A Bridge Too Far is a book by Cornelius Ryan, published in 1974, which tells the story of Operation Market Garden, a failed Allied attempt to force a break in German lines at Arnhem in the occupied Netherlands during World War II.
The book was filmed under the same title in 1977, directed by Richard Attenborough and featured an ensemble cast of many star actors, including Dirk Bogarde, James Caan, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Elliott Gould, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Robert Redford, Liv Ullmann, Maximilian Schell and Ryan O'Neal.
The scenes around the 'Arnhem' bridge were actually shot in Deventer where a similar bridge over the IJssel was still available. A few scenes were shot in Zutphen, where the old municipality house (a white building which in the film featured the Nazi command center) and main church can be seen.
The name for the movie comes from a comment made by British Lt. Gen. Frederick Browning of tactical command who told General Bernard Montgomery before the operation, "I think we may be going a bridge too far."
Taken from movie packaging: "An epic retelling of World War II's most tragic blunder, A Bridge Too Far meticulously depicts the ambitious plan wich resulted in more Allied casualties than the entire Normandy landing. Painstakingly recreated on actual battlefield locations and boasting a remarkable all-star cast, A Bridge Too Far accurately recaptures the monumental scope, exitement and danger behind one of the biggest military gambles in history."
The movie's treatment of military history is somewhat misleading compared to the original book, in particular, the portayed reasons for the delay in XXX Corps reaching the Arnhem bridge leading to the failure of the attack differ considerably from Ryan's book, which is much less partisan - Ryan being a neutral Irish citizen at the time he observed these events and a US one when he wrote the book.
Last updated: 08-30-2005 20:38:26