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.
The true story of Operation Market Garden, the Allies attempt, in September 1944, to hasten the end of WW2 by driving through Belgium and Holland into Germany. The idea was for US airborne divisions to take the towns of Eindhoven and Nijmegen and a British airborne division, reinforced by a Polish airborne brigade, to take the town of Arnhem. They would be reinforced, in due course and in turn, by the British XXX Corps, land-based and driving up from the British lines in the south. The key to the operation was the bridges, as if the Germans held or blew them, the paratroopers could not be relieved. Faulty intelligence, Allied high command hubris and stubborn German resistance would ensure that Arnhem was a bridge too far. Written by
Mothers would lose their sons, wives, their husbands, girls their lovers, children their fathers and thousands of gallant young men would perish fighting against impossible odds, for a mission that would change the meaning of the word courage for all time...and for a bridge. A lousy bridge. See more »
Numerous soldiers have the names of crew members. For instance, in one of the shots of the soldiers occupying the house facing the bridge in Arnhem, Sergeant Clegg was a reference to Production Manager Terence A. Clegg. During the Bailey bridge segment, Private Gibbs was a reference to Editor Antony Gibbs. During (DVD Chapter 26) Frost's Last Stand, Frost calls out on Sergeant Tomblin, a reference to First Assistant Director David Tomblin. Finally, MacDonald, who agreed to man the wireless as General Urquhart mentioned, was a reference to then Camera Operator Peter MacDonald. See more »
Most of the C-47 aircraft in the movie are incorrectly painted a yellowish-brown. The actual color would have been olive drab. See more »
Field Marshal Model:
No reinforcements to Arnhem. Von Runstedt says we will need them for our counter attack.
Lt. General Bittrich:
Counterattack! With what?
Field Marshal Model:
Paratroopers are lightly armed and equipped. They cannot hold out for long. If we can hold up their infantry on the road to Arnhem, they will be forced to surrender.
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The movie is a cut above most cinematic portrayals of historical events, likely due to it's being based on historian Cornelius Ryan's excellent book, and it's not as overproduced or staged as the film version of another of his books, The Longest Day. The producer admits to crediting one assault to the Americans, when in the event the British were first to attack, but overall the movie relates a good sense of history and geography, and respects the timeline of the actual events. It shows the national and class tensions affecting the Allied leadership, and gives a sense of the character of the participants. The writing gives the plethora of good actors something to work with despite no single leading role (and it's fun to watch so many actors in a single film.) Relevant information is included in the character's dialogue rather than through narration. The editing adds to the flow of events, balancing the suspense borne by the individuals involved with interest and action for the viewer. Add in the Intelligent direction by Richard Attenborough, and it makes this one of my favorite World War Two films.
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