to go!
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 100 Greatest War Films (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Si Tu Me Dis
("Living For You")
Sung by Monique Aldebert
Lyrics by Gene Lees
Music by Lalo Schifrin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Under-rated wartime caper.
8 September 2004 | by (Todmorden, England) – See all my reviews

Clint Eastwood reunites with his Where Eagles Dare director Brian G. Hutton for another improbable but entertaining WWII caper. Kelly's Heroes has its moments of wartime spectacle and lots of slambang action, but it also has plenty of comedy thrown in. Many critics judged the film quite harshly, groaning about how it is inappropriate for a film to mix jokes and war. But in truth, Kelly's Heroes never pretends to be a serious wartime account - and the humorous undercurrent helps the film rather than hampering it.

A bunch of American GIs are given a few days away from the battlefront during WWII. However, they are not overly impressed with the quiet, excessively peaceful and "boozeless" village where they've been told to relax. One member of the group, Kelly (Eastwood), has learned of a fortune in Nazi gold bullion hidden away in a bank in a German-occupied town some thirty or more miles behind enemy lines. He tells the other guys about it, and they decide to risk their lives to get hold of the hoard. Of course, pulling off a bank robbery is no easy task at the best of times, but when the bank is so far into enemy territory......

Eastwood is suitably laid-back here, but the real stars of the show are Telly Savalas (dynamic and hilarious as Big Joe) and Donald Sutherland (a hippy tank driver so chilled-out he's happy to eat cheese, drink wine and sunbathe in the middle of a chaotic battle!) The pyrotechnics are well-orchestrated, and Troy Kennedy Martin invests the script with the kind of amusing banter and thrilling set pieces that he gave to The Italian Job a year earlier. Kelly's Heroes is totally unsubtle and totally removed from reality - but what it lacks in tact it makes up for with spectacular destruction and bags of entertainment.


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