A Bridge Too Far (1977) Poster


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  • The character of Major Fuller was actually Major Brian Urquhart. The character was renamed to avoid confusion with the character played by Sean Connery.

    He eventually became Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations for Special Political Affairs. Certainly not a conglomeration and definitely a real person. Edit

  • The answer is 'sort of'. The route taken by XXX (30) Corps as they tried to get from Eindhoven to Arnhem via the bridges is still there but there are a couple of places where you have to use an OS map and drive across a few fields to keep true to the task. Edit

  • Yes, the events happened exactly as portrayed. Edit

  • He and his entire staff are never seen or heard of again. Presumably they were all killed by a German unit which was then itself wiped out. Edit

  • The Dutch resistance had been thoroughly penetrated by the Gestapo in what they called the 'Englander-game'. Captured radio operators were used to send out requests for more agents and material to be dropped with German troops waiting for them at their landing sites and the aircraft transporting them often shot down by the Luftwaffe on the way home. The allies therefore did not trust their sources in Holland and only one set of aerial reconaissance photos showed a few tanks in the area. Edit

  • At the end of the film the German's have the bridge and will just destroy it if they try. Whilst it has been largely regarded as a defeat the Allies have actually liberated vast swathes of Holland and inflicted grevious losses on the Germans. However without the bridge at Arnhem they cannot cross the River Rhine into Germany's industrial heartland of the Rhur which would allow them to destroy the German's ability to make weapons and end the war within a few months. Monty's assessment that Operation Market Garden was overwhelmingly 90% successful is correct but without the bridge at Arnhem they cannot achieve their ultimate objective. Edit

  • In many ways everyone's and no ones. The allies were overconfident going in and the German's more resilient than they were given credit for. The radios which worked effectively in the desert and France proved unreliable in Holland. However there would simply have been no way of knowing this beforehand. The Dutch resistance gave warnings but their information had previously proved unreliable as they had been compromised by the Gestapo. The German's moving their armoured units into Arnhem was last minute and by sheer coincidence. The bad weather affected the radios and delayed flights of reinforcements to the beleaguered paratroops. The ground reinforcements moved too slowly but suffered heavy casualties every step of the way and without radio contact had no way of knowing how desperate the situation was for the Airborne Forces. Criticism has been leveled at Field Marshall Montgomery for not taking longer to prepare but had he done so the weather would have been too bad for airborne operations and the Germans would have had more time to strengthen their defenses. In reality Operation Market Garden was a gamble which didn't pay off but came very close to doing so, the attack coming as a complete surprise to the enemy in an area where their defences were relatively weak. Most historians agree that it was a risk worth taking as had it succeeded the war could literally have been over by Christmas 1944 and the Allies would have been spared the tens of thousands of casualties they suffered directly assaulting Germany's border defences the following spring. Edit

  • The unliberated parts of Holland endured a brutal winter of starvation at the hands of the occupying German forces. In the spring Montgomery launched a massive and overwhelming offensive over the Rhine, once again using paratroopers to spearhead the attack. This succeeded handsomely and the Allies penetrated deeply into Germany, destroyed their military-industrial capability and the war was over a short time later. Perhaps the greatest tragedy of the failure of Market Garden was that the delay allowed the Soviet Union to occupy Eastern Europe rather than the Western Allies, which lead to the Cold War. Edit

  • The Chicago opening of Joseph E. Levine's film, A Bridge Too Far, occurred on Wednesday, June 15, 1977, at the Woods theatre in the Loop, and nine other area theatres; an ad reads: "Out of the sky comes the screen's most incredible spectacle of men and war!" The film was rated PG Edit



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