A Bridge Too Far

Released: 1977
Grade: A-

A Bridge Too Far (1977) on IMDb


This film represents the British, Polish and American attempts to take three bridges in Holland. It was hoped that accomplishing this task would help bring a quicker end to the war. The film has arguably the most impressive cast of all time, with Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Gene Hackman, Elliott Gould, James Caan, Ryan O’Neal, Maximillian Schell, Denholm Elliott, and of course, Robert Redford.


This is one of the really great war epics of all time. It has an all-star cast, a wonderful storyline and a memorable soundtrack. Watching this film will give you a greater understanding of what the Allies had to accomplish to win World War II.

It has been at least a few years since I’ve seen this movie, but several scenes have been permanently stored in my memory. One of the most emotional scenes for me is when the British soldier runs across enemy lines to pick up one of the bundles dropped from the supply planes. He is shot and killed before he can make it back, and it turns out that he gave up his life for some hats.

In another scene, Gene Hackman plays a Polish Major General, and when he realizes he’s been commanded to lead his paratroopers into a suicide mission, he asks if he can be sure they’re all fighting on the same side. Then later, you see the paratroopers jumping off the planes and immediately being shot down by the German army. It is a really sad scene and one that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. It is also shown in the poster, but you’ll remember it because it is expertly filmed.

Of course, there are many other scenes that I have always remembered – like watching Michael Caine and his tank division rolling up the streets of Holland; the bravery of the Dutch Underground; James Caan rescues his friend and forces a doctor to care for him; and on and on.

If I have any complaint about this movie, it seems to have a few too many actors in it, and it is just a little bit too long. But Richard Attenborough is a brilliant director, and he made a masterpiece out of this screenplay.

Of Note

Ryan O’Neal was only 36 years old when he played Brig. Gen. James M. Gavin. That may seem pretty young to play a General in a war movie, but in reality, General Gavin was only 37 years old during Operation Market Garden.