“A Bridge Too Far”
What do James Caan, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Elliott Gould, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Ryan O’Neal, and Robert Redford have in common? They were all part of the star-studded cast of “A Bridge Too Far,” an epic war movie that no one knows about.
I had watched plenty of old black and white war movies, but “Tora, Tora, Tora” was the first new release war movie I ever saw on the big screen. The year was 1970 and I was 10 years old. The Martin Theater on Starling Avenue was transformed into the most realistic experience from moving images on a wall I had ever seen. The movie used no-name actors cost $25 million and barely broke even.
Seven years later, “A Bridge Too Far” was released. A true story about one of the greatest battles of World War II. The movie was a failure in the U.S. and many claim it’s because in the movie, as in history, we lost this battle. The operation dubbed “Market Garden” was led by British Forces and fought in the Netherlands. The U.S. was heavily involved. 42,000 paratroopers were dropped behind enemy lines and 17,000 didn’t come back. The survivors came home having failed in their attempt to secure German bridges and bring an early end to the war.
This movie was largely snubbed by the critics for as many reasons as there are critics. Maybe it’s because I’m watching this movie 41 year after it was made. The battle “A Bridge Too Far” depicts was only 33 years old when they brought it back to life on the screen. I enjoyed seeing all the young actors that went on to stellar careers. I enjoyed the grand scale of the movie. I was moved by the sadness of the incredible loss that occurs in war. 4-stars.