Kelly's Heroes


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.



Total Count: 21


Audience Score

User Ratings: 31,176
User image

Kelly's Heroes Photos

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

Watch it now


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
Dick Davalos
as Gutowski
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
David Gross
as German Captain
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
View All

Critic Reviews for Kelly's Heroes

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (3)

Audience Reviews for Kelly's Heroes

  • 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
  • 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.
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 06, 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
    Matthew R Super Reviewer

Kelly's Heroes Quotes

News & Features