Kelly's Heroes (1970)
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Movie InfoLike M*A*S*H and Catch-22, both released the same year, this military comedy takes place in an earlier war but is really a thinly disguised treatise on the modern-day insanity and avariciousness then unfolding in Vietnam. Clint Eastwood stars as Kelly, a former lieutenant whose illusions about the glory of war, if he has any, are lost when he is busted in rank for following some poorly considered orders in World War II France. After capturing a friendly German officer, Kelly learns the whereabouts of millions of dollars in gold bars, earmarked to finance a military payroll. Taking advantage of a three-day liberty, Kelly assembles a motley trio of fellow soldiers to help him sneak behind enemy lines and retrieve the booty. They include Big Joe (Telly Savalas), a gruff sergeant; Crapgame (Don Rickles), a supply sergeant already enriching himself as a black marketer and con man; and the hippie-like tank commander Oddball (Donald Sutherland). Since crossing into enemy-held territory means heading in the opposite direction of the retreating Allies, Kelly and his men encounter armed resistance. Receiving word of their campaign, the vain General Colt (Carroll O'Connor) mistakes the quartet of freelancing scam artists for all-American heroes. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Kelly's Heroes
An attempt to blend the war epic and the caper film that doesn't quite come off.
Nearly satirical in its overall effect, plot caroms between cliche dogface antics, detailed and gratuitous violence, caper melodramatics, and outrageous anachronism.
Interesting only in so far as it reveals Eastwood's nonchalant attitude to the blockbuster.
The action is flashy and intermittent, deliberately wallowing in a mire of revisionist grot, churned up vistas of European mud. Time has made it more intuitive and caustic a film, than its daft reputation might suggest.
This humorous, lively, and entertaining picture could be described as a caper film set against a WW II backdrop.
...the filmmakers clearly intended the movie to be a carefree caper, and if one views it that way, it can pass an entertaining few hours.
A strange but mostly satisfying hybrid of WWII actioner and anti-war satire... [Blu-ray]
Much fun amongst WWII w/Eastwood, Savalas, Sutherland, and Rickles.
Isn't really about the Second World War, but rather about the senselessness of the Vietnam War . . .
Very entertaining war movie with just the right touch of Vietnam-era cynicism
One of the best WWII films ever made.
The bastard father of Three Kings
Audience Reviews for Kelly's Heroes
A motley collection of American GIs hatch a scheme to steal $16 million in gold bullion from a bank behind the German lines. Very much a product of the wave of anti-Vietnam films of the time, Kelly's Heroes has more in common with the likes of Catch 22 and MASH (both released the same year) than your average gung ho WWII movie. Clint Eastwood at his prime heads up a brilliant cast of offbeat hustlers and crackpots including Telly Savalas as a hard nosed sergeant and the pick of them all, Donald Sutherland, as a hilariously anachronistic hippy tank commander who goes into battle bearing country & western and paint balls. The plot is a marriage of The Dirty Dozen and The Italian Job and is never afraid to chop and change genres; the war elements providing the action and pyrotechnics and the heist the quirky characters and comedy, all ending up in an amusing homage to Sergio Leone as Clint enters into a western showdown with a Tiger tank. It's a massive XY pleaser and as such its appeal may be lost on the female population but it was one of my favourites as a boy and has lost none of its appeal after all these years. Groovy, baby.More
This military comedy about the hunt for millions of dollars in gold bars makes war look more like an adventure than an actual threat. Sure, people die and there is plenty of suspense, but the overall mood of the film is rather cheerful. That's mostly thanks to a motley cast, including tongue-tied Eastwood, grumpy Savalas and crazy Sutherland. Especially the final taking of the little town's bank is excellently filmed and pretty enthralling. A few stabs at the silliness of military ranks and command chains are also thrown into the mix. A very entertaining caper adventure with pretty impressive action scenes and a very lovable solution. It's particularly refreshing and are in WW2 films that a German opponent would listen to reason.More
Kelly's Heroes is an overrated movie in my opinion. I like Donald Sutherland a lot and I hadn't seen a movie in which I didn't like him until now. His character is annoying and really ruined the movie for me. It wasn't just him though. I hated Don Rickles and Carroll O'Connor too. I didn't find this movie funny at all and it ran on way too long for what it was. I did really like the minefield scene though. It was the one part of the movie that was actually entertaining and gave me hope for the rest of the movie. One of the few Eastwood movies I didn't care for.More
A bunch of crackpot soldiers, tired of war, sets off to what seems to be an impossible gold hunt. Shot in the background of WW2, this is a part action, part black comedy movie, not to mention an anti-war satire. Despite Clint Eastwood's presence, the man who steals the show is Donald Sutherland as the Hippie mercenary, Oddball.More
Kelly's Heroes Quotes
- Crap Game:
- Ya make a DEAL!
- Big Joe:
- What kind of a deal?
- Crap Game:
- A DEAL DEAL.
- But for 1.6 million dollars, we could become heroes for three days.
- Why don't you say something rightous or hopeful for a change? [to Moriarity]
- Crap! [to Oddball]
- Big Joe:
- Well then, why the hell aren't you up there helping them? [fix the tank]
- [answers] I only ride em I don't know what makes em work.
- I'm grabbing some waves.
- Crap Game:
- [into field phone] Hogan? Yeah, it's me. Listen... I gotta favor to ask ya. Will you quit cryin... I haven't even asked ya yet! What the Hell's the matter with you?
- Big Joe:
- [shouting to the captured German Colonel] Look! We're not worried about the German army, we've got enough troubles of our own. To the right General Patton, to the left the British Army, to the rear our own goddamn artillery, and besides all that it's raining. And the only good thing to say about the weather: it keeps our air corps from blowing us all to Hell because its too lousy to fly, versteh?
- Col. Dankhopf:
- [he understands] Ja, ja, versteh.
- Big Joe:
- Big Joe:
- [shouting in the radio] Look, Mulligan! I don't think I'm getting through to you! You're dropping your damn barrage on our position! The reason you can't hear me is because you're firing your mortars at your end, and they're dropping here, on our end! No, the Krauts are not here! We're here! Mulligan, your bombs are coming down on our head! I don't know where the Krauts are! Just lift your goddamn barrage! Over!
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