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Monthly Archives: June 1977

A Bridge Too Far (1977)

DIRECTOR: Richard Attenborough

CAST: Dirk Bogarde, James Caan, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Edward Fox, Elliott Gould, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins, Hardy Kruger, Laurence Olivier, Ryan O’Neal, Robert Redford, Maximilian Schell, Liv Ullmann

REVIEW:

From producer Joseph E. Levine and director Richard Attenborough comes this unwieldy but sporadically impressive “war epic” making the strange choice to throw up a boatload of money and effort portraying in grandiose, The Longest Day fashion one of the Allies’ biggest fiascoes of WWII, the ill-conceived Operation Market Garden.  Adapted from Cornelius Ryan’s 1974 best-selling book chronicling the operation in comprehensive detail from compiled interviews with both Allied and German participants and Dutch civilians (The Longest Day was also based on Ryan’s book covering the D-Day invasion), A Bridge Too Far was self-importantly touted as “one of the most expensive war movies ever made!” (costing $26 million, an impressive sum in 1977) but was only a modest box office success and received mixed critical reviews.  Perhaps this is partly because watching a big, lavish, star-studded movie about an Allied defeat is too much of a downer for audiences expecting some “RA RA” flag-waving, but also the movie lacks the drive and focus to maintain consistent interest over its formidable three hour runtime.  It’s overlong, muddled, ponderous, and overbaked, though not without scattered impressive moments.  For WWII buffs, it’s worth watching as the kind of epic “classic” they don’t make this way anymore, but for anyone without a strong interest in the subject matter, it’s likely to be a slog. Continue reading

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