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Kelly's Heroes
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Reviews & Ratings for
Kelly's Heroes More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

this is a fantastic movie!!!!

Author: BirdiePutt from Concord, NH
28 May 2001

One of my favorite movies of all time. The cast is incredible and every character is perfect. Possibly the best movie ever made with so many stars in it. Carroll O'Connor as the General is great. When he pops up and yells "Quiet, the game's on" when listening to a battle I lose it. And Oddball and Crapgame are hilarious. Rent it... buy it... watch it!

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

I'm in full agreement.

Author: Thomas Clement (Mr. OpEd) from Los Angeles
5 December 1999

There's not too much to add to the other precise comments here, except that this is actually a rather long movie but you won't notice (unlike today's poky pictures). With the possible exception of Schifrin's and Southerland's anachronistic (though excellent) work, much of what the film portrays is NOT beyond what I've read of the lunacy that can occur in war. Speaking of war, while this film has a 70s attitude, the battle stuff is strictly 60s TV - plenty of action but nary a drop of blood (sorry Mr. Spielberg). To me, the ultimate guy's movie is not The Godfather or Caddyshack, it is, quite handily, Kelly's Heroes (with 3 Amigos virtually a tie).

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A fun, fast-paced WWII epic.

Author: Den Mac from Madison, Wisconsin
9 February 1999

This film is a fantastic blend of realistic WWII action and settings, and goofy 70's attitude. When Oddball destroys the German depot with his Shermans while blaring Hank Williams Sr.'s song "Sunshine" from loudspeakers attached to the tanks, we know where Coppola got his inspiration for the helicopter attack scene in "Apocalypse Now".

In my mind, this is the best war movie ever.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

My favorite War movie.

Author: Tommydevito from USA
26 October 2002

I first saw this movie when I was 12, around Memorial Day of 1998. I soon grew tired of it coming on TV all the time. Well, 4 years later I ran across it again and decided to rent it. I am literally addicted to to Kelly's Heroes. Its a one of a kind war film.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Owing not a little to Hogans Heroes!

Author: dan.adams from Auckland, New Zealand
1 June 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In this film,Clint Eastward gets to face down a Tiger tank to a melody taken from an Italian western.Just a bit breathtaking.It is a scene possibly inserted to placate fans of 'the man with no name" Whatever,it certainly works on the Kraut tank sergeant. Then there is fellow played by Donald Sutherland,a sort of "hippie tanked commander"(not a spelling mistake,he is forever taking the wine,the cheese and the rays")Anyrate this chap is a bit of as time traveler,a refugee from the late Viet Nam conflict where as "Oddball"he would have fitted in nicely.All in all this is an action-packed chaotic send-up of the military with a happy ending!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A great personal favorite, and a terrific movie.

Author: Dave from Ottawa from Canada
29 April 2012

At a time when movie audiences found themselves confused and bored by youth culture movies that seemed to have no plot and no point, and studio executives had clearly lost sight of how to make a successful picture, along came this movie with just about the perfect blend of the new and bold with the tried and true. It successfully mixed easily recognizable, Old Hollywood forms (the WWII action picture, and Telly Savalas as a tough sergeant whose first and only thought was for his men; the military comedy with Don Rickles as the hustling Sgt. Bilko- style supply sergeant) with the latest cinematic trends (heist movies, crime thrillers with the slightly amoral viewpoint of focusing on the perpetrators, Clint Eastwood as a laconic Sergio Leone anti-hero looking out for himself, Donald Sutherland as a Bohemian proto-hippie). The result was a deft exercise in product updating and a huge hit. Any longtime fan of WWII actioners had a lot to enjoy, while the disaffected protester next to him ate up the idea of infantry grunts defying orders to pull off a robbery!

The reason behind the success of this movie was simply high quality at every level. Action sequences were beautifully staged and shot and were highly exciting, comedic elements (satire, sight gags, throw away jokes) were integrated smoothly into the action without ever seeming forced or out of place, and the ensemble work amongst the mismatched crew worked brilliantly as contrasting types played off one another to generate both comedy and occasional tension. The dialogue crackled with clever exchanges, along with tons of sad sack humor and character business, all played against the epic background of a big budget war picture.

Clever satiric touches find their way into the mix as well. I love the early scene in which an officer reminds a subordinate that the penalty for looting is death, all the while securing a commandeered sailboat for shipment to his uncle, the general!

There is so much here to like that the movie almost demands repeated viewing just to properly appreciate the sheer volume and quality of its component elements. Enjoy. More than once.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining WWII film with lots of humor , battles , explosions and sheer amusement

Author: ma-cortes
12 February 2012

Spectacular War film with a touch of irreverence about a reckless group of U.S. soldiers undertaking a dangerous mission behind enemy lines , as they sneak on Nazi territory to get their hands on a secret stash of valuable treasure at a bank , containing 16 million dollars in gold bars. Exciting film with a truly silly formula about a misfit team led by lieutenant Kelly (Clint Eastwood) who carries out a suicide mission behind enemy lines . A group of two-fisted soldiers formed by a misfit band with egoistic aims are drafted to go on a near-suicide mission and attempt to take the bullion from a French village occupied by Nazis . This strange, motley platoon is led by Big Joe ( Telly Savalas) and with the aid of hustler Crapgame (Don Rickles), anachronistic , lame-brained hippie named Oddball (Donald Sutherland) and three old Sherman tanks that subsequently will take on Tiger tanks . Kelly leads his men ,turning his G.I.s into a valiant fighting unit , and going deep into French territory to steal the gold for themselves .¨ Kelly's heroes¨ is an entertaining film with Clint Eastwood as tough officer along with the ordinary team of renegade soldiers of World War II whose mission is to steal the Nazi secret treasure from a villa . In the hands of hardboiled director Brian G Hutton and a tough-as-leather cast , that's all the plot that's needed to make one rip-roaring wartime flick. Eatwood's mission is two-fold and in violent and cynical style : the selfish and mean group undergoing across a dangerous territory and executing hazardous feats , they then turn loose on a villa located in France where cause destruction . The first half of the film allows the colorful cast of character actors to have their fun as they get their tails whipped into shape and develop shaky relationship with their leaders . The final part is all action, as the brave commando wreak havoc and then run for their lives. Despite the fact that most part of the "heroes" survive the bloodbath, the message here isn't that war is hell. Rather, it seems to be: war can be a hell of a good time... if you've got nothing to lose . The dangerous mission includes a selected group formed by a motley and varied but disreputable squadron played by all-star-cast and notorious secondaries . This is a rugged WWII actioner concerning a squadron of dispensable characters with no past and no future . The Privates are oddballs , rag-tag and undisciplined gang , under command a selfish Lieutenant and other rare characters . At the end they must participate in the suicidal mission behind the enemy lines , to wipe the German group by means of a violent assault over a strongly protected village.

Clint Eastwood as Lieutenant Kelly assumes the character of commando leader in this better than average wartime movie well directed by Brian G Hutton. This moving film packs frantic thrills, lots of familiar faces, perilous adventures , comedy , relentless feats , and buck-loads of explosive action and emotion . The noisy action is uniformly well-made, especially deserving of mention the rip-roaring final scenes on the village , including some spectacular shootouts , an amusing showdown in Sergio Leone-Ennio Morricone style and bombing . Apart from the values of team spirit , cudgeled by Eatwood into his rebel group , the film is full of feats , humor with tongue-in-check and thrills . Clint Eastwood is good as leader of the motley pack together thwart the Nazi schemes, as well as the largely secondary cast as Gavin MacLeod , Richard Davalos , Gene Collins , Harry Dean Staton, Perry Lopez and with special mention to Carroll O'Connor as grumpy general . Atmospheric and functional musical score , including inappropriate songs , by Lalo Schifrin and colorful cinematography by Gabriel Figueroa . This is a wartime typical vehicle and into the ¨warlike commando genre¨ , in USA style which also belong the American classics from the 60s as : ¨Dirty Dozen (Robert Aldrich) ¨ Where eagles dare(Brian G. Hutton) , Tobruk (Arthur Hiller), Devil's Brigade (Andrew V McLagen) and many others .

The motion picture is well handled and professionally directed by Brian G Hutton, and achieved success and cash . Hutton started his career with little and prestigious films , such as ¨Wild seed¨ and ¨The Pad¨. There after, he veered off into big budgeted and all-star movies, proving which he could handle big scale production, as ¨Where the eagles dare¨, one of the best from Alistair McLean, and of course ¨Kelly's heroes¨ in which added humor to the warlike action. His next picture was ¨High road to China¨ marked a partial return with panache to his previous form but faltered at the Box-office, in spite of being quite amusing and with occasional touch of directorial skill. Rating : Above average , for that reason is a must for adventures buffs.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Heroic Movie

Author: screenman from United Kingdom
24 October 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A great cast of popular stars, are perfectly chosen for their ability to play it tongue-in-cheek. Telly Savalas and Donald Sutherland in particular have demonstrated their ability to pitch anything from straight, comic and crazy in other movies.

It's a heist behind enemy lines. There's millions of dollars in gold just waiting for some military enterprise. Clint Eastwood plays a straightlaced GI who decides to turn soldier-of-fortune when he discovers this stash of bullion is inadequately guarded just 30 miles beyond their advance. The post D-day German defences are crumbling, and in the confusion he and his team might just pull-off the perfect crime.

Right from the outset, this is a great action movie. Clint and Telly's outfit find themselves caught-up in fierce combat. There's tremendous pyrotechnics here and what look like real Tiger tanks, not disguised American hardware. It's tense, vigorous and exciting stuff, but with a thread of ironic comedy all the way. Each of the principal characters is simply, but clearly stamped. They're flawed, likable and we care about them - as we should.

Using a couple of 'specimen' gold bars, Eastwood's character co-opts and bribes whatever and whoever he needs to succeed in the caper, inadvertently shortening WW2 in the process.

Throughout the movie there is some of the most splendid wartime action drama in any work of its vintage. Yes; the Germans are slaughtered wholesale as usual - but who cares? There is also one of the most entertaining close-quarter tank encounters of just about any movie - including the epic 'Battle Of The Bulge'. Sutherland's solitary Sherman goes up against 3 Tigers in the confined streets of a French village, employing its manoeuvrability and surprise.

That last conflict is extremely well realised. A surprisingly generous level of base rewards the use of subwoofers, as these roaring dragon-like machines compete in the rural ideal. At the same time, as the ambush is prepared, a simple rhythmical riff gathers instrumental complexity, ratcheting-up the tension in a way that is both simple and effective. The riff doesn't get faster; more instruments are gradually included into the given tempo. A similar trick was employed in 'Henry V' of 1935 vintage. I'm surprised it isn't used more often.

The action is realistic, the humour never jars with the tragedies that befall our heroes, locations are wonderfully evocative - I was convinced that this was shot in France, filming, editing and other technical issues all hit the spot. As a piece of action entertainment - wartime or otherwise - its hard to fault.

You couldn't improve upon this movie even today. For one thing, the players simply don't exist who could fill these collective characters. Neither could the combat scenes be more intense or realistic whilst retaining the comic thread.

In terms of what it has to offer, this movie, then, is very much a one-off. Very highly recommended.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

My favourite movie of all time

Author: bo_robert_pedersen from Kenya
15 July 2010

I have read some of the reviews of Kelly's Heroes here and that has sparked me to write what I think is my first review ever.

People say it is not a war movie and not a comedy and dated and with bad acting and so on and so on.

Why not take the movie for what it is (and no, I am not going to classify it). It is NOT the greatest comedy of all time nor is it the greatest war movie. What it is, is a great movie that entertains you continuously in every scene all through.

I love it and have watched it around 100 times. That is not a usual exaggeration, but I actually tried to calculate it last night with my wife (who loves it too by the way, but would not say it the greatest movie of all time).

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Proper Motivation

Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
25 May 2009

Kelly's Heroes is a film that puts forth the notion that with proper motivation, soldiers will perform all kinds of heroic deeds in battle. Of course I don't think that West Point or any of the other military academies had the kind of motivation that this film gives Clint Eastwood and the collection of GIs he assembles for a caper.

Clint Eastwood as Private Joe Kelly interrogates a captured German Colonel and learns of a stash of gold bullion in the town of Clermont which is behind enemy lines and a place that General Carroll O'Connor is anxious to capture. Sixteen million dollars in bullion and as proof Eastwood is given a bar of it as a sample by the inebriated Colonel.

As the war seems to be at a stall, Eastwood decides to grab the gold for himself and some trusted confederates. I don't think he thought this thing through, the problem of hiding it and fencing it assuming you capture it is not really discussed. And of course the stuff is behind the enemy lines.

But where O'Connor can't move, Eastwood finds a way because he's motivated. His crew also gets larger and larger and pretty soon there won't be enough to share.

Kelly's Heroes is an interesting war comedy/drama with a real twist for an ending that I won't even give a hint of. Director Brian Hutton assembled a nice cast of familiar and soon to be familiar names to support Clint. My favorite is Donald Sutherland as the Sherman tank commander nicknamed Oddball and it's an apt moniker. Sutherland is a hippie born 20 years too soon, but definitely a character who would have been appreciated by the film audiences of the Seventies.

Such favorites as Don Rickles and Telly Savalas and Stuart Margolin are all in on Eastwood's caper. This is one fun movie.

But an odd choice for a Memorial Day showing celebrating the fighting spirit of the American soldiers who died in battle on TCM.

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