The Making of a Bridge Too Far

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Arts, War Documentary hosted by Burt Reynolds and James Coburn, published by MGM in 2002 - English narration

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Image: The-Making-of-a-Bridge-Too-Far-Cover.jpg

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An epic film that re-creates in stunning detail one of the most disastrous battles of World War II, "A Bridge Too Far" is a spectacular war picture. Painstakingly recreated on actual battlefield locations and boasting a remarkable cast that includes Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins, Sir Laurence Olivier and Robert Redford, "A Bridge Too Far" accurately recaptures the monumental scope, excitement and danger behind one of biggest military gambles in history. In September 1944, flush with success after the Normandy Invasion, the Allies confidently launched Operation Market Garden, a wild scheme intended to put an early end to World War II by invading Germany and smashing the Reich' war plants. However, a combination of battlefield politics, faulty intelligence, bad luck and worse weather led to disaster. Richard Attenborough directs this star-studded account of the failed 1944 Arnhem assault. The story follows the events of Operation Market Garden, a plot that was intended to allow the Allies access to the German lines to seize control of bridges in the occupied Netherlands. The cast includes Dirk Bogarde as Lieutenant-General Frederick Browning, James Caan as Staff Sergeant Eddie Dohun, Robert Redford as Major Julian Cook and Sean Connery as Major General Roy Urquart. The screenplay is by William Goldman ('Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid', 'All the President's Men').

[edit] A Bridge Too Far: Heroes from the Sky

"A Bridge Too Far: Heroes from the Sky", a documentary originally produced for the History Channel "History Through the Lens" series. Somewhere between history and Hollywood, "A Bridge Too Far" was a book penned by war correspondent Cornelius Ryan. His dying wish, expressed to producer Joseph Levine, was that his words be turned into a film, and in the documentary "Heroes From The Sky" you'll learn how this purpose spurred Levine on an obsessive quest. It details the blood, sweat, and tears that made the film possible, with legendary screenwriter William Goldman speaking reverently about the uphill battle he and Attenborough faced in satisfying Levine's fixation - pressure intensified by the fact that Levine sank S10 million of his own money into the project. William Goldman makes further declarations about the veracity of his script, interesting points where he singles out highly charged sequences, including one in which James Caan drives through crossfire to save an unknown soldier from certain death, and holds a gun to the head of the doctor who refuses to treat him: "You can't make this stuff up!" he cries. But he also expresses regret for putting words into the mouth of real-life war hero Lt. Col. John Frost - played by Anthony Hopkins in the film. There's also testimony from survivors of Operation Market Garden, who were impressed by the film's commitment to accuracy. Disturbingly, a key scene that depicts the French erecting a blockade of corpses to hold off the German advance was not just Hollywood bombast, but an incident attested to by survivors. Such startling accounts are made even more affecting by revelations that the film was shunned by American critics and completely ignored at Oscar time for daring to expose the fatal inadequacies of the Allied campaign. Produced by Prometheus Entertainment in association with Van Ness Films, Inc., Fox Television Network and A&E Television Network, 2001 (45min.)

[edit] A Distant Battle: Memories of Operation Market Garden

"A Distant Battle: Memories of Operation Market-Garden", a 60th Anniversary featurette. Operation Market Garden saw 30,000 British and American airborne troops flown behind enemy lines to capture the eight bridges that spanned the network of canals and rivers on the Dutch/German border. In all, about 1,800 American paratroops died in Holland. For the British, of the 10,000 who jumped into Holland on Sept. 17, only 2,400 were able to leave. The Germans captured roughly 6,000, many of them wounded, and killed about 1,400.
The Market Garden survivors are given a second forum to share their memories in the mini-documentary "A Distant Battle." Lending a human scale to what was an epic loss of life, this is inevitably gut-wrenching viewing. MGM Home Entertainment Inc., 2002 (17min.)

[edit] Richard Attenborough: A Director Remembers

"Richard Attenborough: A Director Remembers," another featurette about the making of "A Bridge Too Far." In "A Director Remembers," Richard Attenborough gives a similarly heartfelt account of the production. There are also moments of light, such as when he recalls the commotion caused by Lt. Col. Frost during one of his visits to the set. According to the director, when Frost saw Anthony Hopkins portray him as a man who crouches in the crossfire, he yelled a halt to production and declared: "I would never run at anything other than my full height!"
The anecdote perfectly encapsulates the tone of this Special Edition package. While suitably deferential, it's also a warm tribute to the soldiers who fought at the Battle of Arnhem, and to the filmmakers who dared to tell the truth about it. MGM Home Entertainment Inc., 2002 (18min.)

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L4
Video Bitrate: 2 175 Kbps
Video Resolution: 748x572
Display Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Frames Per Second: 25.000 fps
Audio Codec: AC3
Audio Bitrate: 224 kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 16 min - 43 min
Number Of Parts: 3
Part Size: 293 MB - 754 MB
Source: DVD
Encoded by: DocFreak08

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