Kelly's Heroes Reviews

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Super Reviewer
November 5, 2006
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.
Super Reviewer
½ June 15, 2006
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.
Super Reviewer
½ June 20, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
½ May 14, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
½ September 29, 2006
A blistering non-stop good time from beginning from end. A wildly entertaining comedy filled with explosive action. Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Donald Sutherland and the gang are terrific together. It packs a real great time that shouldn't be missed. Great entertainment that's real gold to watch. It's a real steal. A classic action-comedy.
Super Reviewer
March 23, 2010
It's sort of a western thrown into the war genre, but that's what makes it so unique. It's a great story about stealing gold from Nazi's, almost like an unofficial sequel to the Dirty Dozen. Clint Eastwood is amazing as usual, playing the leader of the pack who always has the upper hand. The ensemble really worked here as well, with some great early performances from Donald Sutherland and Harry Dean Stanton. It's one of those war movies that you can watch over and over without feeling like it's just there for mindless action. Take away the war element and it's still a great story.
Super Reviewer
March 12, 2008
Set after the D-Day landing in wartime France Kelly's Heroes is about a rag tag group that stumble's on the location of $16 million in gold. The problem is that it's in a bank that's located 30 miles behind enemy lines. Clint Eastwood stars as Kelly, probably the most normal of the group that features Telly Savalas as the tough sergeant, Donald Sutherland as the hippie tank commander, and Don Rickles as the supply clerk that helps outfit the trip.

Kelly's Heroes isn't a bad war movie/buddy picture/comedy. It just suffers from some peculiarities in its script and the way some things are presented. Such as a hippie in 1944 France. But probably the one thing that took a wrecking ball to this film was the use of a crap Ennio Morricone rip off score for a scene where Eastwood is walking down the street to face off with a tank. What is this garbage? Let's give everyone a reminder of a superior film that the star has been in over this overinflated studio jerk-off. This ruins the movie and turns what could have been a good picture into a hack job.
Super Reviewer
½ April 16, 2007
Easy to see why this film is a classic. It's a great movie about Vietnam... er, the second World War... with the Donald Sutherland-portrayed hippie and all (though he is hilarious). This was the Top Gun of its generation, in a sense - a somewhat senseless war movie, but without the satire of M*A*S*H*, that is easy to watch and shows the camaraderie and homo-erotic soldier-told lighter side of the story. And it wouldn't be an Eastwood movie without some moral indecision, and here we have some typical good guys doing bad things that seem good... after all, what's in this war for them? (Minus a star for missing the point: stopping Hitler, Clint.) Eastwood, of course, is just an actor in this one though, that flaw can be blamed on the director. Eastwood does it better (see: Unforgiven, Mystic River). Still, a fun movie with excellent special effects for its day, and hey, all's well that ends well, right?
Super Reviewer
½ June 27, 2007
Top notch cast and excellent screw-ball comedy. Nice mix of humour and action. I wish they could make more movies like these.
Super Reviewer
June 13, 2007
A good war action movie with a strong cast, as they go after gold left by the Nazi's.
Super Reviewer
½ October 31, 2006
Eastwood's misfit squad is the Army - and the money!
Super Reviewer
July 6, 2010
During WWII, a bunch of laid-back members of a somewhat wacky army platoon plan an unusual expedition; to rob a bank located behind enemy lines. Instead of preaching about the complications of war, Kelly's Heroes explores the absurd nature of the war by parodying the boundaries of war and the evils behind it. What makes Kelly's Heroes effective in viewing is that director Brian G. Hutton never went back on the sole purpose of the film; to make his audience laugh. There's no preachy message here, just pure fun and entertainment. The believable nature of this movie is that it stretches the imagination in its comic nature and prevents from being a silly story. Sure the story is off-the-wall, but the possibility of what happened in the story could've happened due to the complicated nature of war. The acting was pitch perfect and each big name provided a great performance. Clint Eastwood, Donald Sutherland, were exceptional but the stand out performance came from Don Rickles. It was a shame Rickles was deprived of an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role as SSgt. Crapgame. Rickles seemed to coagulate with the characters and is more believable of all the characters. In all, Kelly Heroes is a fun treat to watch, highly entertaining a great movie to watch if you want a couple laughs.

Story: B+
Acting: A-
Direction: A-
Visuals: B
Overall: B+

*** out of 4 stars
Super Reviewer
May 13, 2011
Caught this gem on netflix instant, and glad I did. Funny, satirical, and a good caper film, Kelly's Heroes is a lot of fun. The cast is a who's who of 70's film, with Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Donald Sutherland (who's hilarious in this), and Carroll O'Connor. Definitely worth checking out.
Super Reviewer
December 25, 2008
Great fun. Although it's deemed as a cult classic, the great ensemble cast and the decent war scenes, lift it up above those ranks. Clint is of course flawless in the lead role, with support coming from the brilliant Telly Savalas. But Donald Sutherland steals most of the scenes as a hippie tank commander trapped in 1944 France.
Super Reviewer
December 4, 2008
A classic WWII movie with a stellar cast. When American soldiers find out about $16 million in gold being stored in a bank behind German lines, they set out on an unofficial mission to get it, and make themselves rich. Clint Eastwood is Kelly, and it's him that comes up with the idea to get the gold, because anything retrieved from behind enemy lines is theirs to keep. Telly Savalas is Big Joe, the leader of the platoon, and the hardest one talk into risking their lives for personal gain. Don Rickles plays Crap Game, a hustler whose greed makes it impossible to resist going along. There are also appearances by actors such as Harry Dean Stanton, and Gavin (Love Boat) MacLeoud. But the one to watch in this movie is Donald Sutherland as Oddball. As the leader of a small squad of Sherman tanks, his hippy-ish character lives up to his name, and provides the biggest laughs in the movie. Of course there's plenty of combat to be had, including a tense scene when the platoon accidentally walks right into a mine field. A war movie with an equal amount of action and laughs.
Super Reviewer
½ June 22, 2008
A war/adventure film in the vain of The Dirty Dozen or The Gun's of Naverone except with more of a satirical edge. The film is about a division in WW2 trying to go behind enemy lines and steal Nazi gold. The key difference between this and the above film, is that the heroes of this film aren't patriots, they're in it for the money. I thought it succeeded on both its satirical level and as an adventure/heist flick. I could have done without a strange spaghetti western parody late in the film. Otherwise this was a very fun take on the war genre.
Super Reviewer
½ July 18, 2007
One of the greatest films ever made in my humble opinion. Funny, meaningful and well written.
½ May 29, 2007
Guy's Film
This is my favorite Clint Eastwood movie. It's a World War II comedy/adventure movie. It's set in the weeks after the liberation of Paris in 1944. A squad of soldiers in a fictional National Guard unit has been deployed in a rural section of northern France. Every time they are about to enter a large city, regular Army troops are allowed to bypass them and enjoy the soft beds and clean showers. They are unhappy and loosing moral. Their unofficial leader is Clint Eastwood who plays a former lieutenant who has been demoted after leading a suicide attack against a hill in the weeks after D-Day. He was blamed for the excessive casualties even though he was just following orders. Telly Savalas plays the squad's sergeant. During a German attack Clint Eastwood's character "Kelly" captures a German officer carrying two bars of gold. From the German he learns that there is a large stash of Nazi gold in a bank behind enemy lines. Kelly convinces the squad to go with him to steal the gold before the Germans can move it. He then recruits a greedy supply sergeant played by Don Rickles. This is one of the funniest roles Don Rickles ever played. Donald Sutherland plays a hippie tank commander who has been separated from his unit. I doubt there were any hippie tank commanders in WW2 but I've been told that there were a lot of tank commanders just like the Donald Sutherland character in Vietnam. Remember that this movie was made during the Vietnam War. Donald Sutherland's character is called "Oddball" and asks to go along with his three tanks. Oddball has some of the funniest lines in the movie. Example, "I don't know what makes them work, I just ride in them". Or, "Don't make with the negative waves". At the end of the movie is a face off with the German tank commander that's done just like one of Clint Eastwood's spaghetti westerns. In addition to the good story, funny lines, and exiting action the theme song is a catchy tune that actually made the pop charts in the early 1970's. This is basically a guy's movie. There are no women characters. Rent this movie to watch with your buddies.
November 22, 2011
About as much fun as you can have watching war movie. I guess it also being a good heist movie helps in that regard. Donald Sutherland's hippie Oddball feels a little out of place in WWII, but the rest of the cast work wonderfully together. The battle scenes are also well done.
½ September 6, 2013
With a all-star cast, viewers should not take this film too seriously. This is pure entertainment dosed lightly with commentary on the management of a military at war.
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