In the late stages of World War II, aristocratic German officer Major Paul Krueger (Robert Vaughn) delays Hitler’s order to destroy the last bridge spanning the Rhine – the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen – as it will strand 50,000 of his own retreating troops on the wrong side of the river to face the advancing Allied force.
Brigadier General Shinner (E.G. Marshall), commander of the American 9th Armoured Division, is all too aware of the importance of the bridge to the Allied invasion of Germany and sends an advance patrol to plan its capture.
Major Barnes (Bradford Dillman), an over-ambitious career officer, is charged with directing the spearhead for the Rhine. But Captain John Colt (Paul Prokop) and Lt. Phil Hartman (George Segal) greet the assignment with contempt.
This is not a nice cosy war film with everyone being jolly good sports and playing the game – it is a stark and violent portrayal of the horror of war. Performances are superb from all concerned.
The Bridge at Remagen, filmed in Czechoslovakia, was one of the first motion pictures to be shot behind the Iron Curtain. Much of the filming took place in the town of Most, sixty-two miles northwest of Prague, although the bridge used in the picture was the Davelským Old Bridge in the town of Davle, spanning the River Vltava.
In August 1968, the cast and crew were trapped in Prague when Soviet forces invaded Czechoslovakia. They eventually escaped to the Austrian border in seventeen rented taxis. The film was completed in studios in Hamburg, Germany.
Lt. Phil Hartman
Maj. Paul Krueger
Brig. Gen. Shinner
Gen. Von Brock
Peter van Eyck
Capt. Carl Schmidt
Hans Christian Blech
Capt. Otto Baumann
Capt. John Colt
Gen. Von Sturmer
SS Gen. Gerlach