A Bridge Too Far (1977) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Bridge Too Far1977

A Bridge Too Far (1977)



Critic Consensus: A Bridge Too Far is a war movie too long, although top-notch talent on both sides of the camera keeps the end result consistently watchable.

A Bridge Too Far Photos

Movie Info

It's late 1944, and the Allied armies are confident they'll win the World War II and be home in time for Christmas. What's needed, says British general Bernard Law Montgomery, is a knockout punch, a bold strike through Holland, where German troops are spread thin, that will put the Allies into Germany. Paratroops led by British major general Robert Urquhart (Sean Connery) and American brigadier general James Gavin (Ryan O'Neal) will seize a thin road and five bridges through Holland into Germany, with paratroops led by Lieutenant Col. John Frost (Sir Anthony Hopkins) holding the most critical bridge at a small town called Arnhem. Over this road shall pass combined forces led by British Lieutenant Gen. Brian Horrocks (Edward Fox) and British Lieutenant Col. Joe Vandeleur (Michael Caine). The plan requires precise timing, so much so that one planner tells Lieutenant Gen. Frederick Browning (Dirk Bogarde), "Sir, I think we may be going a bridge too far." The plan also has one critical flaw: Instead of a smattering of German soldiers, the area around Arnhem is loaded with crack SS troops. Disaster ensues. Based on a book by historian Cornelius Ryan, A Bridge Too Far is reminiscent of another movie based on a Ryan book, The Longest Day. Like that movie, it is loaded with more than 15 international stars, including Sir Laurence Olivier, Robert Redford, Hardy Krueger, Gene Hackman, Maximilian Schell, and Liv Ullman. ~ Nick Sambides, Jr., Rovi

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Dirk Bogarde
as Lt. Gen. Roy Browning
James Caan
as SSgt. Eddie Dohun
Sean Connery
as Maj. Gen. Roy Urquhart
Michael Caine
as Lt. Col. Joe Vandeleur
Edward Fox
as Lt. Gen. Brian Horrocks
Elliott Gould
as Col. Bobby Stout
Gene Hackman
as Maj. Gen. Sosabowski
Anthony Hopkins
as Lt. Col. John Frost
Hardy Krüger
as Gen. Ludwig
Laurence Olivier
as Doctor Spaander
Ryan O'Neal
as Brig. Gen. James M. Gavin
Robert Redford
as Maj. Julian Cook
Maximilian Schell
as Lt. Gen. Wilhelm Bittrich
Liv Ullmann
as Kate Ter Horst
Denholm Elliott
as RAF Meteorological Officer
Arthur Hill
as Tough Colonel
Wolfgang Preiss
as Field Marshal von Rundstedt
Siem Vroom
as Underground Leader
Eric Vant Wout
as Child with Spectacles
Mary Smithuysen
as Old Dutch Woman
Nicholas Campbell
as Capt. Glass
Christopher Good
as Maj. Carlyle
Keith Drinkel
as Lt. Cornish
Hans von Borsody
as General Blumentritt
Peter Faber
as Capt. Harry
Paul Maxwell
as Major General Maxwell Taylor
Ben Cross
as Trooper Binns
Walter Kohut
as Field Marshall Model
Hartmut Becker
as German Sentry
Frank Grimes
as Major Fuller
Jeremy Kemp
as RAF Meteorological Officer
Donald Pickering
as Lieutenant Colonel Mackenzie
Donald Douglas
as Brigadier Lathbury
Michael Byrne
as Lieutenant Colonel Giles Vandeleur
Paul Copley
as Private Wicks
Gerald Sim
as Colonel Sims
Harry Ditson
as US Private
Erik Chitty
as Organist
Alun Armstrong
as Corporal Davies
Anthony Milner
as Private Dodds
Barry McCarthy
as Privare Clark
Lex van Delden
as Sergeant Matthias
Michael Wolf
as Field Marshall Model's Aide
Sean Mathias
as Irish Guards Lieutenant
Ray Jewers
as US Radio Operator
Fred Williams
as Captain Grabner
John Judd
as Sergeant Clegg
Hilary Minster
as British Medical Officer
David English
as Private Andrews
Ben Howard
as Sergeant Towns
Michael Graham Cox
as Captain Cleminson
Peter Gordon
as US Sergeant
Garrick Hagon
as Lieutenant Rafferty
Neil Kennedy
as Colonel Barker
John Salthouse
as Private 'Ginger' Marsh
John Hackett
as Glider Pilot
Stanley Lebor
as Regimental Sergeant Major
Jack Galloway
as Private Vincent
Milton Cadman
as Private Long
David Auker
as 'Taffy' Brace
Richard Kane
as Colonel Weaver
Toby Salaman
as Private Stephenson
John Morton
as US Padre
John Ratzenberger
as US Lieutenant
Patrick Ryecart
as German Lieutenant
Ian Liston
as Sergeant Witney
George Innes
as Sergeant Macdonald
John Stride
as Grenadier Guards Major
Niall Padden
as British Medical Officer
Simon Chandler
as Private Simmonds
Shaun Curry
as Corporal Robbins
Chris Williams
as Corporal Merrick
Jon Croft
as Soldier
Frank Jarvis
as Soldier
James Snell
as Soldier
Jason White
as Soldier
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Critic Reviews for A Bridge Too Far

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (8)

The movie itself crumples from an excess of success, since by the time all the stars and rumbling war toys have justified their places in the budget, A Bridge Too Far has become an hour too long.

October 26, 2021 | Full Review…

The movie's big and expensive and filled with stars, but it's not an epic. It's the longest B-grade war movie ever made.

July 2, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

It would seem impossible to go wrong with such an incredible, all-star cast - which makes A Bridge Too Far such a frustrating misfire (no pun intended).

March 11, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

A very long slog.

July 7, 2017 | Rating: D | Full Review…

Futility and frustration are the overriding emotional elements in A Bridge Too Far, Joseph E. Levine's sprawling Second World War production.

December 10, 2008 | Full Review…

An overworked, very old and very tired warhorse. Glossy, ponderous, predictable.

February 9, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for A Bridge Too Far

Aside from a hokey sound track, this is an excellent WWII war film about real life events. And you'll see a cast of young stars who went on to greatness. Certainly worth watching.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer


So it seems the Allies did not win every battle of the WWll, despite what's depicted in popular film: There were occasions of sad defeat and this is one of them, British General Montgomery's ill-conceived plan to crash through the Netherlands into Germany. A large project from the get-go, a large Brit, Yank, German and Dutch cast attempt to convey why Operation Market Garden eventually failed. Great shots of Holland (my fav foreign country) abound.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

A Bridge Too Far recreates Operation Market Garden. Set in September 1944, this film is a superb recreation of the failed operation that could have ended the war by Christmas of that year. A Bridge Too Far is one of the most accurate portraits of Operation Market Garden, along with the portrayal of the failed operation in HBO'S Band of Brothers. A Bridge Too Far is a superb war film with a collection of some of cinema's finest actors. Every actor here are phenomenal in the parts they play, and you really get insight from what happened during operation Market Garden. The operation failed of inaccurate or little intelligence and the Allies encountered heavier German resistance than they originally anticipated. A Bridge Too Far is a film that tries to focus more on the historical aspects of the battle, and with that in mind, it's not a pure action film. Yes, there is a lot of fighting, but this film isn't meant to be an action film, I see it more as a history lesson that brings to light why this operation failed. If you're expecting a straight forward action packed war film, you'll be sadly disappointed. Richard Attenborough tried to focus on the realities of war, and focus more on the failed operation than giving the viewer a more straight forward action picture. That's why I enjoyed A Bridge Too Far, I am a WWII nut, I am obsessed with the subject, and I really enjoyed the fact that they tried to stay truthful to the real event, and not ruin it with your typical Hollywood stylized action scenes. There are some great war scenes in this film of course, and it's thrilling to watch. The all star cast adds a lot more depth to this film, and they make this film worth watching. Sean Connery, Michael Caine and Edward Fox really stood out for me. The only complaint I had the film was the fact that they tried to include a bit of Hollywood style drama into the story, which I think was unnecessary, as this was a strong film altogether. This is one of the classic war films to watch.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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