Kelly’s Heroes (1970)

Film and Plot Synopsis

Private Kelly leads a renegade WWII platoon on a mission to rob a bank behind enemy lines holding $16 million in gold. Despite obstacles, they outsmart Nazis, with Big Joe, their skeptical sergeant, eventually joining. After overcoming challenges, they negotiate with Germans, discovering 14,000 gold bars. Kelly’s Heroes, admired by a pursuing American general, escape to Switzerland with their treasure, leaving behind a liberated town.

‘Kelly’s Heroes’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
Kelly's Heroes (1970)Kelly’s Heroes unfolds during World War II, chronicling the journey of a weary platoon at the frontline seeking respite from the relentless warfare. Clint Eastwood takes on the role of Private Kelly, a once-disgraced officer who stumbles upon a German courier carrying vital instructions. These instructions reveal the existence of a bank, situated thirty miles behind enemy lines, holding a staggering $16 million in gold bars, awaiting transportation by the first daring individual.

While the platoon is mandated to rest for three days in an isolated location without their commanding officer, Kelly approaches Platoon Sgt. Big Joe with a bold proposition—to detour and rob the bank. Initially dismissed as absurd, Kelly, undeterred, clandestinely recruits Supply Sgt. Crapgame and a motley trio of less-than-elite Sherman tanks led by Sgt. Oddball to involve the entire platoon in this audacious scheme.

Despite initial resistance from Big Joe, circumstances force him to join the unconventional mission. The platoon, accompanied by Crapgame and the three Shermans, ventures directly into the formidable German front lines, even enduring friendly fire due to the element of surprise. As word of their renegade exploits reaches the American general, he pursues these unexpected “heroes” with a jeep adorned with medals.

Encountering one obstacle after another, Kelly’s Heroes inflict significant casualties on the unsuspecting Nazis while losing a few members of their small platoon. At a blown-up bridge, Oddball summons a division of untrained engineers to rebuild it. Crossing the reconstructed bridge with their lone operational tank, Kelly’s Heroes race towards the coveted gold as the general catches up to the engineers, offering medals instead of a share in the treasure.

Arriving at the town housing the bank, they discover three nearly impregnable German Tiger tanks in the city center. Kelly proposes diversions with the platoon to allow Oddball’s Sherman to surprise the Tigers from behind. Utilizing Big Joe’s tactical acumen and Kelly’s fearless leadership, the platoon dismantles the town’s defenses. With two of the Tigers neutralized, they face a formidable survivor wreaking havoc.

Oddball suggests negotiating with the Tiger commander about the gold. Upon agreement, the Tiger blasts a hole in the bank, revealing a substantial stash of 14,000 bars of solid gold. Sharing the spoils with the Germans, Kelly’s Heroes load their truck and head for Switzerland, leaving the general at the town’s edge, surrounded by jubilant residents liberated from the Nazis. The story concludes with Kelly’s Heroes embarking on their journey, laden with treasure.

The End.

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer released Kelly's Heroes on June 23, 1970. Brian G. Hutton directed the film starring Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, and Don Rickles.

User Rating: 4.03 ( 3 votes)
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