A Bridge Too Far.

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

  1. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    UK TV Sunday 19 November. Channel 5. 4.50pm - 8.00pm 'A Bridge Too Far'

    World War Two adventure. In 1944 Allied forces devise a plane to cut short the war with an audacious airborne assault intended to capture six crucial Dutch bridges.

    Worth watching?
     
  2. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    Great film - if somewhat melodramatic. Some of the actors playing the main characters are quite funny - Hagman playing Sosabowski is a treat (watch out for the accent!), Edward Fox playing Horrocks is just so British, and Hopkins' depiction of John Frost didn't amuse the latter (he was an official advisor on the film - and complained that he never ran bent over, as depicted by Hopkins!!!!).
     
  3. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Hopkins was completely inebriated for most of the filming...... :) The film is very good though I think that "Boy" Browning comes out of it very badly. Connery is excellent and the film score is top notch
     
  4. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    though I think that "Boy" Browning comes out of it very badly. Connery is excellent and the film score is top notch

    Depends how one looks at Browning - Max Hastings in Armageddon isn't too sympathetic either.

    You're right about Connery - goes from private (The Longest Day) to Major General (Bridge Too Far) - and plays them both beautifully.
     
  5. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    The trouble is - when it comes to Browning I dont know how much is fact and how much is biasedness on Ryan's part!
     
  6. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    The trouble is - when it comes to Browning I dont know how much is fact and how much is biasedness on Ryan's part!

    I'm afraid Market Garden personalities are not my strong point and so I couldn't say. However, Brownings biographical sketch at
    http://www.pegasusarchive.org/arnhem (enter - biographies - a/z listing) seems to be balanced.
     
  7. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    I must say I have rarely met a 1St AB vet who has anything good to say about Browning. One said "the only good thing was his wife who thought of the Pegasus emblem" - and the same man noted he had not read any of Browning's wife's books, either.
     
  8. Hawkeye90

    Hawkeye90 Senior Member

    A very good movie with a great cast, certainly worth watching. It is a very long one though.
     
  9. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    The Market Garden Operation. BLOODY ARNHEM.

    There has been much written about this mighty thrust forward towards the “Fatherland” Indeed, through countless films and documentaries many celluloid hero’s have been created, and even more myths that are now: because of he power of films, looked upon as the real history of the battle for Holland and Arnhem

    Because the main drive up through the centre of Holland was given so much publicity, it is not generally known that the drive North through Holland was a “two pronged affair” The other drive took place on the eastern side of the Country, and that was the operation that I, with my company took part in.

    Why was this mighty operation planned and put into operation? Well, I have written before on this. But let me recall the atmosphere of that time. It is of vital importance that the existing atmosphere around at that time is clearly understood.

    We were in fact, teetering on the edge of complete Victory. Everything was within our grasp. Just beyond Arnhem lay the open plains of Germany, where we would be able to tackle the enemy with our superior forces, and our airpower.

    All the Northern industrial areas of Germany were now theoretically within our reach. Berlin itself was reachable through that Northern rout. The partially open gates that would enable a massive drive into the heart of Germany were there for all to see. Beyond those gates beckoned the golden prize of complete victory by Christmas and the greater part of Germany in Allied hands

    We had the Germans retreating, If now, at that time. While the battlefields were so “Fluid” could the plan work? Was it worth the risk? Consider this…Stop, and think about the fleeing Enemy, beaten to a pulp at Falaise, running for his life.

    Was it worth a possible catastrophic defeat? What were the odds? Yet if this master stroke could be pulled off? Then the war would be over by Christmas. Many tens of thousands of young men’s lives would be saved, USA, Canadian, and British. We would have been in Berlin long before the Russians!

    If it only half succeeded? Then the main of the country of Holland would be ours. It all lay out in front, just needing that “odds against” masterstroke that would end the war in one great leap forward.

    Should it fail? Then the great majority of Holland would be ours in this great leap forward anyway. The Americans had many times criticised Monty as being slow and indecisive, that to the British is one of the most stupid claims. This man had chased the enemy over many hundreds of miles of North Africa had beaten the living daylights out of the much respected Rommel, and never lost a battle.

    So with that in mind, would you have taken the risk? Monty had beaten and humiliated the enemy at Falaise, the greatest defeat inflicted on the German army anywhere, in any conflict, including Russia. He had taken Normandy ten days ahead of the planned schedule. The enemy were tired, having retreated continuously for many hundreds of miles.

    You have under your command some of the finest fighters in the world in the British airborne. It is a risk, but that is what fighting men are for…to fight.

    The rewards were beyond contemplation. The long years of war where this country had been bled white, could now be brought to an abrupt end. If it failed at the last hurdle? Holland would be ours anyway.

    What did happen is well known by now, but in those long years since Market Garden, so many books and films have been produced, many of them without a shred of truth behind their stories. Many prejudices have been exercised, much utter rubbish had been written, often by authors that want to please their readers by twisting the tale to suit their book sales, until now the whole history of those days is governed by Hollywood and anti British authors. Indeed that films have now become the true legends of those times, when in truth they are utter crap!

    The lone British voice talking about the atmosphere of those times, and the feeling that total victory was just within of our grasp, is lost in the wilderness of the masses of films and books and stands very little chance of being heard….Let alone believed. But I try!

    Now having read this, would you take the chance of total victory, almost within your grasp? Think about it…..You have chased the enemy for hundreds of miles, he is running for home, full pelt. There, stretching out before you, stood the wonderful golden prize of the whole of Northern Germany in your hands. Many thousands of young men lives would be saved. The war over by Christmas. The leap frogging operation up through Holland was a 100% success, the main of Holland central was ours.

    A few miles ahead lay the final gate into the Fatherland. The chances of forcing that gate? the final objective are about 50% odds in comparison with what had gone before. Now ! If the critics are to be believed, we should have stopped, sat on our hands saying “We have done well, now lets have a rest” in fact, stopping the fighting.

    Now you are in charge. You know that the casualties would be high, but the prize is there, if it could be grasped. In fact it only just failed. Would you go for it? Or would you chicken out? What do you think?
    Slow in getting there?. All sorts of reasons given, except one. The enemy
    Anyone that thinks the German army, and particularly the SS was going to roll over belly up, has little idea of the Fighting qualities of the Germans. We moved North being fired at as we went. If there is any doubt as to the resilience of the German army? then ask the Americans that were severely hammered in the Bulge later!

    Mo matter what was there to overcome, that outside chance of forcing the slightly ajar door to the fatherland had to be taken, no matter what
    So remember that when you look at what is really a money making fairy tale.
    Sapper
     
    alberk likes this.
  10. 52nd Airborne

    52nd Airborne Green Jacket Brat

    Some of the actors playing the main characters are quite funny - Hagman playing Sosabowski is a treat (watch out for the accent

    Wasn't it Gene Hackman? Larry Hagman played JR Ewing in Dallas
     
  11. drgslyr

    drgslyr Senior Member

    Wasn't it Gene Hackman? Larry Hagman played JR Ewing in Dallas

    It was Larry Hagman, and his part in this film was just plain silly. It ruined the film for me.
     
  12. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    Wasn't it Gene Hackman? Larry Hagman played JR Ewing in Dallas

    Sorry, I get my H's mixed up.

    I just bought a copy of Sosabowski's autobiography from his great-grandson, and the family didn't seem to mind the depiction. I think, apart from the accent, the depiction seems quite reasonable (especially after reading the book)
     
  13. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    It was definitely Gene Hackman who played Sosabowski whilst Larry Hagman played a stupid Colonel in "The Eagle has Landed". He ran out to save the day (gun ho) and got shot right between the eyes. (His stupidity spoilt that film for me - no one could be that stupid...surely.)
     
  14. 52nd Airborne

    52nd Airborne Green Jacket Brat

    It was Larry Hagman, and his part in this film was just plain silly. .

    No, it was definitely Gene Hackman! I've just checked the cast list on the DVD.
     
  15. drgslyr

    drgslyr Senior Member

    It was definitely Gene Hackman who played Sosabowski whilst Larry Hagman played a stupid Colonel in "The Eagle has Landed". He ran out to save the day (gun ho) and got shot right between the eyes. (His stupidity spoilt that film for me - no one could be that stupid...surely.)

    Your right, I was thinking of The Eagle Has Landed. If anyone wants to see the worst case of acting ever, watch Larry Hagman in this movie. This character reaches new heights of stupidity. The rest of the movie isn't bad.
     
  16. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    Your right, I was thinking of The Eagle Has Landed. If anyone wants to see the worst case of acting ever, watch Larry Hagman in this movie. This character reaches new heights of stupidity. The rest of the movie isn't bad.

    The director had a message there however I did not get it. The movie and storyline and the actors, especially Michael Caine were great. This scene just did not fit!
     
  17. Arlo

    Arlo 'Nulli Secundus'

    Bridge too far is one of the best European Theatre movies I've ever watched. I really loved the first drop! (They were really jumping out of the airplanes!)
     
  18. Desert Dog

    Desert Dog Member

    Excellent film. Especialy watching the day after watching the Logest Day.
     
  19. cash_13

    cash_13 Senior Member

    For anyone wanting a copy HMV have a sale on at the moment and pretty good it is too, just picked up A bridge to Far for £3.....:D
     
  20. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek

    I got the two disc version a while ago but they didn't bother remastering the sound and as a result it almost ruins the film.
     

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