7.7/10
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187 user 43 critic

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.

Director:

Brian G. Hutton

Writer:

Troy Kennedy-Martin (as Troy Kennedy Martin)
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3,740 ( 533)

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clint Eastwood ... Kelly
Telly Savalas ... Big Joe
Don Rickles ... Crapgame
Carroll O'Connor ... General Colt
Donald Sutherland ... Oddball
Gavin MacLeod ... Moriarty
Hal Buckley Hal Buckley ... Maitland
Stuart Margolin ... Little Joe
Jeff Morris Jeff Morris ... Cowboy
Richard Davalos ... Gutowski
Perry Lopez ... Petuko
Tom Troupe Tom Troupe ... Job
Harry Dean Stanton ... Willard (as Dean Stanton)
Dick Balduzzi Dick Balduzzi ... Fisher
Gene Collins Gene Collins ... Babra
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

23 June 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kelly's Warriors See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Stereo (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Landis kept telling Donald Sutherland that he would one day be a film director. Sutherland told him if that was ever to come true; that he would appear in all his movies. Donald would appear in " Kentucky Fried Movie ", " National Lampoons Animal House " and on a billboard in " The Blues Brothers ", all directed by Landis. See more »

Goofs

After the gold is found in one of the cases in the bank, the men start moving the rest of the boxes but in doing so, toss them around and handle them as if they were light in weight. Filled with gold, they would not have been able to handle them the way the did. See more »

Quotes

Big Joe: I'm going to Battalion to see if I can get some dirty movies...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Inglourious Basterds (2009) 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

Classic comedy; realistic characters, believable props/scenery.
28 November 2003 | by eaglejet98See all my reviews

Kelly's Heroes does not try to trivialize war. It portrays a comedy within the boundaries of war's absurdity. (Quite frankly, I did not like the film MASH because I felt it did try to trivialize war).

What makes Kelly's Heroes a success is that the director never forgot that the point of comedy is to make us laugh. There's no message here; just pure entertainment.

The film is believable because it stretches, but never steps over, the line of plausibility. The story is preposterous, but in the confusion of war we can believe something like this could happen. Those who have served in the military have all met characters like the ones in Kelly's platoon, even Oddball. Yes, Donald Sutherland was clearly cast out of time, from the 60s, but he somehow personified the rebel in all of us, and that spans generations. If anything, Oddball subliminally told us it was okay to view the film from our vantage point of 1970. His character worked. And so did all the others.

On top of that, the filmmaker spent the extra time and expense to insure reasonable technical accuracy. The uniforms were authentic and I was most impressed by the fact that the vehicles and equipment, for both sides, were accurate. (My biggest gripe about 'Patton' was that it used M-41 tanks for both sides, just painted differently).

The structure of the film is excellent. We believe everything is real. The early scene where the platoon is sitting on the side of the road while a seemingly endless convoy of Sherman tanks passes is a perfect example. There may have only been a few tanks but the way they were looped about continuously gave the impression of 'a cast of thousands'. The Yugoslavian backdrop was reflective of WWII Europe.

Watch this film a few times and you'll catch the slight nuances not normally found the first time through. It's classic how seemingly unimportant early events or dialog enhance the humor of later scenes. For example, when Oddball first shows Kelly his tanks he says they have loud speakers to calm their nerves and paint in their shells to scare the Germans. Early Sherman tanks had a low velocity shell that was ineffective against German armor. Later we roar when Kelly catches a Tiger from its vulnerable rear, but Oddball forgets to fire an anti-tank round and instead splatters it with pink paint! The railroad yard attack scene, (which is superbly choreographed, and tactically accurate) becomes absolutely riotous when Oddball's crew plays 'I've been working on the Railroad' after destroying the place and rumbling away.

Don Rickles should have won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Crapgame. He congeals all the other elements and characters in the film.

The parody scene of 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' is superb. Like Oddball, its being out of time somehow enhances its own effect.

I read somewhere that Clint Eastwood was a bit disappointed with this film because he was not allowed to give it one more edit before its release. I don't know how on earth he could have improved on it.


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