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Bridge Too Far, A (1977, Dirk Bogarde, Michael Caine)



It seems as if an entire regiment of movie notables appears in this expensive and expansive epic based on Cornelius Ryan’s best-seller about a disastrous Allied offensive (Operation Market Garden, the failed attempt by the allies to end the war quickly by securing three bridges in Holland and allowing access over the Rhine into Germany) during World War II.

However, the Joseph E. Levine production is just another massive war movie mired in noise and confusion. Hardly any of the big American or British stars are on-screen long enough to establish audience involvement. At an almost three-hour length, A Bridge Too Far is a movie too long.

production details
UK – USA | United Artists – Joseph E. Levine | 175 minutes | 1977

Book: Cornelius Ryan
Writer: William Goldman
Directors of Photography: Geoffrey Unsworth, Harry Waxman, Robin Browne
Production Design: Terence Marsh
Director: Richard Attenborough (and also Sidney Hayers)

Dirk Bogarde as Lt. Gen. Frederick Browning
James Caan as Sgt. Eddie Dohun
Michael Caine as Lt. Col. John O.E. Vandeleur
Sean Connery as Maj. Gen. Robert E. Urquhart
Edward Fox as Lt. Gen. Brian G. Horrocks
Elliott Gould as Col. Robert Stout
Gene Hackman as Maj. Gen. Stanislaw F. Sosabowski
Anthony Hopkins as Lt. Col. John D. Frost
Hardy Krüger as Generalmajor der Waffen-SS Karl Ludwig
Laurence Olivier as Dr. Jan Spaander
Ryan O’Neal as Brig. Gen. James M. Gavin
Robert Redford as Maj. Julian Cook
Maximilian Schell as General der Waffen-SS Wilhelm Bittrich
Liv Ullmann as Kate ter Horst – “the Angel of Arnhem”
John Judd as Sergeant Clegg
Denholm Elliott as RAF meteorologist officer
Jeremy Kemp as R.A.F. Briefing Officer
Wolfgang Preiss as Field Marshal Karl R.G. Von Rundstedt
Nicholas Campbell as Capt. Glass
Colin Farrell as Cpl. Hancock
Walter Kohut as Field Marshal Walter Model
Alun Armstrong as Cpl. Davies
Hans von Borsody as Gen. Günther Blumentritt
Hartmut Becker as German Sentry
Michael Byrne as Lt. Col. Giles A.M. Vandeleur
Garrick Hagon as Lt. Rafferty
John Ratzenberger as U.S. Lieutenant
Fred Williams as Capt. Grabner
Ben Cross as Trooper Binns
Arthur Hill as U.S. Medical Colonel
Edward Kalinski as Pvt. Archer
Ben Howard as Sergeant Towns
Donald Douglas as Brig. Gen. Gerald Lathbury
Tom van Beek as Jan Ter Horst
Siem Vroom as Underground Leader
Marlies van Alcmaer as Underground Leader’s Wife
Erik van ‘t Wout as Underground Leader’s Son
Donald Pickering as Lt. Col. Mackenzie
Frank Grimes as Maj. Fuller
Stephen Moore as Maj. Steele
Peter Settelen as Lt. Cole
Paul Copley as Pvt. Wicks
Gerald Sim as Col. Sims
Harry Ditson as US Private
Stanley Lebor as RSM
Christopher Good as Maj. Carlyle
Anthony Milner as Pvt. Dodds
Norman Gregory as Pvt. Morgan
Barry McCarthy as Pvt. Clark
Lex van Delden as Sgt. Matthias
Michael Wolf as Field Marshal Model’s Aide
Brian Hawksley as Vicar
Erik Chitty as Church Organist
Geoffrey Hinsliff as British Radio Operator
Sean Mathias as Irish Guards Officer
Tim Beekman as German Private
Hilary Minster as British Medical Officer
David English as Pvt. Andrews
Michael Graham Cox as Capt. Cleminson
Timothy Morand as British Corporal
James Wardroper as Pvt. Gibbs
Stephen Rayment as Grenadier Guards Officer
Peter Gordon as US Sergeant
Brian Gwaspari as US Engineer
Neil Kennedy as Col. Barker
John Salthouse as Pvt. ‘Ginger’ Marsh
Jack Galloway as Pvt. Vincent
Milton Cadman as Pvt. Long
David Auker as ‘Taffy’ Brace
Jonathan Hackett as Glider Pilot
Patrick Ryecart as German Lieutenant
Richard Kane as Col. Weaver
Toby Salaman as Pvt. Stephenson
Anthony Pullen Shaw as US Captain
John Morton as US Padre
Edward Seckerson as British Padre
Michael Bangerter as British Staff Colonel
Dick Rienstra as Capt. Krafft
Ian Liston as Sgt. Whitney
George Innes as Sgt. Macdonald
Simon Chandler as Pvt. Simmonds
Paul Rattee as Pvt. Gordon
Mark Sheridan as Sgt. Tomblin
John Stride as Grenadier Guards Major
Niall Padden as Medical Orderly
Shaun Curry as Cpl. Robbins
Sebastian Abineri as Sgt. Treadwell
Pieter Groenier as Young Dutch Couple
Adrienne Kleiweg as Young Dutch Couple
Georgette Reyevski as Old Dutch Couple
Johan te Slaa as Old Dutch Couple
Mary Smithuysen as Old Dutch Lady
Hans Croiset as Hans – Old Dutch Lady’s Son
Henny Alma as Dutch Villager
Bertus Botterman as Dutch Villager
Josephine Peeper as Cafe Waitress
Myles Reithermann as Boat Truck Driver
Andrew Branch as Flute Player
Ray Jewers as US Radio Operator
Keith Drinkel as Lt. Cornish
Stephen Churchett as British Soldier
Richard Attenborough as Lunatic with Glasses (uncredited)