Friday, October 19, 2012

Nostalgia Friday: Kelly's Heroes, Burning Bridges

Love Clint Eastwood?  Want to show your kids or grandkids a great movie from an earlier time?  Get Kelly's Heroes.  A few bad words, some violence, but not graphic, no nudity or sex, so it's safe for teens.

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.



39 comments:

Always On Watch said...

"Kilroy was here."

Sam Huntington said...

One of my all time favorite films.

conservativesonfire said...

Thanks for the momories!

KP said...

Brilliant review. One of my favorites. What a cast.

Ducky's here said...

War comedies of the sixties. Include "Catch 22" and "Stalag 17" (well actually the late 50's).
You can go back to "The Great Dictator" and "To Be or Not To Be" and forward to Altman's "M.A.S.H." but the type is pretty much burned out now.

Somehow a great satire like "Dr. Strangelove" morphed into "Inglorious Basterds" as the vulgar Tarantino reinterprets(i.e. kills) the genre.

Speaking of schlepping the .50, one of the great performances is Richard Conte in "A Walk in the Sun" who brings a light touch to a pretty sombre film.

Bunkerville said...

Been a long time since I saw that one.

Ducky's here said...

A good question might be why this genre is virtually uniquely American.

I can't think of much of anything in foreign films that attempts this type of comedy. There are a couple British films and that's about it.

OD357 said...

Woof Woof Woof

Ducky's here said...

Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves?
--- Sgt. Oddball

Finntann said...

Schlepping the damn .50 is how I tore my rotator cuff.

I can't recall if I've seen the movie or not... must have at some point, Donald Sutherland's character in the beard and leather aviator's cap looks familiar.

I'll have to look for it.

Cheers!

Ed Bonderenka said...

I never could get used to Sutherland's character in WWII with Vietnam sensibilities.

Thersites said...

Saw it the summer of '70 at a Drive in Eastwood double feature..with. Eiger Sanction... fresh back in the states after 4 years in Venezuela..

Z said...

Ya, and Kid talked me into renting "It's a Mad Mad Mad..World"...Gad, I HATED IT, from start to almost finish :-) I have a feeling this is similar, so it's not my cup of tea but I sure am glad you liked it!

I have NEVER heard that song before, I'm older than you are, and remember Mike Curb well (I think I met him once, not sure)...He was a real anathema at the time..a clean cut guy teaching harmonies to other clean cut singers when everyone else his age was dropping acid and making billions with songs convincing the rest of our kids to drop acid :-)

ANyway, maybe I'll try to watch if it's on TV, but.......:-)

Ducky, from your past remarks over the years about American films, I'm sure your comment makes for a withering commentary on the American humor. It's never seemed to cause you a tad of curiosity that gazillions of people love this stuff. German humor is SO much goofier..and Benny Hill crap is hideous but adored. Get used to it, it's not only Americans whose sensibilities you hate. Sorry to rock your boat, but...

Silverfiddle said...

Z: You HATED It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World? :(

That is one of the awesomest movies in the world! It has The Three Stooges, Jim Bacchus, Spencer Tracy, Phil Silver, Jonathon Winters, and an entire cavalcade of Hollywood stars!

I love that movie! We watch it once a year.

Silverfiddle said...

But we can still be friends, Z...

;)

Leticia said...

Great choice in a movie. Can't beat the old time movies, clean, fun and safe to watch with the kiddies.

Ducky's here said...

z, I'm simply noting that this genre of war film, the war comedy is virtually uniquely American. I can think of very few foreign films in this category.

How I Won the War

No Man's Land

Closely Watched Trains

If you can think of others post them.

Ducky's here said...

It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World absolutely rocks.

Slapstick done right.

Finntann said...

Natale al Campo 119. An Italian comedy about POWs in an allied camp. Although it isn't a war movie in the truest sense. By Pietro Francisci

But you're right, it seems to be almost exclusively an American genre.

Jack Whyte said...

I liked Kelly's Heroes. Also, "The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming."

FreeThinke said...

Ducky, you are not as all-knowing as would have us believe. I SAW Stalag 17 for the first time the year it came out in a theater in Aurora Illinois where we happened to be living at the time. The year was NINETEEN FIFTY-THREE.

I also saw From Here to Eternity in that same time frame at a theater in St. Charles, Illinois -- a few miles up the Fox River from Aurora.

Stalag 17 started out as a Broadway play. I've seen two or three times in latter years, and it holds up very well. The same is true for FHTE.

~ FreeThinke

FreeThinke said...

Our tastes are very revealing.

You might be surprised to learn I really love the character of Billy Jack -- BECAUSE of the violence of which he is capable.

His violence, you see, is rooted in GENUINE righteous wrath, and is always directed at vicious types who -- lie internet trolls -- thoroughly DESERVE to be annihilated.

I imagine most of us who are physically incapable of defending ourselves against unprovoked, unprincipled aggression cherish the fantasy that some sort of super-hero like Billy Jack really was available in the real world to help us make things right and get even with our tormentors.

There have been LOTS of stories, myths and legends based on such a fantasy from the ancient Greeks, to Norse and Teutonic mythology to the Arthurian Legends to J.R.R. Tolkien to Star Wars to such civilized figures as Sherlock Holmes, Hercules Poirot, Miss Marple, Sam Spade and Perry Mason.

The imaginary Billy Jack, however, has a GUTSIER and more BASIC APPEAL to our emotions than the heroic lawyers and detectives.

I frankly wish people like that really existed, and were working for our side.

~ FreeThinke

Thersites said...

Billy Jack...

"The mind can satisfy its need to act just by contemplating virtuosity, it can also safely disengage itself from the contradictions of life with the illusory promise of their resolution." - Kierkegaard

Thersites said...

After identifying reflection as a menace - first to passionate individualism and next to philosophy - Kierkegaard goes on to describe the collective instantiation of its metaphysical sorcery as a social arbiter of last resort. This rising collectivity, he charges, would obliterate all individuality in the monstrous grip of its totalizing abstraction.

Join the totalitarian "horde" collective... VOTE!

FreeThinke said...

Kierkegaard?

Pish tosh and prittle prattle!

There is such as thing as being TOO serious. It's called a MORBID condition of the mind.

§;-)

Silverfiddle said...

Kierkegaard was a brilliant man. He also warned against the human temptation to level everything out.

His upbuilding discourse on James 1:17 is a masterpiece.

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."

Thersites said...

Religion... the individual's shield against the immediacy of the all pervasive near-temporally biaed collective!

Silverfiddle said...

OK Thersites, I'm not stupid. I recognize sarcasm, even the sophisticated variety...

FreeThinke said...

Alas! Attempts at levity too often fail or fall entirely n deaf ears.

"'Tis good not to take offense where no offense was intended, and better still to take none when it is."

~ The Collected Wit and Wisdom of Al Terego

Al Terego is brilliant too, though not as well known as Kierkegaard, probably because he's been too busy living a happy life to find the time to do much writing. ;-)

Be of good cheer.
Things are nowhere near
As bad as we tend to fear.


~ FreeThinke

Silverfiddle said...

FT: Kierkegaard was not all doom and gloom. I think you've misunderstood him.

He was very playful, taking on various characters in order to more forcefully present differing points of view, many opposed to one another.

Hmmm... Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Thersites said...

Just a touch of sarcasm... for to paraphrase Kierkegaard, "it's hard to be a Christian within the confines of Christendom..."

Silverfiddle said...

Yes, he was quite a critic of formal religion.

Thersites said...

...as I suppose he would be of the new secular church... Democracy.

Thersites said...

...the "social arbiter of last resort".

Z said...

Ducky, there are many foreign war films but you must mean those with comedy? Not sure how many of those there are over there. I think it's healthy...war stinks and it's good to laugh at it. Maybe, when you're the loser, you can't laugh!?

SF..I wanted to like it SO badly, it's Kid's favorite film, i think....but I really don't like slapstick! BIG time...

Thersites said...

Comedy is intended to attack and tear down...

Tragedy to unite and build up...

Silverfiddle said...

Z: I understand, but it's just so dang funny when Jonathan Winters destroys that gas station!

Thersites said...

Duckies "struggle" with the poshlost is eternal. With the military, not so much. As Libya has proven, it does have its' "purposes".

Ed Bonderenka said...

It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World had almost every living comedian in it when it was made.
But to enjoy it, you had to be familiar with each trademark expression/move.
Jack Benny's cameo for example.
Everyone was in character. their own character.

@ducky: King of Hearts.