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A Bridge Too Far (1977) Review



A Bridge Too Far is one of my favourite war films; the cast is incredible (even if we don’t get to see enough of them together) as are the battle scenes and despite the lengthy runtime and a few minor niggles it’s never boring making it well worth revisiting.

Plot: Late in 1944, the Allies seem to have the upper hand in the European land war. A combined British and American paratrooper force, led by American general Gavin and British general Urquhart (Sean Connery), plans to take a highway leading from the Netherlands into Germany, so that British ground troops led by Lieutenant General Horrocks (Edward Fox) and Lieutenant Colonel Vandeleur (Michael Caine) can enter enemy territory. But the Allies soon learn that they may be overconfident.

Review: A Bridge Too Far has arguably the greatest cast ever assembled for a movie including Sean Connery, Robert Redford, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins, Ryan O’Neal, Michael Caine, James Caan, Laurence Olivier, Dirk Bogarde and many more.

It is at times a rousing wartime tale but also doesn’t shy away from showing the sheer horrors of war especially with the somber ending.

With a runtime of 3 hours many have complained that the film is too long and I suppose that is true but I wasn’t bored for a single moment as A Bridge Too Far has some of the most incredible battle scenes you’ll ever see and a sense of scale we just don’t get anymore (without the use of CGI). It also is genuinely emotional and unpredictable where we find ourselves caring about our heroes while also pondering the sheer awfulness of war.

In terms of flaws it’s too bad we don’t get to see more of the cast on screen together and Gene Hackman’s accent is a little wonky but his role isn’t big enough for it to become a distraction. The score is very much of the time and despite having a catchy theme it is at times too corny and not quite suiting the tone of what is happening on screen.

Overall, A Bridge Too Far is one of my personal favourite war films with one of the best ever casts, incredible and bloody battle scenes while also never losing its heart. It is at least worth watching once just to see the kind of film we rarely get these days.