Customer Reviews for

A Bridge Too Far

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    A classic war film in every sense of the word

    I saw this movie on the big screen when it came out in 1977 and at the time I thought, Wow! because of the lengths they went to recreate the various battles, equipment, aircraft, etc.

    It was with a sense of nostalgia that I bought the collector's edition DVD in 2006. I eagerly popped it into my new TV/DVD player as soon as it arrived - and discovered that big screen does not always translate well into small screen in terms of visual and dramatic impact.

    That said, "A Bridge Too Far" is still one of the best war movies ever made, in terms of scope, presentation and attention to detail. However, I can readily see how someone who is not a student of WWII history could get lost as the movie jumps from scene to scene, and if you don't have even a basic grasp of geography, you're going to be confused more often than not, because the movie only offers a brief (about 2 minute) look at the Market-Garden plan in the form of a (ridiculously oversized) map as the key commanders are briefed in on how the generals "hope" things will go.

    The battle scenes are well executed and seem fairly realistic, as do the pauses and stretches where not much is going on - that's the way it is in real life, and this movie was attempting to capture the essence of one of the major battles of WWII, not do another cheap action flick! "A Bridge Too Far" does a good job of putting you in the middle of each situation, and allows you to experience it much as the people who were actually involved might have. The incredibly brave assault on the Arnhem bridge, and then the desperate attempt to hold it; the suicidal crossing over the Waal River in broad daylight; the increasingly futile efforts to reach the marooned Allied airborne troops before the Germans can overwhelm them - all of this is captured in rich and thorough detail.

    Of special note is how the point of view of the Dutch civilians is included, something often glossed over or outright ignored in many war movies; I cannot even imagine what it would be like to go from living in an occupied but relatively quiet city to fierce combat zone in the course of just a few days.

    I can't say as much about the bonus disc included in the collector's edition - I could never get the picture slide shows to work, and I would have liked to have seen a lot more of the behind the scenes efforts the producers had to go through to state some of the battles in the same locations the real ones were fought in. All in all, though, an enjoyable movie that should be in any WWII buffs collection.

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    Posted March 27, 2009

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    Posted January 24, 2009

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    Posted April 11, 2010

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