Bridge at Remagen [1969]

Fine casting, rugged characters, and authentic military detail make The Bridge at Remagen one of the best World War II action films of the 1960s. Based on actual incidents during the final Allied advance on Germany in March 1945, the story focuses on the U.S. Army's exhausted 27th Armored Infantry, assigned to seize the bridge at Remagen, on the Rhine River, to prevent 50,000 German troops from retreating to safety. Lieutenant Hartman (George Segal) leads the mission, while a Nazi major (Robert Vaughan) defies orders by attempting to hold the bridge instead of blowing it up. With strong emphasis on war's harsher realities, the film features compelling characters who illustrate the camaraderie of survivors and the heroism of mavericks in the thick of battle. Segal and Ben Gazzara effectively convey a hard-won friendship, and the film's dynamic action (filmed in Czechoslovakia and Italy) never overwhelms the story's emotional impact. Highly recommended. --Jeff Shannon

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