Bridge Too Far, A (1977)

A Bridge Too Far (1977), directed by Richard Attenborough.

Ambitious presentation of Operation Market Garden, the Allied attempt to win WW2 in 1944 by dropping 35,000 paratroopers in enemy territory. They would seize the bridges around three Dutch towns and hold them for an armored relief column coming up the single available road.

What could go wrong? Quite a lot on both sides. It was a bold plan that failed.

Large cast of many known actors, including Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins, Robert Redford and Michael Caine. There is no one lead, and so many characters to follow that we spend little time on human interest side plots. It's mainly history. The actors fit their roles, although I think Gene Hackman looks out of place as a Polish general, and it's hard to take Elliot Gould seriously in anything. Redford needs a haircut.

I find it pretty satisfying as a war history/adventure. It's sort of a sequel to The Longest Day, which was also adapted from a Cornelius Ryan book. The wikipedia article has details on the cast and the historical characters they play.

We see gliders being rigged for towing but none actually in the air.

Available on Blu-ray, often on sale.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e7/Bridge_too_far_movieposter.jpg