|June 6, 2023
Clint Eastwood's advice in "Dirty Harry" that
opinions, like certain body parts, are best kept to
the article to the left: Charles Dohun (September, 1912
to January, 1994) was a Sergeant in the US Army during World
War II. He notably saved the life of Captain LeGrand Johnson
during Operation Market Garden by forcing a doctor to
examine him at gunpoint.
Caan agreed to do this movie because of the scene in which
he forces a reluctant Army surgeon to operate on one of his
buddies at gunpoint. He said, "When Richard
Attenborough came to see me in Los Angeles, he offered me
the choice of several roles. I chose the Sergeant chiefly
for that one scene."
Bridge Too Far", a 1977 epic that is, perhaps, my
favorite and most accurate war movie. Filmed on location in
Holland where all the action took place in World War II, "Operation
Market Garden" was the largest airborne operation
in the history of war, with 34,600 men and 1,700 vehicles
dropped from the skies by glider or parachute. Less
remembered than "D-Day" because, in the end, we
lost. Trying to take one more bridge and failing, it was "a
bridge too far".
Based on the best selling
book by Cornelius Ryan, with screen play by William Goldman,
and directed by Richard Attenborough, who spent heavily on
making this film as accurate to actual events as possible,
right down to the smallest detail. Filmed in the actual
locations in Holland, and little side stories that most
would ignore or not even know about, Attenborough got them
A good example would be the scene in the
airplane when the paratroopers are getting ready to jump and
you'll see a chicken pop her head out of a paratrooper's
jacket. That actually happened, the man had a bet going that
chickens could fly and he was proving it, taking the bird on
several jumps, including this one.
the film was panned severly by critics because of the
cavalcade of big name stars in the movie, most being paid
$250,000 a week, except for Robert Redford, who was paid
substantially more, making this the most costly movie of all
time in 1977. The character Major General Urquhart, who we
follow through most of the movie, was played by Sean
Connery. When Connery discovered that Robert Redford, who
had much less time on the screen than Connery, was being
paid more, he went on a sit-down strike until an adjustment
Now, nearly 50 years later, with most of
the cast and crew gone, criticizing the film because the
cast included too many big stars is, to me, a moot issue.
Robert Redford and Gene Hackman remain, almost all the
others are gone.
The YouTube channel "History
Buffs" created a very good documentary about the
making of this film, and I present it to you below. 38
minutes long, but I encourage you to watch it, well worth, I
think, your time:
Here's a bonus for you:
If you'll actually watch this documentary, please
email me and let me know what you thought of it, and I'll
include you in a drawing to receive a free DVD of the movie.
We have a winner.Tim Smith from
Sacramento, California wrote a very good review, he
obviously spent some time on it, and a copy of "A
Bridge Too Far" is headed his way. Thanks, Tim.
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June 6, 2023: www.fark.com picked up this
editorial and posted a link on their website, resulting in
several thousand visitors, with lots of comments, pro and