Pat Coston Movie Reviews

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Kelly's Heroes

This movie was the first movie I added to my NetFlix queue. I chose it based on a recommend from a friend. But before it could be mailed, I had re-arranged my queue so that it was no longer in the top 3. Instead it got pushed back to position 10 or 20 and floated there for many years. I used it as a kind of high water mark to determine how many movies I "really" wanted to see. Finally I got tired of seeing this movie in my queue so I forced myself to move it to the front and when it arrived, I forced myself to watch it.

The first thing I realized is that the movie Three Kings was a remake of this movie. So it was cool to see the original. Another cool thing is that this movie is packed with stars when they were young. This came out in 1970 and as tons of big stars like Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles, Donald Sutherland, Carroll O'Conner and many more.

On the downside, here is a movie about people with very little morals. They are greedy and are willing to kill for money. To be fair, the way the movie justifies their actions is that they get 3 days of rest and relaxation and then it is back to the front lines in World War II. These soldiers believe they will probably be killed on the front lines so they have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Maybe I'm missing the point but I was upset at the beginning when they ignored the rules of war and mistreated their German prisoner to get info about where the gold is located then they left him to die. It seems rather cruel which tainted my opinion of every greedy person we encountered along the way. They killed dozens of German soldiers for greed. Despicable is the word that comes to mind when describing these people.

Rotten Tomatoes says it is 80% Fresh and I read many user comments on so I am sure that I am missing the point. For example this comments on by Dances_with_Weasels says you have to take this movie in the context it was made. "This movie was made in America during the Vietnam conflict. There was such war-weariness in the country at the time that only comedic, anti-war war movies were successful, like The Dirty Dozen and this movie. Both of those movies had several elements in common: they had (at the time) great ensemble casts, they were irreverent, even ridiculing, the American army, and thirdly, they portrayed the Germans as professional, competent soldiers."

So I obviously took this movie too seriously and ended up hating it even though some think it is the greatest war movie ever or even the greatest movie ever.


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