7.4/10
46,371
223 user 50 critic

A Bridge Too Far (1977)

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.

Writers:

Cornelius Ryan (book), William Goldman (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
1,941 ( 19)
Won 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: 6 Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The events of D-Day, told on a grand scale from both the Allied and German points of view.

Directors: Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, and 3 more credits »
Stars: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Richard Burton
Certificate: 14 Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A German plot to kidnap Winston Churchill unfolds at the height of World War II.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland, Robert Duvall
Certificate: 12 Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A British team is sent to cross occupied Greek territory and destroy the massive German gun emplacement that commands a key sea channel.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: David Niven, Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn
Certificate: 14 Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1941, following months of economic embargo, Japan prepares to open its war against the United States with a preventive strike on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor.

Directors: Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Martin Balsam, Sô Yamamura, Jason Robards
Certificate: 14 Action | Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Allied agents stage a daring raid on a castle where the Nazis are holding an American General prisoner... but that's not all that's really going on.

Director: Brian G. Hutton
Stars: Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, Mary Ure
Certificate: 12 Action | Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

During World War II, a rebellious U.S. Army Major is assigned a dozen convicted murderers to train and lead them into a mass assassination mission of German officers.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson
Certificate: 14 Adventure | Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles
Certificate: 12 Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1940, the British Royal Air Force fights a desperate battle to prevent the Luftwaffe from gaining air superiority over the English Channel as a prelude to a possible Axis invasion of the U.K.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Harry Andrews
Certificate: 18 Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A dramatization of Nazi Germany's final Western Front counterattack of World War II.

Director: Ken Annakin
Stars: Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, Robert Ryan
Certificate: 14 Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

As the Allied armies close in, the Germans decide to blow up the last Rhine bridge, trapping their own men on the wrong side. But will it happen?

Director: John Guillermin
Stars: George Segal, Robert Vaughn, Ben Gazzara
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A dramatization of the battle that was widely heralded as a turning point of the Pacific Theatre of World War II.

Director: Jack Smight
Stars: Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Siem Vroom Siem Vroom ... Underground Leader
Marlies van Alcmaer Marlies van Alcmaer ... Underground Leader's Wife (as Marlies Van Alcmaer)
Erik van 't Wout Erik van 't Wout ... Underground Leader's Son (as Eric Van't Wout)
Wolfgang Preiss ... Field Marshal Gerd Von Rundstedt
Hans von Borsody ... General Blumentritt (as Hans Von Borsody)
Josephine Peeper Josephine Peeper ... Cafe Waitress
Dirk Bogarde ... Lieutenant General Browning
Paul Maxwell ... Major General Maxwell Taylor
Sean Connery ... Major General Urquhart
Ryan O'Neal ... Brigadier General Gavin
Gene Hackman ... Major General Sosabowski
Walter Kohut Walter Kohut ... Field Marshal Model
Peter Faber Peter Faber ... Captain 'Harry' Bestebreurtje
Hartmut Becker ... German Sentry
Frank Grimes ... Major Fuller
Edit

Storyline

The true story of Operation Market Garden, the Allies attempt, in September 1944, to hasten the end of World War II by driving through Belgium and Holland into Germany. The idea was for U.S. 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 grantss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Out of the sky comes the screen's most incredible spectacle of men and war! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

12 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | German | Dutch | Polish | Latin

Release Date:

23 June 1977 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Een brug te ver See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color (colour) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the DVD production notes, James Caan agreed to do this movie, because of the scene in which he forces a reluctant Army surgeon to operate on one of his buddies at gunpoint. He said, "When Richard Attenborough came to see me in Los Angeles, he offered me the choice of several roles. I chose the Sergeant, chiefly for that one scene." See more »

Goofs

Operation Market Garden began on Sunday, 17 Sept. 1944; in the movie, Gen. Browning correctly refers to a Sunday departure in the initial briefing, and later we see a church service disrupted by the aircraft passing overhead. But on the morning of the departure, we see on Col. Frost's bedside table a calendar with all the days crossed off until the 17th... which is a Tuesday on that calendar. Furthermore, the calendar clearly shows a 31-day month, matching October 1944 and not September. See more »

Quotes

Brigadier General Gavin: What's the best way to take a bridge?
Maj. Julian Cook: Both ends at once.
Brigadier General Gavin: I'm sending two companies across the river by boat. I need a man with very special qualities to lead.
Maj. Julian Cook: Go on, sir.
Brigadier General Gavin: He's got to be tough enough to do it and he's got to be experienced enough to do it. Plus one more thing. He's got to be dumb enough to do it... Start getting ready.
U.S. captain: What was all that about, Major?
Maj. Julian Cook: Well someone's come up with a real nightmare. Real nightmare.
See more »

Alternate Versions

An older video release of the film (early 1980s) from The Magnetic Video Corporation differs vastly from the 1996 VHS and 1998 DVD releases. Most notable are the differences in translations shown in the German-to-English subtitles. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

3rd Movement
(from Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B-Flat Major, BWV. 1051) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Accurate, flawed
28 November 2001 | by rmax304823See all my reviews

I applaud Attenborough for having made this movie. What a headache its filming must have been. It's accurate in a sense both material and overall.

His P 47s may be mock ups, but he used genuine World-War-II era M-4 "Sherman" tanks. (God knows how he managed to muster them.) I can't vouch for the German tank -- there is only one shown on screen and it could pass for a Panther. I also admire him for having the daring to make a movie about an unmitigated Allied defeat. As a whole, movies in this genre depict a victory on the part of the nations producing the movie in the first place.

"The Enemy Below," "Zulu," "Torpedo Bay," "Die Brucke," just to give American, British, Italian, and German examples. The list goes on. About the only time we're permitted to witness defeats for "our side" is during a heroic last stand against overwhelming odds ("Bataan") or when the defeat is the result of dirty pool ("Pearl Harbor"). But here, with no excuses, Attenborough delivers a different message entirely.

The performances are as good as can be expected from actors who have so little time to develop their characters. The battle scenes are realistic enough, without their shoving our noses into spilled intestines.

Attenborough is not a splashy director but he has a couple of things go on that are worth noticing. The Dutch citizens who first greet the Allied troops joyfully as liberators wind up being slaughtered and their cities destroyed by the war that is thrust on them. Civilian suffering tends to get short shrift unless one of them is Sofia Loren or somebody. Another worthwhile touch, a small one. The British politely take over one of those large super-scrubbed middle-class Dutch homes as a hospital -- "just for the slightly wounded, Ma'am." And as the first soldiers enter they step over two kids playing with a toy train on a thick creamy rug -- and a few drops of blood sprinkle the carpet.

Two other observations. "The Longest Day" is sometimes compared unfavorably to this film for a number of reasons, many of them justified. But "The Longest Day" was made under restrictions that had been lifted by the time this movie was produced. Zanuck wanted to show more of the slaughter at Omaha Beach but was prevented from doing so. He was similarly prevented by prevailing folkways from showing Allied troops as more brutal. And he originally filmed the closing scene of the movie not with a triumphant parade of victorious infantrymen marching up the slopes to a peppy military tune but with an forlorn, exhausted, empty grunt, sitting at the water's edge and listlessly tossing pebbles into the waves. The scene had to be deleted. A bothersome thing about "A Bridge Too Far" is that, at least as I've seen it on TV, I can't easily tell who is where. In Ryan's book it's easy enough to follow events and characters but, as edited, this movie is pretty confusing. When five of the major actors all show up together on a balcony, it came as a big surprise. I thought Connery and one or two of the others were still trapped behind German lines! I don't know whether this confusion is due to poor editing or a ministroke.


14 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 223 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed