An all-star castincluding George Segal, Robert Vaughn, Ben Gazzara and E.G. Marshallbrings all the glory and agony of war to stunning life in this intense and exhilarating, but uniquely human, look at a struggle widely reg... more »arded as the most strategic coup of World War II. "Excellent special effects, spectacular photography and fine action sequences" (Motion Picture Exhibitor) put you on the front lines of the battle and with the courageous soldiers who fought it. 1945: The Allies are making their final advance into German territory, and only one strategic bridge on the Rhine River remains in Nazi hands. Both sides have much to gain: the Germans, the lives of 50,000 soldiers stationed on the wrong side of the bridge; and the Allies, a quicker end to the war with fewer lives lost. Though both armies would fight valiantly, only one could win the heart-rending battle for The Bridge at Remagen.« less
Mark T. (THEBLUEMAX) from ATOKA, TN Reviewed on 7/12/2011...
Awesome World War 2 Movie! Get it, Watch it, Love it! This is one of the Top 10 best of it's Genre. You can't go wrong with this one, period!
0 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Joseph F. M. (joe424) from HICKSVILLE, NY Reviewed on 11/10/2009...
Enjoyable movie, a little dated but still good. Good to see some of the old actors again.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Invading the Reich!
Richard P. Mayhew | Silver Spring, MD USA | 05/26/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this movie on DVD and I am glad I did. The Keep case is full of all sorts of cool info. This film was shot on location in Czechoslovakia in 1968, while being filmed the USSR invaded the country, MIGs buzzed the set and the Russians claimed that American spys were among the cast and crew. If you have ever seen photos or film of the bridge at Remagen you will be stunned to see how close the filming location looks to the real site. The setting is March 1945, the American Army is desperately trying to capture a Rhine crossing, that was true. The film slightly modifies history by showing the Americans as wanting to blow up the Ludendorf railway bridge at Remagen to trap a retreating German army, that is not how things happened in reality but this little bit of "Hollywood history" does not detract from the movie. The German attempt to demolish the bridge fails, that also is true. I wish the film had covered some of the unique measures taken by the Germans to destroy the bridge such as the use of frogmen/commandos carrying high explosives disguised to look like flows of logs, the attacks by Luftwaffe Arado Blitz bombers, and the firing of several V2 missiles, all of which failed. While the fate of the German commander is accurate, it is a little embelished. The uniforms, weapons and acting are all top notch, it would have been nice if they had Sherman tanks but that is a small detail. The fighting/action scences (and there are alot of them) are outstanding, small arms firefights in the countryside, in the villages and finally on the bridge, there is even a hitler youth kamakazi! The roving SS execution squads and the Volkstrum portrayals are (from everything I have read) accurate. Segal does a good job playing an exhuasted squad leader who keeps seeing his men blown away in an attempt to reach a bridge which both sides want to (thats the Holloywood version anyway) destroy. There is one short makeout scene in which breasts are flashed (nice ones too!) but this is truly a war movie, there is as you'd expect alot of violence. Ben Gazara is cast well as a bitter NCO in the squad. I think the finest acting is Robert Vaughn as German Major Krueger. The pyrotechnics will (no pun intended) blow you away, they blew some s**t up making this film! The movie does not show this but several days after it's capture the bridge finally collapsed taking over 2 dozen American with it. I would have given this film 5 stars except for the music, there is alot of that typical 1960's Hogans Hero's sounding music which really detracts from the power and realism in this film. This is a great flick, if you like action, fighting and explosions this is the ticket."
Realistic portrayal of a daring action at the end of WW2...
T O'Brien | 01/17/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Bridge at Remagen" is a fictionalized account of one of the more famous coups by the US Army in WW2. In March, 1945 a task force from the 9th armored division managed to seize a bridge over the Rhine, Hitler's last natural defense line. Although it doesn't follow the historical work of the same name, this movie captures the flavor of those desperate days, the speed of the advance of the American Army and the desparation of the Whermacht, trying to buy time for Hitler's miracle weapons to take effect. George Segal does a great job of portraying Lt. Hartman, the battle-weary comander that seizes the bridge. Likewise Robert Vaughn is excellent as Major Krueger, the commander of the bridge's defenders. Major Krueger attempts to keep the bridge open as long as possible, to allow retreating troops across to the safety of the east bank. A good idea, gone bad when a column of US light tanks suddenly appear shooting up everything in sight. Ben Gazzara portrays the 60's ish anti-hero, SGT Angelo, a nod to the era in which the movie was made(don't want to feel too good about the boys in green) Also Bradford Dillman's glory seeking Major Barnes, the US Battalion commander is the stereotypical, "don't care about anything but my career" commander that probably played well to audiences in the 1960's, but was certainly not typical in the US Army in WW2, from anything I've read. The local for the movie, the bridge and town in Czechoslovakia is incredibly similar to what the Ludendorf Bridge looked like in '45. The equipment and hardware is authentic too, the US forces use M24 tanks and wheeled vehicles that would have been used by a US armored force in '45. The Germans have some inaccurate uniforms, but the vehicles and the 88's on the hilltop look correct. (The 88's may be Russian 85mm AT guns) If you want to learn about this battle, read "A Bridge at Remagen". If you want to watch an entertaining, if not totally accurate portrayal, watch this movie, a must for any war movie fan."
One of the great war films of the 1960's
T O'Brien | Chicago, Il United States | 06/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Bridge at Remagen is an excellent World War II movie based on a true story. Set in the closing days of the war, the story is about a battle for the last remaining bridge over the Rhine river. The Americans want it intact so they can cross over into the heart of Germany while the Germans want to blow it up to prevent the Allies a foothold. However, the Major placed in command of the bridge won't blow it up because there are still 50,000 German troops on the other side that will be captured if the bridge is destroyed. This is an excellent movie that shows the battle from both the American and German side. Excellent action sequences and great characters make this a must have. As well, the movie succeeds in showing the chaos on the German side as the Allied forces began to close in late in the war. George Segal stars as(get this) Lt. Phil Hartman, the leader of the American troops trying to take the bridge intact. He plays the role perfectly as the officer who refuses to see his men massacred in a pointless attack. Ben Gazzara is great as Sergeant Angelo, the soldier who picks valuable items off of dead soldiers for his own profit. Robert Vaughan plays Major Krueger, the German major placed in command of the bridge. He does a great job as the officer trying to buy time for the trapped German divisions. Also starring Bradford Dillman, E.G. Marshall, Peter Van Eyck, and Bo Hopkins. This is an excellent war movie that doesn't shy away from showing all aspects of war. Elmer Bernstein also gives an excellent musical score that at times sounds like The Magnificent Seven or The Great Escape. The DVD is a great buy with a collectible booklet, theatrical trailer, and widescreen presentation all included. Check out this great and true war tale set late in WWII!"
A well acted, realistic portrayal of a true WWII event
T O'Brien | 11/24/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a well directed and well acted depiction of the events that happen around and on the last remaining bridge on the river Rhine - the Ludendorf bridge, in Remagen, Germany. Historically, this was the first allied crossing point on the Rhine in March, 1945. In the Spring of 1945 to quell the Western Allies advance on a broad front inside Germany, Hitler orders all bridges on the Rhine to be blown. However, one bridge at Remagen remains intact, being kept open by a handful of Germans to allow their 15th Army to retreat from the Western side. Demolition charges are installed and the order is given to blow the bridge as American infantrymen are ordered to cross and take it. It is one of the better war films, realistic in its portrayal of men trying to go beyond the call of duty, on both sides. To make the film, a nearly identical bridge to the Ludendorf was located in Czeckoslovakia. The occupying Russian troops in 1968 forced the film crew to leave, and the film was finished elsewhere on location in Italy."
Factual Account with Fictional Characters
Kevin R. Austra | Delaware Valley, USA | 04/14/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"David L. Wolper's 1969 THE BRIDGE AT REMAGEN closely follows Ken Hechler's best selling account of the American capture of the Ludendorff rail bridge over the Rhine River. The facts and events occurring in the movie are largely factual with actors George Segal, Robert Vaughn and Ben Gazzara adding some fictional depth to the original participants. In fact, the actual names of the real-life combat participants were changed for this film.
March 1945. The German Reich is collapsing. With its forces spread too thinly to hold back the Western Allies the Germans count on the wide Rhine River to bar the allied advance. All the Rhine bridges, but one, have been destroyed. German Major Paul Krueger accepts command of the Remagen Bridge forces. His immediate superior, General von Brock, has a hidden agenda in assigning the bridge defense to Krueger. On the surface he entrusts Krueger with the mission of defending the bridge long enough for a stranded German army group to escape across the bridge. However, he also seems to entertain the idea that allowing the intact bridge to fall into American hands as a "brilliant plan," though his motives are left ambiguous in the film.
Opposing Krueger is American Lieutenant Phil Hartman. Hartman is the platoon leader of an armored reconnaissance platoon -- and later company commander when his captain is killed by German fire. Hartman's glory-seeking battalion commander volunteers his exhausted unit for the drive to Remagen. Meanwhile a disappointed Krueger arrives at Remagen discovering that the actual defense forces are a pitiful fraction of what was promised. The situation is further aggravated by the tardy arrival of substandard demolition charges that arrive just as the Americans force their way through the town. The Germans are able to detonate the charges, but the damage is insufficient to destroy the bridge. Hartman and a squad of men seize the east bank of the bridge and maintain a tenuous hold until reinforcements arrive. At that point Major Krueger sets off on a hopeless mission to gather counter-attack forces. Unfortunately for Krueger he is arrested, tried, and executed for allowing the bridge to fall intact to the Americans.
The latter part of the 1960's and very early 1970's were the golden years for war movies. In those years films like PATTON, TORA,TORA,TORA, M*A*S*H, CATCH 22, THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN and KELLY'S HEROES (To name a few) made names for themselves at box offices. Producer David Wolper, known for the historical accuracy constraints of his productions, undertook THE BRIDGE AT REMAGEN. The Rhine crossing operations were the next logical big screen production. THE LONGEST DAY took care of D-Day. Ken Annakin's 1965 production of THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE had taken on the Ardennes Offensive. The breaching of the Reich's last natural obstacle to the western allies was a logical choice.
Teams searched throughout Europe for a site that closely resembled the Remagen terrain. In the end they located a bridge over the Vltava River at Davle, south of Prague, in what was then Czechoslovakia. Two sets of prop towers were added to each end of the bridge giving it the appearance of a narrow version of the Ludendorff Bridge. The production team even blasted a shallow tunnel out of the hill on the east bank of the Vltava to replicate the entrance to the Erpeler Ley rail tunnel. Additionally, the REMAGEN production team was fortunate in that they were able to film in an evacuated section of the Czech village of Most. Most, which is northwest of Prague in the old Sudeten region, was slated for partial destruction in order to accommodate strip mining of soft coal. Portions of the town were intentionally demolished during the filming thus serving the film's purpose.
Czech arsenals were full of German weapons and uniforms -- most carefully preserved in the event of a "next" war. Indeed the Czechs still had at their disposal their own version of the German Sdkfz 251 half-track in the form of the almost identical Czech OT-810. Everything seemed to be going the right way for Wolper Productions.
Serious filming began in 1968, but was not completed before the Warsaw Pact's 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia. The cast and crew were forced to convoy out of Czechoslovakia leaving the majority of their props, weapons, uniforms and extras behind. Fortunately the production team was able to complete filming in Italy with the result that there is hardly any noticeable continuity break in the film.
In general the film is historically correct regarding the main events surrounding the taking of the Ludendorff Bridge. Fictional characters and dialogue aside there are three minor historical errors. Early in the film Major Krueger reviews a map mentions to General von Brock that the Russians are at the Elbe River. In reality the Red Army was at the Oder River. General von Brock emphasizes the need to keep the bridge open to facilitate the withdrawal of the German 15th Army. True as Remagen was in the southern end of the 15th Army's sector, but the German 7th Army was the main force that was about to be cut off in the Eifel and stranded on the west bank if the bridge was lost. Finally the Gestapo and SS security forces are dressed in their pre-war black uniforms. In wartime uniformed Gestapo and SS wore field gray. WHERE EAGLES DARE boasts a similar faux pas.
Look for some other familiar faces in THE BRIDGE AT REMAGEN such as war film veterans Peter van Ecke (THE LONGEST DAY, ATTACK), Hans Christian Blech (THE LONGEST DAY, THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE), and E.G. Marshall (CHRISTMAS VACATION). The soundtrack was composed by Elmer Bernstein (THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, THE GREAT ESCAPE)and is superbly suited for the movie. As war films go, this is one of the better movies about the last months of World War II in Europe. "