Kelly's Heroes

1970

Kelly's Heroes

Critics Consensus

Kelly's Heroes subverts its World War II setting with pointed satirical commentary on modern military efforts, offering an entertaining hybrid of heist caper and battlefield action.

78%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 23

88%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 31,213

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Movie Info

Like 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

Cast

Clint Eastwood
as Pvt. Kelly
Telly Savalas
as MSgt. Big Joe
Don Rickles
as SSgt. Crapgame
Donald Sutherland
as Sgt. Oddball (tank commander)
Gavin MacLeod
as Moriarty
Hal Buckley
as Maitland
Stuart Margolin
as Little Joe
Len Lesser
as Bellamy
David Hurst
as Col. Dankhopf
Fred Pearlman
as Mitchell
John G. Heller
as German Lieutenant
Karl Otto Alberty
as German Tank Commander
Hugo de Vernier
as French Mayor
Harry Goines
as Supply Sergeant
Boyd 'Red' Morgan
as American Lieutenant
Vincent Maracecchi
as Old Man in Town
Sandy Kevin
as Tank Commander
Frank J. Garlotta
as Tank Commander
Phil Adams
as Tank Commander
John Heller
as German Lieutenant
Harry Dean Stanton
as Pvt. Willard
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Critic Reviews for Kelly's Heroes

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (5)

Audience Reviews for Kelly's Heroes

  • Jul 28, 2020
    Kelly's Heroes is a strange blend and I struggled to enjoy it on my first viewing all those years ago. The film has grown on me and it's now one of my favourite films. The wide cast and the blend of genres is inventive. The scope of the film is incredible. I don't believe I've ever seen a heist film that looked so epic. That final confrontation is unforgettable tense. I think my dislike earlier was the expectation of Clint Eastwood being in a hard edged military film. This is a mix of light hearted characters in the midst of a fight for their lives. This only gets better with each new viewing and I cannot recommend this any more. A must-see. 25/07/2020
    Brendan O Super Reviewer
  • Sep 19, 2019
    In this quirky WWll action comedy some troops assign themselves the task of stealing Nazi gold. The spirit of the film does not reflect WWll however. It reflects the Vietnam War, the time it was made in. And so all the characters only follow orders to the bare minimum, on the lookout more to party or to get out or both. If any character actually wants to fight the enemy, that character is portrayed as nuts. Altman's M*A*S*H came out only 4 months before (which is the Korean Conflict seen through the eyes of Nam). And so, The Revenge of the Slackers, led by a Clint Eastwood, his character only interested in the gold. Ehh.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 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.
    Melvin W Super Reviewer
  • 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.
    Sajin P Super Reviewer

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