Triple bill of epic war films.
'A Bridge Too Far' (1977) is Richard Attenborough's star-studded account of the failed 1944 Arnheim assault. Dirk Bogarde, James Caan, Robert Redford and Sean Connery are among those battling against insurmountable odds - foul weather, bad luck, negligence on the part of intelligence officers - to secure one of the bridges essential to the Allied advance into Germany. Gene Hackman, Michael Caine and Anthony Hopkins also star. The screenplay is by William Goldman ('Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid', 'All the President's Men'). Also starring Edward Fox, Ruan O'Neal, Maximilian Schell and Hardy Kruger.
Guy Hamilton's classic 'Battle of Britain' (1969) looks at how England defended itself from the German aerial onslaught of the summer of 1940. Laurence Olivier plays Sir Hugh Dowding, the air chief marshal whose fleet outmanouevres the Luftwaffe, despite a numerical disadvantage; and those few to whom so many owed so much are portrayed by an all-star cast including Michael Caine, Kenneth More and Ralph Richardson. Despite its pro-British slant, the authenticity of the film's impressive flying sequences was guaranteed by the technical advice of Adolf Galland, one of the Nazi's most celebrated World War 2 pilots. Also starring Ian McShane, Christopher Plummer, Trevor Howard, Susannah York, Robert Shaw and Patrick Wymark.
'The Great Escape' (1963) is set during World War Two. A collection of hardened Allied prisoners are incarcerated in an 'escape-proof' German camp. Led by the 'Big X' (Richard Attenborough), the men formulate a plan for a mass breakout, digging three tunnels - 'Tom', 'Dick' and 'Harry'. The team behind the escape includes a near-blind forger of passports (Donald Pleasance), a claustrophobic tunnel-digger (Charles Bronson) and the independent American 'Cooler King' (Steve McQueen). With men like that on their side, how can they fail?Also starring James Coburn, James Garner, Charles Bronson, David McCallum, Gordon Jackson, Angus Rennie, Hans Reiser and Robert Freitag, and Hans Messemer as Kommandant Van Luger.