Kelly's Heroes (1970)

145 mins | Comedy-drama | 23 June 1970

Full page view
HISTORY

The 30 Nov 1968 LAT reported that The Warriors, “a World War II comedy adventure” produced by Gabriel Katzka, Harold Loeb and Sidney Beckerman, was one of nine films Metro-Goldwyn-Mayor (MGM) planned to produce in 1969. The film would eventually be released as Kelly’s Heroes, without Loeb being credited.
       Columnist Army Archerd announced in the 10 Feb 1969 DV that “MGM is paging [Sammy Davis, Jr.] to join Clint Eastwood in The Warriors,” while the 12 May 1969 DV stated that director Brian Hutton wanted Vic Morrow to co-star. Neither actor was involved in the film. Actor Phil Adams, who portrayed a tank commander, assisted the production as a second unit director, according to the 13 Jun 1969 DV, but he is not listed in that capacity.
       The 22 Oct 1969 Var reported that The Warriors was slated to be shot in Italy, and that producers Katzka and Beckerman had already opened a production office in Rome’s Cinecitta studio complex, but “a comparative cost study” convinced them to move production to Yugoslavia, then a Communist nation. Principal photography began 30 Jun 1969, according to a production chart in the 3 Jul 1969 DV. In a note to Army Archerd, printed in the 29 Jul 1969 DV, Brian Hutton wrote that he chose to film in Yugoslavia because American World War II equipment was still being used by the Yugoslav Ground Forces. The government offered “full cooperation,” including the use of over 1,000 army troops as extras. “The terrain, lush, green and with rolling hills, very much ... More Less

The 30 Nov 1968 LAT reported that The Warriors, “a World War II comedy adventure” produced by Gabriel Katzka, Harold Loeb and Sidney Beckerman, was one of nine films Metro-Goldwyn-Mayor (MGM) planned to produce in 1969. The film would eventually be released as Kelly’s Heroes, without Loeb being credited.
       Columnist Army Archerd announced in the 10 Feb 1969 DV that “MGM is paging [Sammy Davis, Jr.] to join Clint Eastwood in The Warriors,” while the 12 May 1969 DV stated that director Brian Hutton wanted Vic Morrow to co-star. Neither actor was involved in the film. Actor Phil Adams, who portrayed a tank commander, assisted the production as a second unit director, according to the 13 Jun 1969 DV, but he is not listed in that capacity.
       The 22 Oct 1969 Var reported that The Warriors was slated to be shot in Italy, and that producers Katzka and Beckerman had already opened a production office in Rome’s Cinecitta studio complex, but “a comparative cost study” convinced them to move production to Yugoslavia, then a Communist nation. Principal photography began 30 Jun 1969, according to a production chart in the 3 Jul 1969 DV. In a note to Army Archerd, printed in the 29 Jul 1969 DV, Brian Hutton wrote that he chose to film in Yugoslavia because American World War II equipment was still being used by the Yugoslav Ground Forces. The government offered “full cooperation,” including the use of over 1,000 army troops as extras. “The terrain, lush, green and with rolling hills, very much resembles that of western France,” Hutton said. He told the 31 Dec 1969 LAT that MGM would spend “between $1.5 million and $2 million in the country,” and revealed that he had had a “two-month shooting schedule near Novi Sad on five locations,” before going “north to Umag for at least two months.” The 3 Sep 1969 Var reported that despite frequent thunderstorms in Umag, Hutton was on schedule and confident he would finish in Nov 1969. However, a 5 Nov 1969 DV item stated that the film’s set in Vizinada, Yugoslavia, which took 150 men six months to build, was destroyed in a fire of “unknown origin.”
       After “four title changes and three different regimes at MGM,” Hutton finished the film “on budget” at $7.4 million, the 1 Jul 1970 Var announced. The original title, The Warriors, was scuttled because executives thought it sounded too much like a “spear-and-sandal epic.” After the film was shot and edited under the title Kelly’s Warriors, it became Kelly’s Heroes.
       The 23 Jun 1970 LAT mentioned that Clint Eastwood was displeased that two of his films, MGM’s Kelly’s Heroes and Universal’s Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970, see entry), were opening on the same day in New York City, where another of his films, Paint Your Wagon (1969, see entry), was already playing in theaters. “If one studio had two films with the same star, it would stagger the openings,” Eastwood argued. Two weeks later, an 8 Jul 1970 LAT review noted that Kelly’s Heroes opened that day in Hollywood. Like the critic in the 24 Jun 1970 NYT, the LAT reviewer reacted tepidly to the movie, and said its shifts between comedy and adventure were “handled ineptly.” The 10 Jun 1970 DV called the film “preposterous,” but “very commercial.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
30 Jan 1969
p. 16.
Daily Variety
10 Feb 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
12 May 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
13 Jun 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
3 Jul 1969
p. 12.
Daily Variety
29 Jul 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
5 Nov 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
29 Dec 1969
p. 16.
Daily Variety
10 Jun 1970
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
30 Nov 1968
Section A, p. 5.
Los Angeles Times
31 Dec 1969
Section A, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
23 Jun 1970
Section E, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
28 Jun 1970
Section P, p. 26.
Los Angeles Times
8 Jul 1970
Section E, p. 12.
New York Times
24 Jun 1970
p. 38.
Variety
3 Sep 1969
p. 31.
Variety
22 Oct 1969
p. 36.
Variety
8 Arp 1970
p. 4.
Variety
1 Jul 1970
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2nd unit dir
Asst dir
Asst dir, Yugoslavia
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2nd unit photog
Cam coord
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Original mus
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Prod mgr
Prod mgr, Yugoslavia
Stunt coordinator
SOURCES
SONGS
"Burning Bridges," words and music by Lalo Schifrin and Mike Curb, sung by Mike Curb Congregation
"Si tu me dis," music and lyrics by Lalo Schifrin and Gene Lees, sung by Monique Aldebert
"Sunshine," composer undetermined, sung by Hank Williams.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Warriors
Kelly's Warriors
Release Date:
23 June 1970
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 23 June 1970
Los Angeles opening: 8 July 1970
Production Date:
30 June -- late December 1969
Copyright Claimant:
The Warriors Co.
Copyright Date:
14 May 1970
Copyright Number:
LP38087
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Metrocolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
145
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Lieutenant Kelly, an unconventional U. S. Army officer, captures a German colonel and brings him back to American headquarters for questioning. Hoping to learn the location of the German Army's supply of liquor and women, Kelly instead discovers two gold ingots hidden in the German's uniform. Further questioning reveals information concerning 14,000 more ingots worth $16 million being held in a nearby German bank. After deciding to "appropriate" the gold, Kelly and his men enlist the aid of Crapgame, the manager of the supply depot, to provide the equipment necessary for the robbery. Next, Kelly recruits Oddball, an eccentric young soldier who has stolen two Sherman tanks. Meanwhile, Field Commander General Colt, who has been listening to the radio communication setting up the operation, believes the group is on a heroic venture and sets off to join them. The unorthodox mission is finally launched, and Kelly and his men reach the bank at the cost of many German lives. A sole German remains protecting the bank, but he is persuaded to join in the robbery. Kelly's men then take the gold and leave the military victory to General ... +


Lieutenant Kelly, an unconventional U. S. Army officer, captures a German colonel and brings him back to American headquarters for questioning. Hoping to learn the location of the German Army's supply of liquor and women, Kelly instead discovers two gold ingots hidden in the German's uniform. Further questioning reveals information concerning 14,000 more ingots worth $16 million being held in a nearby German bank. After deciding to "appropriate" the gold, Kelly and his men enlist the aid of Crapgame, the manager of the supply depot, to provide the equipment necessary for the robbery. Next, Kelly recruits Oddball, an eccentric young soldier who has stolen two Sherman tanks. Meanwhile, Field Commander General Colt, who has been listening to the radio communication setting up the operation, believes the group is on a heroic venture and sets off to join them. The unorthodox mission is finally launched, and Kelly and his men reach the bank at the cost of many German lives. A sole German remains protecting the bank, but he is persuaded to join in the robbery. Kelly's men then take the gold and leave the military victory to General Colt. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.