Following ‘Movie Classics’ Special Editions focussing on Where Eagles Dare and Sergio Leone’s ‘Dollars’ trilogy, collector’s film magazine Cinema Retro’s third issue in the series is devoted to Kelly’s Heroes (1970). This World War II film remains popular today for its mixture of combat and comedy. It’s a caper like The Italian Job, but also a ‘men-on-a-mission’ war movie, where the ‘mission’ is robbing a bank stacking with gold bullion, behind enemy lines. The story also has distinct echoes of another famous treasure hunt through a war zone: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Kelly’s Heroes generates ‘positive waves’ via Lalo Schifrin’s score, including the sing-along theme song ‘Burning Bridges’, and Donald Sutherland’s performance as World War II’s only 1960s hippy – the aptly-named Sherman tank commander Oddball.
Cinema Retro’s full-colour, 80-page tribute is filled with scores of behind-the-scenes stills, collector’s posters, promotional photographs of Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles and Donald Sutherland, and rare advertising material, much of which has never been published. There are interviews with those who worked on the film, including director Brian G. Hutton, writer Troy Kennedy Martin, John Landis and Stuart Margolin, and vintage on-set interviews with Eastwood, Savalas, Rickles and Sutherland, as they worked on the film in Yugoslavia in 1969. All facets of the film, its making, release and legacy, are covered by a team of writers, including Cinema Retro editors Lee Pfeiffer and Dave Worrall, Matthew Field, Mike Siegel, Darren Allison, Mark Mawston and Phil Nutman. I’ve contributed several articles to the issue, including a critique of the film and the contradictory times in which it was made, amidst ‘peace and love’ and Vietnam.
Click here for details on how to order this limited edition Kelly’s Heroes issue:
US, with Where Eagles Dare
Read more about Kelly’s Heroes and Clint Eastwood’s other war movies – Where Eagles Dare (WWII), Firefox (Cold War), Heartbreak Ridge (Invasion of Grenada), Flag of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima (WWII) – in my book Aim for the Heart: The Films of Clint Eastwood published by I.B. Tauris