A Bridge Too Far

"Out of the sky comes the screen's most incredible spectacle of men and war!"

A Bridge Too Far is an epic movie about an epic failure. The 1977 film is directed by Richard Attenborough and starred some of the biggest Hollywood names of the era: Sean Connery, Michael Caine, James Caan, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Ryan O’Neal, and Robert Redford. The movie tells of the combined efforts by the Allied forces during World War II to break through German lines by capturing major bridges in the Netherlands. The goal was to outflank the Germans, break their resistance and finally put an end to the war.

A plan was subsequently hatched called Operation Market Garden. It envisions flying 35,000 men from British air bases then dropping them behind enemy lines in the Netherlands. Touted the biggest airborne assault ever, the plan calls for US and British troops to take vital positions in Nijmegen and Arnhem. Of particular interest is the bridge in Arnhem because it is the easiest way to Germany. The Arnhem road though is perilous. Narrow and elevated, anybody suspicious passing through it will be easily spotted by the enemy.

Market Garden seemed perfect on paper but a challenge to both British and American commanders. First, it requires men to parachute in broad daylight. The drop also had to be made eight miles from the Arnhem bridge in an open field because Arnhem itself is ill-suited for landing. The Germans also had tanks in Arnhem while portable radios will not work because of the water and trees surrounding the area. Despite their misgivings, however, the commanders kept their silence.

At first, the airborne strike totally surprised the Germans but they soon rallied and attacked not only the supply drop zones in Arnhem but blew up a bridge the allied forces need to reach Nijmegen. The allied forces risked open fire when they crossed the river using canvas-and-wood assault boats to reach Nijmegen. They succeeded and later captured the Nijmegen Bridge.

In Arnhem, the allied forces fail to subdue the now reinvigorated and reinforced German forces. In the end, many of them were later killed or captured and the city razed to the ground. Operation Market Garden has failed.

PG
| 1977 | 2 hr 56 min | 7.4/10
Cast
Studio
Director
Richard Attenborough, Sidney Hayers
Language
English
A Bridge Too Far
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