A Bridge Too Far.

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by Peter Clare, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. CornwallPhil

    CornwallPhil Senior Member

  2. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    I toured the Arnhem area last week.
    From the sheer number of monuments, plaques and the like, it is clear that the Dutch are especially pro-British. Market Garden is now a profitable tourist business with over 50,000 visitors annually.
    Compensation for the damage done to Holland during the campaign is being paid back year after year. Kind of an annuity one might say.
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  3. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    I think it might depend on where you are. The Dutch down in Limburg made me think they were quite fond of the 2nd AD and the 30th ID. But then, what's not to like where Old Hickory is concerned.
  4. brithm

    brithm Senior Member

    There is an excellent chapter on The Bridge Too Far in William Goldman's book Adventures In The Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood he speaks admirably of Attenborough as a director and the background behind the making of the film, how it came about in particular Joseph Levine funding the whole thing.

    One of the cleverest things Levine did was to show some of the days rushes to potential distributors after a days shoot; if I had seen the rushes I would have bought the rights to distribute it too. The film came out on time and under budget which is unusual for a war film or any production.

    Goldman wanted to include the Victoria Cross actions but they were all dropped due to time constraints. If you look at the film there are very few individual heroic acts. Do not feel it is an anti-British film but Goldman does note in 1982
    "The Battle of Arnhem is almost totally unknown in America, but in England, probably because the British cherish their disasters so, it is the second most famous encounter of the war topped only by Dunkirk"

    Critics around loved the film but American critics had some reservations due to 'factual' aspects of the film:

    1. They did not believe Ryan O'Neal as General James Gavin saying he was too young when he was same age as Gavin when he was a General.
    2. That Browning would send paratroops into an area with information it was occupied by experienced troops.
    3. James Caan's character would threaten an medical officer with death if he did not operate on his officer.

    You can also get Goldman's Pan book on A Bridge Too Far which is quite good cheapest on Abebooks and Amazon.

    N.B. A Bridge Too Far was on a few weeks ago on Channel 5(?) pre watershed and was heavily edited; it must cost the channels more to do this rather than schedule it at 9pm.

    ARPCDHG Member

    Free film screening of A Bridge Too Far for Arnhem 75 smaller.jpg
  6. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    This might appeal--not great depth, but interesting enough.

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  7. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Prof John Buckley has done a detailed analysis of the film which he uses as part of the MA course at Wolverhampton. One key when looking at the film is one needs to know who was still alive and who was safely dead when the book/film script was written and then think where the blame is laid and who doesn't get mentioned at all.
    John has had the advantage of seeing some of the correspondence from interested parties when the film was being made. Bogarde was in two minds about taking the part and Browning's widow Daphne du Maurier objected strongly to him taking the role on the grounds that Bogarde might make him seem gay (not quite the words used at the time). It seems that she was so relieved that he didn't that she failed to criticise anything else in the portrayal.
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  8. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Good day to you all folks,

    Found this during Arnhem pre-visit preparations in 2015 (always tried to find something different each visit for my colleagues), and having looked through the thread here I don't think that it's been linked to within before, so for a contemporary look at the filming of "A Bridge Too Far" from 1976 please do invest an hour of your time in watching this.

    Soundbites within aplenty, and not just from the stars of the film. The brief appearance and words of one of the (then) new breed of 1st Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, Toms will hopefully raise a smile with many. Plus, the opinions and observations from the "Stars", both the snippets used in the introduction, and further within are illuminating (Dirk Bogarde particularly in my opinion). And, not a dry eye given the words of the veterans, as ever.

    Stick with it, I do think it will be of interest. Plus, subtitles for Nederland friends a bonus, enjoy.

    Please note; historical content within somewhat awry, which you good folks will already be aware of!

    Kind regards, always, Jim.

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  9. redtop

    redtop Well-Known Member

    I was part of the Guard of Honour for Lord Mountbatten at the Premier of Film .
    I met and had lunch with General Frost after a Ceremony when we were both presented with Polish Gold Wings.
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  10. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    The daily Telegraph has a lengthy obituary today for Colonel John Waddy, died 27/9/2020; it is behind a pay wall so only lightly cited:
    Link: Colonel John Waddy, survivor of Operation Market Garden who went on to lead the SAS – obituary
    JimHerriot likes this.
  11. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Got any photos ?
  12. redtop

    redtop Well-Known Member

    No pictures of either event I am afraid ,no mobile phones in those days,
    below from my notes on presentation.

    I got to know Capt. John ......., ("Call me John. If I told you my real name you would not be able to pronounce it"), the Polish Parachute Assoc. President and helped out his Branch whenever possible.

    John said his Association would like to present me with their Golden Parachute Wings award for my support of the Association. There are three levels of award, Bronze, Silver and Gold. The Gold was recognised by the Polish Army as an award and was published in their equivalent of the London Gazette.

    I received a letter inviting me to Number 2 Queens Gate, London on a certain day to be presented with the award. This is a large Georgian House, part of a terrace of houses which included the Libyan Embassy where the famous siege took place. The house had been given to the Polish Officers as a base in WW2 and was now HQ of the Polish Government in Exile. (This was before the Berlin Wall came down; the Free Poles did not recognize the Communist Government.) It was the Polish National Day.

    This was when I started to feel a little out of my depth, as John turned out to be the Polish Minister of War in Exile and most of the Poles present also members of that exiled Government.

    I was introduced to my fellow recipient of the award, General Sir John Frost, whose 2nd Battalion had captured and held the Bridge at Arnhem. The Wings were presented by the Polish President in Exile. We then all retired for lunch at a restaurant near the Royal Albert Hall in which the wartime Polish Officers used to meet.

    It was unchanged and very much like a Twenties Tea Dance Room all wicker chairs and palms. We had what was described as a typical Polish meal which seemed to consist mainly of coleslaw, beetroot and turnips (and Vodka). A memorable day, not only the award and venue, but to meet and converse with a famous legendary war hero like General Sir John Frost was outstanding.

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  13. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Watching again
    I did not really pick up on Brian Urquhart - Wikipedia before

    he assisted with the planning for Operation Market Garden, an ambitious airborne operation designed to seize the Dutch bridges over the rivers barring the Allied advance into northern Germany. He became convinced that the plan was critically flawed, and attempted to persuade his superiors to modify or abort their plans in light of crucial information obtained from aerial reconnaissance and the Dutch resistance. The episode was described by Cornelius Ryan in his book on "Market Garden", A Bridge Too Far. (In the film version, directed by Richard Attenborough, Urquhart's character was renamed "Major Fuller", to avoid confusion with the British general Roy Urquhart, the commander of the 1st Airborne Division at Arnhem.) The subsequent failure of the operation and the heavy casualties that resulted vindicated Urquhart's judgment, but he became deeply depressed by his failure to persuade his superiors to halt the operation and requested a transfer out of the airborne forces

    He only died in Jan 2021
    4jonboy likes this.
  14. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I recall this... was made/released around Jan 2021, but it's now almost a year since I listened to it, so my memory of the content will have to be refreshed ;-)

    236. The Man Who Said Don’t Go

    236. The Man Who Said Don’t Go
    News that Sir Brian Urquhart has died at the age of 101 leads Al Murray and James Holland inexorably back to the intense days prior to the battle of Arnhem. Did Urquhart tell Browning to cancel Market Garden? Was his intelligence ignored?
    Plus we discuss the development of the jet fighter and take a closer look at more D-Day photos.

    Edit : About Urquhart from about 14m30seconds in.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2021
  15. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    He misremembered much of the detail of the aerial reconnaissance missions which is much less clear-cut than much of the historiography would have us think. See this blog for a very good explanation of what the high-level photo recce actually showed:

    PROJECT OVERLORD: The Arnhem Air Reconnaissance Puzzle

    In summary, the air recce photos showed tanks that weren't actually at Arnhem on 17 September 1944 and which took no part in the battle of Arnhem.


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  16. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Just uploaded. It isn't new, but I haven't seen it before.

    Edit: more of this Brigadier Frank Steer chap--he's giving us some good detail!

    Last edited: Jun 25, 2022
    HenkP and CL1 like this.
  17. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    This is fantastic. Many thanks!

    All the best

  18. smdarby

    smdarby Well-Known Member

    I saw that James Caan died yesterday. As well as A Bridge Too Far I'll remember him for The Godfather (although I thought he was somewhat miscast as Sonny), El Dorado with John Wayne, Rollerball, and the greatest Christmas movie ever - Elf.

    I saw this photo posted of him on Wiki while he was filming A Bridge Too For. It made me smile:

    Last edited: Jul 7, 2022
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  19. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    as Staff Sgt Dohun saving Capt LeGrand Johnson
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  20. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    Don't forget Freebie And The Bean!

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