I have a confession to make. I saw the movie Kelly's Heroes for the first time last Friday. It was one of those movies I had always thought I had seen. Maybe I saw it as a young tyke at the drive-in with my parents, because a few scenes looked familiar, like Don Rickles schlepping the .50 cal.
I was blown away by it, from start to finish. The movie opening has to be one of the best of all time. The tone of the song Burning Bridges makes an ironic juxtaposition with the battle scene, even as it incorporates the military snare drum sound and marching cadence. The irony continues when Donald Sutherland's tankers destroy a German encampment to the tune of All For The Love Of Sunshine.
It also has an artsy touch of farce, imposing some blatant 60's themes upon a WW II movie.
Could Hollywood make such a movie nowadays? I don't think so. Kelly's Heroes is a comedy without laugh lines, mining its humor from tragedy and everyday pathos, and Carroll O'Connor's General Colt is hilarious, especially after having seen him as Archie Bunker. I also enjoyed the echoes of Sergio Leone when Clint was walking down that deserted street.
If the anti-war left was capable of such a brilliant project in this day and age, we would have been out of Afghanistan years ago.
Here's one of the better videos I found over at the YouToobs. I love that song, Burning Bridges. It has a big sound, like The Prodigy's Stand Up. I had never heard it before, but it belongs to that late 60's genre that I can't describe, but that includes the Ray Charles Singers and perhaps Herb Alpert (whose music I absolutely love). Alas, I am stirred to nostalgia for a time I never knew...
One final note. Burning Bridges was written and produced by Mike Curb, and sung by the Mike Curb Congregation. He also did the soundtrack for the Peter Fonda movie, The Wild Angels as well as Tom Laughlin's Born Losers (an excellent but disturbingly violent movie). Mike Curb was also Governor Jerry Brown's Republican Lieutenant Governor, the last Republican ever elected to that office.