A Bridge Too Far is a 1977 British-American epic war film based on the 1974 book of the same name by Cornelius Ryan, adapted by William Goldman. It was produced by Joseph E. Levine and Richard P. Levine and directed by Richard Attenborough. The film tells the story of the failure of Operation Market Garden during World War II. The operation was intended to allow the Allies to break through Germanlines and seize several bridges in the occupied Netherlands, including one at Arnhem, with the main objective of outflanking German defences in order to end the war by Christmas of 1944.The name for the film comes from an unconfirmed comment attributed to British Lieutenant-General Frederick Browning, deputy commander of the First Allied Airborne Army, who told Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, the operation’s architect, before the operation: “I think we may be going a bridge too far”, in reference to the intention of seizing the Arnhem bridgehead over the Rhine river.

The ensemble cast includes Dirk Bogarde, James Caan, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Edward Fox, Elliott Gould, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins, Hardy Krüger, Laurence Olivier, Ryan O’Neal, Robert Redford, Maximilian Schell and Liv Ullmann. The music was scored by John Addison, who had served in the British XXX Corps during Market Garden.

 The Age of Heroes The film follows the exploits of Corporal Bob Rains (Danny Dyer) as he is inducted into the newly formed 30 Commando unit in the Second World War, after being freed from a war prison for cowardice and striking an officer during operations in France. Rains and the rest of the platoon are put through intensive training under the watchful eye of Major Jack Jones (Sean Bean), where their skills and endurance are pushed to the limit as they prepare for their first highly classified and dangerous mission: to parachute into occupied Norway and capture new radar technology from the Germans which could change the outcome of the war.

The newly formed band of brothers are joined in their task by Norwegian immigrant Steinar Mortensen (Aksel Hennie), now a US Marine Lieutenant with vital knowledge of the terrain, and beautiful spy Jensen (Izabella Miko). All their lethal commando skills are put to the test as they attempt to escape fierce gun battles and attain the German radar technology. The mission objective bears much resemblance to Operation Biting.

Their plan is thrown into crisis when their extraction is delayed and they must fight their way to the border of Sweden. With the Nazis desperate to hunt them down and stop them, the commandos realize how important their mission is to the war effort.After a long trek in the snow, the commandos try to resupply by returning to a previously visited farm. Its inhabitants had been shot by German units after they refused to collaborate with them.

To make things worse, the Germans catch up with them at the farm, bringing the one commando captured alive during the earlier fire fight. The Germans urge the commandos’ surrender in exchange for the life of their captured comrade. The commandos refuse, and instead open fire on the Germans. Jensen and radar specialist Roger Rollright are ordered to make a run for the Swedish border, while the rest of the commandos provide cover for them.

Major Jones realizes that there are too many German soldiers pouring into the fire fight. He orders Rains and Steinar to run for the border, while two others stay to cover them. Those who remain at the farm are last seen firing on and suppressing the Germans. The Germans catch up to Rains and Steinar retreating; Steinar is shot and killed. Out of ammunition, and with several enemy soldiers advancing on him, Rains prepares to cut his own throat. But before doing so, Jensen and Rollright kill the two Germans, thus enabling them to escape overland to Sweden. The last scene shows the two surviving team members and Jensen standing on a hill looking down into a snow-covered valley that leads to Sweden.

An Ungentlemanly Act is a 1992 BBC television film about the first days of the invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982. The film was written and directed by Stuart Urban, and commissioned to mark the tenth anniversary of the Falklands War. The film was closely based on the historical record, and all of the major incidents portrayed were drawn from contemporary accounts by those who took part. Filming took place on the Falkland Islands and at Ealing Studios.

Urban is a fluent Spanish-speaker, and plays an uncredited role as the Argentine radio operator. Ian Richardso replaced Ian Holm as Falklands Governor Rex Hunt after Holm dropped out of the production at the last minute. Bob Peck plays Major Mike Norman, the commander of the Royal Marines based at Stanley the commander of Naval Party 8901, a Royal Marines unit tasked with defending the islands.  Norman himself acted as advisor on the production, and has a small part as a member of the Falkland Islands Defence Force (FIDF). Don Bonner, who was Governor Hunt’s chauffeur at the time of the conflict, cameos in a scene set in Stanley store where he says “Hello Don” to the actor playing himself. Stuart Urban’s film takes a wry look at the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982.

Bravo Two Zero is a 1999 two-hour television miniseries (broadcast in two parts between 3 and 4 January in the UK), based on the book of the same name by Andy McNab. The film covers real life events – from the perspective of Andy McNab, patrol commander of Bravo Two Zero, a British SAS patrol, tasked to find Iraqi Scud missile launchers during the Gulf War in 1991. The names of the patrol members killed were changed. A previous film about the patrol, The One That Got Away, based on the book of the same name by Chris Ryan, was broadcast in 1996.

Half Moon Street is a 1986 British-American erotic thriller film about an American woman working at a British escort service who becomes involved in the political intrigues surrounding one of her clients. The film was directed by Bob Swaim, and stars Sigourney WeaverMichael Caine, and Patrick Kavanagh. Half Moon Street was the first RKO Pictures solo feature film produced in almost a quarter-century. The previous one was Jet Pilot, made in 1957. The film was based on the 1984 novel Doctor Slaughter by Paul Theroux. The SAS show up at the end of the movie and the unit storms a hotel room and save the day.

The Living Daylights (1987) is the fifteenth entry in the James Bond film series and the first to star Timothy Dalton as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Directed by John Glen, the film’s title is taken from Ian Fleming‘s short story “The Living Daylights“. It was the last film to use the title of an Ian Fleming story until the 2006 instalment Casino Royale. The film was produced by Albert R. Broccoli, his stepson Michael G. Wilson, and his daughter, Barbara Broccoli. The Living Daylights was generally well received by most critics and was also a financial success, grossing $191.2 million worldwide. The pre-credits sequence features a exercise on the Rock Of Gibraltar between MI6 operatives and the SAS.

I am Soldier follows Mickey Tomlinson (Tom Hughes), a military chef, who attempts the most dangerous military selection known to man: The Special Air Service (S.A.S.) selection. The S.A.S. Is the United Kingdom’s most renowned Special Forces Regiment, tasked with life threatening missions in some of the most dangerous places on the planet.

Mickey has more military experience than simply being a chef, something he doesn’t let on to the other candidates… Mickey is smashed by this selection process – his mind, body and soul scream for mercy as he endures torturous speed-marches over the steepest mountains, running for his life during ‘Escape and Evasion’ and then facing the most evil interrogation possible, during the deadly phase known as: ‘Tactical Questioning.’ Even after everything, there is still only one way you can really prove yourself: in combat… Many try to get into the S.A.S. Only the elite make it.

Patriot Games is a 1992 American spy thriller film directed by Phillip Noyce and based on Tom Clancy’s novel of the same name. It is a sequel to the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October, but with different actors in the leading roles, Harrison Ford starring as Jack Ryan and Anne Archer as his wife. James Earl Jones is the lone holdover, reprising his role as Admiral James Greer.

The cast also includes Sean BeanPatrick BerginThora BirchSamuel L. JacksonJames Fox, and Richard Harris. The film premiered in theaters in the United States on June 5, 1992 and spent two weeks as the No. 1 film, grossing $178,051,587 in worldwide box office business. The next installment in the film seriesClear and Present Danger, also starred Ford and Archer. When an IRA training camp is found in Libya, the SAS are called in to destroy it. It is a short but effective scene.

The Cockleshell Heroes is a 1955 British war film with Trevor HowardAnthony NewleyDavid Lodge and José Ferrer, who also directed. Set during the Second World War, it is a fictionalised account of Operation Frankton, the December 1942 raid by canoe-borne British commandos on shipping in Bordeaux Harbour.  They were a small number of Royal Marines from Boom Patrol Detachment (RMBPD). It was the first Warwick Film to be filmed in CinemaScope.

The Fourth Protocol Before taking up the mantle of James Bond, Pierce Brosnan played the bad guy in this 1987 thriller based on a Frederick Forsyth novel. Brosnan plays a KGB agent hell-bent on smuggling a nuclear bomb into the UK and destroying a US air base. The film is relatively short on action until the climax which sees the SAS, with a little help from Michael Caine, assaulting a house in order to stop Brosnan completing his mission. Of note is the depiction of the SAS team being transported in Augusta A109s, as they would be by 8 Flight – a nice detail.

 

The Guns of Navarone is a 1961 British-American epic adventure war film directed by J. Lee Thompson. The screenplay by producer Carl Foreman was based on Alistair MacLean‘s 1957 novel The Guns of Navarone, which was inspired by the Battle of Leros during the Dodecanese Campaign of World War II. The film stars Gregory PeckDavid Niven and Anthony Quinn, along with Stanley BakerIrene PapasGia ScalaJames Darren and Anthony Quayle.

The book and the film share the same basic plot: the efforts of an Alliedcommando unit to destroy a seemingly impregnable German fortress that threatens Allied naval ships in the Aegean Sea. An extremely popular war movie,  Note: in the Alistair McClanee book the film is based on, the commandos include members of the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) and the SBS.

 

The Longest Day is truly one of the all time great war movies. The Longest Day is a 1962 epic war film based on Cornelius Ryan‘s book The Longest Day (1959), about the D-Day landings at Normandy on June 6, 1944, during World War II. The film was produced by Darryl F. Zanuck, who paid author Ryan $175,000 for the film rights. The screenplay was by Ryan, with additional material written by Romain GaryJames Jones, David Pursall and Jack Seddon. It was directed by Ken Annakin (British and French exteriors), Andrew Marton (American exteriors), and Bernhard Wicki (German scenes). The Longest Day, which was made in black and white, features a large ensemble cast including John WayneKenneth MoreRichard ToddRobert MitchumRichard BurtonSteve ForrestSean ConneryHenry FondaRed ButtonsPeter LawfordEddie AlbertJeffrey HunterStuart WhitmanTom TryonRod SteigerLeo GennGert FröbeIrina DemickBourvilCurt JürgensGeorge SegalRobert WagnerPaul Anka and Arletty. Many of these actors played roles that were essentially cameo appearances.

In addition, several cast members – including Fonda, Genn, More, Steiger and Todd – saw action as servicemen during the war, with Todd actually being among the first British officers to land in Normandy in Operation Overlord and he in fact participated in the assault on Pegasus Bridge with the British 6th Airborne Division seizing it following a glider and parachute insertion behind enemy lines.

The film employed several Axis and Allied military consultants who had been actual participants on D-Day. Many had their roles re-enacted in the film. These included: Günther Blumentritt (a former German general), James M. Gavin (an American general), Frederick Morgan (Deputy Chief of Staff at SHAEF), John Howard (who led the airborne assault on the Pegasus Bridge), Lord Lovat (who commanded the 1st Special Service Brigade), Philippe Kieffer(who led his men in the assault on Ouistreham), Pierre Koenig (who commanded the Free French Forces in the invasion), Max Pemsel (a German general), Werner Pluskat (the major who was the first German officer to see the invasion fleet), Josef “Pips” Priller (the hot-headed pilot) and Lucie Rommel (widow of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel).

 

The One That Got Away is a 1996 ITV television film directed by Paul Greengrass and starring Paul McGann. It is based on the book of the same name by Chris Ryan telling the true story of a Special Air Service patrol during the Gulf War in 1991.

The Wild Geese is a 1978 British adventure film directed by Andrew V. McLaglen about a group of mercenaries in Africa. It stars Richard BurtonRoger MooreRichard Harris, and Hardy Krüger. The film was the result of a long-held ambition of its producer Euan Lloyd to make an all-star adventure film similar to The Guns of Navarone or Where Eagles Dare. The same producer and director were later responsible for The Sea Wolves.

The screenplay by Reginald Rose was based on an unpublished novel titled The Thin White Line by Daniel Carney. The film was named The Wild Geese after the Wild Goose flag and shoulder patch used by Michael “Mad Mike” Hoare‘s Five Commando, ANC, which in turn was inspired by a 17th-century Irish mercenary army (see Flight of the Wild Geese). Carney’s novel was subsequently published by Corgi Books under the same title as the film.

The novel was based upon rumours and speculation following the 1968 landing of a mysterious aeroplane in Rhodesia, which was said to have been loaded with mercenaries and “an African president” believed to have been a dying Moïse Tshombe.

Who Dares Wins (U.S. title: The Final Option) is a 1982 British political thriller film starring Lewis CollinsJudy DavisRichard Widmark and Edward Woodward, directed by Ian Sharp. The title is the motto of the elite Special Air Service (SAS).

The plot is largely inspired by the Iranian Embassy siege of 1980, where the United Kingdom’s SAS special forces dramatically stormed the building to rescue those being held hostage inside.

Euan Lloyd, the film’s producer, got the idea for the film after watching live television coverage of the event, but he had to move quickly to prevent the idea being taken by somebody else. An initial synopsis was created by George Markstein. This was then turned into a novel by James Follett as The Tiptoe Boys, in thirty days. Meanwhile, chapter-by-chapter as the novel was completed, it was posted to Reginald Rose in Los Angeles, who wrote the final screenplay.

 

thanks to Wikipedia for the info.

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Mike credits his early military training as the one thing that kept him disciplined through the many years. He currently provides his expertise as an adviser for the DoD. Michael Kurcina subscribes to the Spotter Up way of life. “I will either find a way or I will make one”.

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