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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, Well-Made WWII Film
Sticklers for accurate portrayals of history on screen may find elements to grumble about in this terrific fact-based yarn about the taking of a key bridge into Germany over the Rhine River in early 1945. The cast is a stellar one, with George Segal and Ben Gazzara acting as the dogface principals given the assignment, along with Robert Vaughn as a valiant German officer...
Published on Sept. 16 2002 by Barron Laycock

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3.0 out of 5 stars Seems to Drag a Little
The capture of "The Bridge at Remagen" is among the highlights of the very late stage of the European war, and I was hoping this film would help get a better appreciation of the actual event itself. In a way, it does, but it's not a docudrama like "The Longest Day." Instead, it's your typical 1960s war picture, reflecting the domestic attitudes of that decade. Here,...
Published on March 1 2003


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, Well-Made WWII Film, Sept. 16 2002
By 
Barron Laycock "Labradorman" (Temple, New Hampshire United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Bridge At Remagen (Widescreen) (DVD)
Sticklers for accurate portrayals of history on screen may find elements to grumble about in this terrific fact-based yarn about the taking of a key bridge into Germany over the Rhine River in early 1945. The cast is a stellar one, with George Segal and Ben Gazzara acting as the dogface principals given the assignment, along with Robert Vaughn as a valiant German officer determined to try to hold the bridge as long as possible to help save thousands of retreating German soldiers, planning to then blow the bridge up rather than letting it fall into Allied hands. Bradford Dillman plays the morally amusical American Army commander so interested in furthering his own ambitions that he routinely and recklessly endangers the welfare and safety of his men. E.G. Marshall plays the commanding general who recognizes the strategic importance of the bridge and tries to do all he can to ensure the Allies succeed in taking it.
For those of us interested in such things, the film does take considerable pains to replicate both the look and the atmosphere of the events that transpired during the final Allied push into Germany, when the 27th Armored infantry attempted to seize and hold the bridge in order to cut off more than 50,000 retreating German troops over the Rhine where they could then regroup to prepare for the battle of Germany in the following months. The Allies knew the taking of the bridge could shorten the war by allowing rapid crossing of the Rhine by large number of Allied troops more forcefully than could be repelled by the retreating Germans. Time was of the essence.
All that said, this is an excellent dramatization of the actual events, although one is left at the end not understanding the bridge eventually collapsed only a few weeks after being taken. Yet by then it had been replaced for both tactical and strategic purposes by many more temporary structures hauled into place by the Army Corps of Engineers. The film is very well done, and provides a quite realistic, gritty and sympathetic portrayal of life as a soldier in the final frantic days, when millions of young Allied soldiers forced their way through the portals into the "Fatherland" to finally end the greatest armed struggle of the 20th century. Enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Allies Race to Cross the Rhine, Jan. 20 2004
By 
Jeffrey T. Munson (Dixon, IL) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Bridge At Remagen (Widescreen) (DVD)
Famous movie producer David L. Wolper has created a fine film about the last days of the war in Germany. The Germans were destroying all of their bridges across the Rhine in the hopes of stopping the Allies from crossing into the heart of Germany. However, one bridge still remained; the bridge at Remagen. The Germans wanted to keep this bridge open as long as possible before destroying it so that 75,000 German soldiers on the other side would be able to escape back into Germany. The allies wanted the bridge as a springboard to move troops and vehicles accross the Rhine and attack the heart of Germany. This movie portrays the struggle of the Germans and Americans over the bridge.
George Segal stars as Lieutenant Hartman, a hard-nosed GI who is given the job of securing the bridge for the Americans. Ben Gazzara stars as Sergeant Angelo, Hartman's right hand man. Together, these two Americans rally their troops against the Germans. On the German side, veteran actor Robert Vaughn stars as Major Kruger. He's given the job of holding the bridge open as long as possible to allow the trapped Germans time to retreat back into Germany, then he is to destroy the bridge before it falls into American hands.
The battle scenes are excellent. The scenes of the two sides firing at each other across the river are perhaps the best scenes in the movie. The battle on the bridge is well-done as well, with the scenes of the German soldiers hanging upside down under the bridge placing explosives especially good.
I enjoyed this movie very much. The battle and action scenes are excellent and the acting is very good, too. History and World War II movie fans should enjoy this action packed movie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great war films of the 1960's, June 10 2003
By 
T O'Brien (Chicago, Il United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Bridge At Remagen (Widescreen) (DVD)
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!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie, Oct. 24 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Bridge At Remagen (Widescreen) (DVD)
I have seen the movie and have been to the "Real" bridge in the
town of Remagen, near Frankfurt, north of Weisbaden Germany.
The movie, although interrupted during shooting, depicts the events as best it could.
The acting was excellent and the set was picked for its
striking ressemblance to the actual bridge.
For those who have actually visited the real bridge and gone
up inside the bridge towers, which is all that remains of the original bridge,
to see actual pictures and read the plagues on the supporting walls, both inside and out, will agree that Hollywood was
very close to the events that took place. A terrific movie worth owning and watching again and again.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Seems to Drag a Little, March 1 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Bridge At Remagen (Widescreen) (DVD)
The capture of "The Bridge at Remagen" is among the highlights of the very late stage of the European war, and I was hoping this film would help get a better appreciation of the actual event itself. In a way, it does, but it's not a docudrama like "The Longest Day." Instead, it's your typical 1960s war picture, reflecting the domestic attitudes of that decade. Here, you see Americans pilfering from dead Germans, rather than giving war-ravaged children Hershey bars. And George Segal's character is difficult to embrace even though he's the film's protagonist. It's not until the very final minutes of the film that you understand that's the way it' supposed to be. These men have been through hell and back and they're very hardened by the experience of war. Unfortunately, you spend nearly two hours with them without finding them very likeable. If you like run-of-the mill war pictures, this will suit you. If you're hoping for a film about this event comparable to "The Longest Day" or "Tora Tora Tora," you'll be a little disappointed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Factual Account with Fictional Characters, April 14 2002
By 
Kevin R. Austra (Delaware Valley, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Bridge At Remagen (Widescreen) (DVD)
David L. Wolper's 1969 THE BRIDGE AT REMAGEN closely follows Ken Hechler's best selling acount of the American capture of the railbridge over the Rhine River. The facts and events occuring 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. 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 area. In the end they found a river in (what was then) Czechoslovakia with a bridge, with set modifications, that resembled the former Ludendorf Bridge in Germany. Additionally, the REMAGEN production team was fortunate in that they were able to film in an evacuated Czech village that was slated for destruction (in order to accomodate strip mining of soft coal). 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 Hanomag half-track. Everything seemed to be going the right way for the film makers. Serious filming began in 1968, but wasn't quite complete before the the Warsaw Pact's 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia. Before filming was completed the film crew was forced to into a 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. 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 music for the movie. As war films go, this is one of the better movies about the last months of World War II in Europe.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Beware of war films starring George Segal, Feb. 15 2002
By 
"ottry2" (Baltimore, MD United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Bridge At Remagen (Widescreen) (DVD)
I've read many of the reviews posted previously about this film, and I'm actually suprised by the wide range of opinions, good and bad. After careful consideration of other arguments I still have to say that this movie is a real STINKER. This film is one of the worst WWII films ever made, really. Despite it's feeble attempt to portray the more "realisitic" battle weary, lassiez-faire attitudes towards the end of the war, the characters remain stiff, overacted, transparent, and just plain stereotypical by today's standards. As usual, the portrayl of the Germans is laughable. Robert Vaughn's (plays the lead German role) forced aristocratic German accent is so bad you find yourself wondering why the producers didn't just cast a German actor (as they did for some of the more competent supporting cast). Ben Gazzara's "Angel" character is just plain ridiculous, and George Segal should have stayed with comedy, because you'll laugh at his authority role, and supposed "apathy" towards almost every event in the film. The conflict set-up between Segal' character and his superior officer (also badly acted) is painful to watch, and I don't mean in the emotional sense. The movie was truly doomed after watching the young actress who was thrown in for <5 minutes simply for meaningless frontal nudity - she should feel very exploited... it's the kind of stuff shoveled in history classes taught by the victors. If you want to see a truly "gritty" war film, try the German perspective, as in "Stalingrad" or "Das Boot," or the Finnish film "Winter War." They're not sappy, overly-patriotic, and won't pull their painful punches, the kind you won't see in relatively older Hollywood films like "The Bridge at Remagen."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional cast, excellent plot, Sept. 21 2001
By 
"jaigobfka" (Austin, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Bridge At Remagen (Widescreen) (DVD)
Unlike most WW2 movies, this movie gave exceptional portrays of personalities of the characters. This movie is also very well-balanced on both the US and the German sides.
Captain Hartman, Major Kreuger and Captain Schmidt were very well portrayed as heroic and intelligent officers; during combat, they stood at the front with their men; they cared about their responsibilities and the needs of their men instead of their careers.
Captain Barnes and the nazi SS general were also well-portrayed as career-minded officers, who are yes-men to their superiors, they always avoided combat, they cared nothing about their subordinates, but only focused on blaming and demanding them instead.
This movies have done a great job in telling the tensions and politics amongst the ranks in an army (both the US and German), and the emotional aspects during a war as well, e.g. the short story of the war-torn French girl, the story inside the apartment of Mr Holzgang, Captain Hartman lost nearly all his comrades, Jeligo shot a young fanatical nazi boy, great courages of soldiers on both sides in dangerous missions.
Perhaps the most exceptional feature of this movie is that, it brought to the stage the untold humanistic stories of the war-weary German civilians and soldiers, e.g. helpless civilians under air bombardment, purges on officers by the nazi, boys and old men being deployed for city defense, trains of wounded soldiers waiting for crossing the bridge before it was demolished, exhausted soldiers trying to desert etc,
This is one of the very few movies that truly tell WW2 stories and battles.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, underrated war film!, May 26 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Bridge at Remagen (VHS Tape)
"The Bridge at Remagen" is a fictionalized story of the capture of the famous bridge. It was not meant to be a history lesson, but to represent the desperate and confused fighting in the last months of the war in Germany. It uses the story of the bridge as an analogy for what was happening on both sides. For the Americans, the everchanging fluidity of the operational situation due to the deterioration of the Germans caused commanders to constantly push their exhausted soldiers to take advantage of opportunities caused by German confusion. On the German side, sheer and utter chaos with commanders promising subordinates non-existent support and SS execution squads acting as "incentives" for officers and men to follow insane orders.
"The Bridge at Remagen" follows the actions of two commanders, a war-weary commander (George Seagal) of an American armored infantry company and a German major (Robert Vaughn) who takes command of Remagen's patchwork garrison. The look of this film is very realistic with a great deal of attention paid to equipment and uniforms. (However, many of the soldiers' haircuts look more like 1969 than 1945.) This is also a movie which does not show the Americans in shining white armor, there are several scenes of American soldiers looting German dead and an ugly incident between the battalion commander, Major Barnes, and Seagal's Lt. Hartman. The Major Barnes character is well done. It would have been extremely easy to portray him as a cardboard villian who puts his career ahead of his men; but the movie does not make his character black and white. It shows several scenes in which he does not relish the orders he is given by his superior (EG Marshall). Barnes has his orders too, which he might not like; but orders are orders.
"The Bridge at Remagan" was not the first the WWII movie to show that being a combat soldier was unglamorous and ugly. "A Walk in the Sun" (1945), "Battleground" (1950), "Attack" (1956), and "Hell is for Heroes" (1962) all show WWII for the Amercian combat soldier was not about "gee golly happy to be here fighting the war." "The Bridge at Remagen" did not break new ground; but it did accomplish being a very well-acted and solid war movie. Unfortunately, due to its release in the late 60's and its lack of star power (Poor Robert Vaughn now does commericals for the ambulence chasing law firm of Jacoby & Meyers) it sort of faded into obscurity. It's a shame because this is one very fine war movie.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Invading the Reich!, May 26 2000
By 
Richard P. Mayhew (Silver Spring, MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Bridge At Remagen (Widescreen) (DVD)
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.
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