Set during WWII in France in 1944, this 1970 war/comedy, is a somewhat offbeat picture to say the least. The lead stars are Clint Eastwood; Telly Savalas; Donald Sutherland; Don Rickles, and Carroll O'Connor (remember him as Archie Bunker in the popular TV series of a few years ago?) The film was also going to have a female role, but prior to filming, it was cut from the script. It's theme tune, "Burning Bridges", became a big hit for the group The Mamas and The Papas at the time of the movie's release.
The premise: Kelly (Clint Eastwood), a former lieutenant who has been demoted to private, captures Colonel Dankhopf (David Hurst) of German Intelligence. When Kelly notices his prisoner has a gold bar in his briefcase, he gets him drunk to try to get information about the gold. The drunken Dankhopf blurts out that there is a cache of 14,000 gold bars (worth $16 million) stored in a bank vault 30 miles behind enemy lines in the town of Clermont.
And the rest? Well, if you can't figure that out for yourself (or even if you can); then you just gotta get hold of this one and see it!
Yes, it has dated a bit, when compared with, say, Steve Martin remake of Sgt Bilko; but it is still worthwhile entertainment. Donald Sutherland is particularly good as the tank commander, Sergeant Oddball.
They were goldbricks until they found out about the gold bricks - a fortune in Nazi-confiscated bullion!
Clint Eastwood re-signs with the director of his Where Eagles Dare for this alternately action-filled and tongue-in-cheek tale of GIs who decide to get something extra out of the war.
Eastwood, North America's No.2 box-office star at the time, plays Lt. Kelly, mastermind of a scheme to slip behind enemy lines and steal the loot. Co-stars include a trio on the verge of big-time TV success: Carroll O'Connor, Telly Savalas and Gavin MacLeod.
Plus, Don Rickles plays the expectedly outspoken Crapgame. And in the same year as his starmaking M.A.S.H., Donald Sutherland is Oddball, World War ll's only hippie. Dig it!
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