Kellys Heroes

Tagline : They set out to rob a bank... and damn near won a war instead!

Runtime : 144 mins

Genre : Adventure Comedy War

Vote Rating : 7.3/10

Budget : 4 million $ USD

Revenue : 5.2 million $ USD

Plot : A misfit group of World War II American soldiers goes AWOL to rob a bank behind German lines.

Cast Members


Crazy! I mean like so many positive waves maybe we can't lose! You're on! Brian G. Hutton followed the considerable success he had had with 1968's Where Eagles Dare, with this, another men on a mission movie - only this one is very much a different animal. Hutton directs and Troy Kennedy-Martin writes the screenplay, it stars Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Donald Sutherland and Don Rickles. Music is by Lalo Schifrin and cinematography is by Gabriel Figueroa. When it comes to light that there is a considerable stash of Nazi gold waiting to be plundered behind enemy lines in occupied France, a group of maverick U.S. soldiers set off on a deadly mission to locate and gain... Woof Woof! Utterly wonderful. Kelly's Heroes mixes together war movie action staples with black comedy gold, the greed and insanity of war having its cheek poked by a sharp and bloody tongue. The script is clever, often very funny, often poignant and poised, and it's this that lets a great cast have a ball. You have the straight laced delivery of Eastwood playing against Savalas' macho rage, and Rickles' jumping- bean turn jostling with Sutherland's pre-hippy malarkey. Character names range from the likes of Oddball, Crapgame, Big Joe, Little Joe and Cowboy, a rogue group of soldiers deciding they want to grab something for themselves. Up yours, baby! The journey to find the gold is of course far from straight forward, with Hutton constructing some white hot action scenes. And it's here where it often gets forgotten that Kelly's Heroes does not forget the blood shed during war. People do die, it's not all fun and frolics, and Hutton knows his way around great suspense passages. Witness the brilliant minefield sequence and the ticking clock finale where we are never sure if any of the men will achieve their goal. So laugh while you ponder, then? Absolutely. Kelly's Heroes is caper and chaos, beef and brawn, but always cunning and crafty as well. 9/10

**_Amusing all-star WW2 dramedy/action flick with Eastwood and Savalas_** Clint Eastwood stars as the title character who convinces Sgt. Big Joe (Telly Savalas), his platoon, and a free-spirited Sherman tank commander (Donald Sutherland) to spend their three-day leave on a gold heist at a French village 30 miles behind enemy lines. The events take place 12 weeks after the Normandy invasion. "Kelly's Heroes" (1970) was obviously inspired by "What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?" from four years earlier. Carroll O'Connor even plays the same basic role, a general who mistakes the misdeeds of Allied soldiers as brave, selfless combat; and arrives on the scene to commend them. The picture uncannily combines zany comedy with serious war action and is highlighted by the fun, eccentric theme song "Burning Bridges" by The Mike Curb Congregation. Of course the all-star cast is great with Sutherland standing out as Oddball. People complain that Oddball was anachronistic since he was a late-60's hippie type, but his crew resembled Gypsies and, besides, there are laid-back free-spirited types in every generation. While the film is overall superior to "What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?" it's inferior in that it lacks a female cast member in the form of the jaw-dropping Giovanna Ralli. Actually, the flick was slated to have a female role, but it was cut from the script prior to shooting. The stunning Ingrid Pitt was cast, as she worked with Eastwood two years earlier in "Where Eagles Dare." Ingrid was virtually climbing on board the plane bound for the set in Yugoslavia when word came that her part was cut. The fools. The film is a little overlong at 2 hours, 24 minutes, and perhaps should've been cut by about 15-20 minutes, but the compelling last hour makes up for any flabbiness. The movie was shot in the Istrian village of Vizinada in Croatia (street scenes); Obrenovac, Serbia (Bridge over the Kolubara River); Beocin, Serbia (scenes with the general); and the coast of Slovenia (south of Trieste, Italy). GRADE: B+

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