Friday, December 4, 2015

War film 4: A Bridge Too Far (1977)

Richard Attenborough directs an all-star cast - including Robert Redford, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Dirk Bogarde and James Caan - in this factual and highly dramatic retelling of 1944's ill-fated Operation Market Garden, based on the 1974 book A Bridge Too Far by Cornelius Ryan. Click the image below to listen to the podcast (32.9MB, 1 hour 30 mins).

Recorded Sunday 8 Feb 2015, edited by Garen Ewing (with apologies for the delay!)

Purchase the DVD from Amazon UK: A Bridge Too Far (1977).


  1. Very glad you had this film on the list. I never seen it and my husband never seen it before either. I got a copy for my collection when I first saw it on your list, and plan to re-watch, before re-listening to your podcast. Very interesting show, gentlemen. I found your talk and the film fascinating. Good to hear from your perspective, as well.

    Bridge to Far wasn't that popular here, it seems. I thought it was great. Interesting to read some reviews of people who was actually part of Market Garden, who loved the film, but regular movie fans who likely never been in war, not so keen to it. I was engaged from the start. Maybe being older helps.

    Also, I don't know how much Star Wars had to do with that here, since ST was released on Memorial Day Weekend in May 1977, and A Bridge too Far came out two weeks later in June. (Reverse, to your release.) It was hard for any film to break through the Star Wars epic takeover in theaters that summer and onward, even with big name stars. That was the summer special effects started to take over filmmaking, and still taking over. And Harrison Ford became the new movie idol, over Robert Redford. Small role in Bridge, but still Redford was a big star. Interestingly his career started to stall some after the Star Wars release.

    Thanks very much for sharing Bridge now. I admit, I was caught up in the Star Wars epic, too, when it came out. First film I got to see, without my parents around. But being older, I am more interested in re-watching Bridge, than seeing the new Star Wars, in the theater. I still appreciate the more real scenes created in Bridge, over CGI. Thanks for the podcast!

    Now have to re-watch my copy Brownlow's film. Glad I found film when I did. :-)

  2. That's very interesting about Star Wars putting a dampener on Bridge Too Far's box office. I suppose another aspect of it is that Star Wars is a very optimistic film, very much a feel-good film, whereas Bridge Too Far isn't. It's much more sober. One thing I've read about Star Wars' success was that it broke the rather pessimistic trend of Hollywood films at the time... Even though a LOT more people die in Star Wars! (A whole planet's worth, at least.)

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  4. I enjoyed this film immensely - usually I haven't seen the movie that you're discussing but listen to the podcast first, only to get excited and go ahead and see the movie for myself. Glad I did.

    I think I can tell how Bridge isn't terribly optimistic compared to Star Wars. But how things change! For much of the film I was thinking, 'They're losing but they're being delightfully inspiring about it.' Michael Caine and his tank battalion would fit better in A Galaxy Far Away than in 2014 Brad Pitt's Fury.

    Enjoyed these bridges even better than that one on the Kwai. And that's saying something

  5. I haven't seen Fury. Maybe I should give it a go.

  6. As an aside, I looked up Elliott Gould to see what else he has been in, and I noticed that he was married to Barbara Streisand in 1963 until 1971, then to Jennifer Bogart for the first time from 1973 to 1975. Seems he married Bogart again in 1978, a year after this film was released.

    So there was more truth than I had anticipated in the scene when his character is asked, 'have you been liberated,' and he answers with, 'well I've been divorced twice, does that count?'