A Bridge Too Far

Trivia: The character of umbrella wielding Major Harry Carlyle was inspired by real life Major Allison Digby Tatham-Warter, who said that he 'carried the umbrella because he could never remember the password, and it would be quite obvious to anyone that the bloody fool carrying the umbrella could only be an Englishman'. Unlike Carlyle in the film, Major Tatham-Warter survived the battle and was captured by the Germans. He escaped, and in the weeks that followed, aided by Dutch Resistance, helped hundreds of other soldiers in similar situations to be evacuated to safety.


Trivia: The Bridge in the film is not the one near Arnhem. It is a bridge over the river Ijsel near Deventer. This bridge stood in for Arnhem bridge as there was a car park adjacent to the bridge where a number of buildings were constructed for Col. Frost's epic stand. Also note the numerous modern traffic signs and roadmarkings.

Trivia: Dirk Bogarde actually served during the real battle at Arnhem. He was personally chosen by Field Marshal Montgomery to work in intelligence.


Trivia: John Addison, the film's composer, actually served as a tank officer in XXX Corps during World War 2.

Trivia: In the big jump scene, one of the paratroopers evidently panicked and pulled his reserve. You can see the white reserve fluttering around his legs while he has a full canopy. (00:48:15)

Trivia: The film-makers spared no expense in securing exact military equipment used during the war, borrowing from museums, veterans' organizations and private collections. One tank was even removed from a war memorial and made to run again. Despite all these efforts they still had too few, so had to create fibreglass replicas.


Trivia: During the filming of scenes which see Anthony Hopkins running across the battleground, the real Lt.Col. John Frost complained of the way he was being portrayed, saying, "You wouldn't run the crossfire. You'd show the enemy contempt for danger by crossing the road slowly." Hopkins tried this approach, but as soon as gunfire started his instinct was to run.


Trivia: Recreating the Horsa gliders was more complicated than expected. There were none left in existence and no schematics. After locating a few photos and other references, the production designers managed to create 12 gliders - at a cost of $35,000 each.


Trivia: Major Fuller, the intelligence officer advised to take leave, is based on Major Brian Urquhart. The name was changed for the film to prevent confusion with Connery's character, who shares the same surname.

Factual error: Most of the parachutes are PX type. These came out in the 1960s. They only used X type during the war - only a few of those are seen in the film. (00:07:00)

More mistakes in A Bridge Too Far

German Aide: Excuse me for interrupting, but ... British paratroopers have apparently landed. Three kilometers from here.
Field Marshal Model: Why should they do that? There's nothing valuable here. I! I am valuable here! They have all come to capture me!

More quotes from A Bridge Too Far

Question: In the scene where the American 82nd Airborne is storming the river bank at Nijmegen, there is a brief shot of one of the German defenders, who looks quite startingly like a puberescent boy. Anyone know whether this assumption is correct, and if so, what's the background to this story?


Chosen answer: The Germans did use some Hitler youth movement in the war.

More questions & answers from A Bridge Too Far

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