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February 16, 2005

Kelly's Heroes

1970.USA.Hutton

3.5 / 4.0


Since his obscure 1965 debut Wild Seed, director Brian G. Hutton has made only nine films. Of that handful, the 1968 and 1970 war films Where Eagles Dare and Kelly’s Heroes, both starring Clint Eastwood, are his greatest achievements. The latter is an action-packed story about a team of soldiers who infiltrate a Nazi-held castle, not unlike 1967’s The Dirty Dozen. The former is one of my favourite World War II films.

Taking place in the late stages of the war, after Operation Overlord and the Allied breakout from the Normandy beachhead, Kelly’s Heroes follows the escapades of a group of men, lead by Eastwood’s Kelly, as they deviate slightly from the grand strategy of the war and take a detour behind enemy lines to steal a cache of gold. Filling out the fantastic cast of characters (and actors!) are Big Joe, played with comedic machismo by Telly Savalas, supply officer Crapgame, a whiney Don Rickles and, the best of the bunch, tank commander Sergeant Oddball, an era-displaced Hippie played with flair by Donald Sutherland. No doubt a reference to the Vietnam War, which was very much going on while Kelly’s Heroes was released, Oddball and his troupe, who lounge about in Flower Power glory, add an interesting dimension to film. A taboo subject in Hollywood until the late ‘70s, when both American involvement in Vietnam, and the war, was over, the Vietnam War had a singnificant impact on American filmmaking. That Kelly's Heroes, released in 1971, even raised the subject is somewhat amazing. Six years later, Taxi Driver, which dealt with a Vietnam vet in Travis Bickle, was still seen as breaking taboo ground. And it took Hal Ashby’s 1978 Coming Home to finally take the finger out of the dam.

Regardless, Kelly’s Heroes is still very much a World War II film. And it’s depiction of that war balances tragedy and comedy. There are scenes of utter brutality, such as a famous minefield shootout, and ones of easygoing laughter, provided largely by Don Rickles’ character.

That the film is about soldiers making the best of their situation is interesting, if taken with the knowledge that “the good war”, as World War II came to sometimes be called in America, resulted in an immense surge of prosperity in the United States. Are Kelly and his men simply taking their due (even more so, since the gold was likely stolen by the Nazis), or are they unethically profiteering while others are still fighting and dying? Since all they’re doing is killing Nazis and taking back Nazi-occupied cities, and are beneficial to victory, do their ethics and motives even matter? Likewise, Industrialists like Henry Ford became rich during World War II, but the machines and weapons they supplied to the United States Army and Navy greatly contributed to winning the war. I don't think the film offers a concrete opinion on the subject.

Although usually left off the lists of Greatest War Films (though not this one) or even Greatest World War II Films, Kelly’s Heroes is a classic. And for anyone who doubts how influential the film is, just watch the last hour of Saving Private Ryan, which features a showdown, set in a town, between a small group of American soldiers and two Tiger tanks. Two guesses at what happens near the end of Kelly’s Heroes.

19 Comments:

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Donald Sutherland is the Man, and still after all these years to this very day. Great movie.

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Anonymous Teaching said...

I’m about to make you think.
It might be painful.

Have you done anything earth shattering lately?

Read anything that really sets your mind on fire with a passion to do good?

How about doing something important for yourself?

Have you?

Do you know without a doubt where you will be living a few years from now, what you will be doing?

Got a Plan?

Know how to get there?

You gotta have goals!

I enjoy blog surfing and when I find one that makes me think a bit I like to leave a little nuget behind that may help the writer.

What will you do with this “nugget”? Ignore it or use it…

Here’s yours;

Write Goals Down

This crystallizes your goals and gives them more force. In writing your goals down, you are better able to keep up with your scheduled tasks for each accomplishment. It also helps you to remember each task that needs to be done and allows you to check them off as they are accomplished.

Basically, you can better keep track of what you are doing so as not to repeat yourself unnecessarily.

Set lifetime goals. At least have an idea of what you want to accomplish with your life.

Keep the low-level goals you are working towards small and easy to achieve. If a goal is too large, then it can seem that you are not making progress towards it.

Keeping goals small and incremental allows you more opportunities for reward. Derive today's goals from larger ones. It is a great way to accomplish your goals.

Set Performance Goals, not outcome goals

You should take care to set goals over which you have as much control as possible. There is nothing more dispiriting than failing to achieve a personal goal for reasons that are beyond your control.

These could be bad business environments, poor judging, bad weather, injury, or just plain bad luck. If you base your goals on personal your performance, then you can keep control over the achievement of your goals and get satisfaction from achieving them.

Set Realistic Goals. It is important to set goals that you can achieve.

All sorts of people (parents, media, and society) can set unrealistic goals for you which is almost a guarantee of failure. They will often do this in ignorance of your own desires and ambitions or flat out disinterest.

Alternatively you may be naive in setting very high goals. You might not appreciate either the obstacles in the way, or understand quite how many skills you must master to achieve a particular level of performance.

By being realistic you are increasing your chances of success.

Do not set your goals to low.

Just as it is important not to set goals unrealistically high; do not set them too low.

People tend to do this where they are afraid of failure or where they simply don’t want to do anything.

You should set goals so that they are slightly out of your immediate grasp, but not so far that there is no hope of achieving them. No one will put serious effort into achieving a goal that they believe is unattainable.

However, remember that your belief that a goal is unrealistic may be incorrect. If this could be the case, you can to change this belief by using imagery effectively.

Good Luck and Happy Goal Setting!

PS: Want some more “nuggets”? Pick up a few more @ Developing Goals

9:25 am  
Anonymous Teaching said...

HELLO Quack Corleone

Home school

I like to leave little "helps" after reading a good blog, or going over the blog comments, just to start people thinking about, well, everything.

2006 is just around the corner.

Thought about what you would like to achieve next year?

Did you do all you wanted to do this year, personally, professionally and perhaps spiritually?

My guess is; probably not. Most people don't know how to set workable goals and if they do, the don't know how to manage them.

When is the last time you actually took time to write down all you would like to do and accomplish in life? Or even a few of the small things you would like to do but didn't think would be possible?

We all have the potential to get almost anything we want out of life. It just takes a little work, thinking and action.

The first step is knowing how to set effective goals and then of course, how to follow up on them. That's the hard part. Following up.

How would you like to actually make this years New Years Resolution come true? Of course it would have to be attainable, and possible, but you could do it if you knew how.

Curious?

Use the FREE information @ How To Set Goals and have a really GREAT NEW YEAR.

All the BEST!

12:58 pm  
Anonymous Profession said...

Achievements

Hi Quack Corleone

Have you done anything earth shattering lately?

Read anything that really sets your mind on fire with a passion to do good?

How about doing something important for yourself?

Have you?

Do you know without a doubt where life is taking you?

Got a Plan?

Know how to get there?

Most people don't. They just go through life hoping for the best. How can you possibly reach your dreams if you don't have a real plan?

A new year is coming. It's time to start thinking about your New Years Resolution and really start planning your life don't you think…

…follow through on some of those old goals you had years ago.

Even people in the goal setting business tend not to visit their "life plan" very often.

Are you one of those?

Need a little refresher and some FREE goal setting tips?

Spend a few minutes at Long Term Goals and take away life changing information.

Happy New Year!

12:24 am  
Anonymous Designing said...

I like to leave a little “wisdom” to jolt your into thinking about goals you may have set over the past few years, months and days, after a good blog read.

Not earth shattering by any means, and probably know this, but have you actually practiced it lately?

You know – gnitteS laoG

Jot down a few new ones today or visit a few old ones that would make you a better person, better business person or a better provider or some you haven't been able to keep for some reason or other.

Today’s tidbit…

There is a difference in setting your goals and setting them effectively. Anyone can set a goal, but doing it effectively means that it will actually get done.

There are so many things that you can do to better your life, but if you don't know how to go about it you are stuck.

The following guidelines will help you to set effective goals and help you manage your time in an efficient manner that will cause those goals to become reality.

State each goal as a positive statement

Express your goals in a positive way. That is a key component to setting goals that you can attain.

How often have you been excited to accomplish a goal that didn't even sound good when you brought it up? If you are not comfortable or happy with the goals that you have set, the likelihood of you succeeding is pretty low.

If you want to express your goals in a positive way, you simply have to first think of a goal that puts a smile on your face when you imagine it completed. Why would you want to set a goal that made you frown, cringe or cry?

When you are beginning to set your goals it helps when you are talking about them to others in a manner that states your actions as positives because it will have others seeing it as a positive as well.

That will garner you a great deal more support. In the end, don't we all need a little support when we are trying to do something positive in our lives?

Be precise

Set a precise goal that includes starting dates, times and amounts so that you can properly measure your achievement.

If you do this, you will know exactly when you have achieved the goal, and can take complete satisfaction from having achieved it.

Being precise in setting your goals is no more than setting them with exact details. It is easier this way because then you can follow a step-by-step format. That's all there is to it.

Set priorities

When you have several goals, give each a specific priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most important ones and follow each in succession. Setting priorities will force you into the step-by-step format above.

By doing the most important first and moving to the least important in succession, you are enabling each task to be easier than the last. It causes the accomplishment of each task to get easier and easier which will encourage you to complete your goal.

There’s a few more “tidbits” for you at Lifetime Goals

Don't worry, they're FREE!

Enjoy your day – And have a GREAT one!

By the way, learn how to Make New Years Resolutions you can keep there also.

6:56 am  
Anonymous Designing said...

Profession

Hello Quack Corleone

Thanks for leaving your blog open to comments.

I always like to live a little "tidbit" of information, hopefully helpful and hopefully something that will make you think - and act.

This one is short and sweet, and I'll bet you haven't done (or done recently ), but after looking at your blog I'm pretty sure you will at least take some action, because you seem like a smart person.

Set New Goals.

Do you have any old ones written down? Have you set life goals?

Most people don't.

You will if you use some of the FREE information at Lifetime Goals

Have A Happy New Year!

7:27 am  
Anonymous Designing said...

I like to leave a little “wisdom” to jolt your into thinking about goals you may have set over the past few years, months and days, after a good blog read.

Not earth shattering by any means, and probably know this, but have you actually practiced it lately?

You know – gnitteS laoG

Jot down a few new ones today or visit a few old ones that would make you a better person, better business person or a better provider or some you haven't been able to keep for some reason or other.

Today’s tidbit…

There is a difference in setting your goals and setting them effectively. Anyone can set a goal, but doing it effectively means that it will actually get done.

There are so many things that you can do to better your life, but if you don't know how to go about it you are stuck.

The following guidelines will help you to set effective goals and help you manage your time in an efficient manner that will cause those goals to become reality.

State each goal as a positive statement

Express your goals in a positive way. That is a key component to setting goals that you can attain.

How often have you been excited to accomplish a goal that didn't even sound good when you brought it up? If you are not comfortable or happy with the goals that you have set, the likelihood of you succeeding is pretty low.

If you want to express your goals in a positive way, you simply have to first think of a goal that puts a smile on your face when you imagine it completed. Why would you want to set a goal that made you frown, cringe or cry?

When you are beginning to set your goals it helps when you are talking about them to others in a manner that states your actions as positives because it will have others seeing it as a positive as well.

That will garner you a great deal more support. In the end, don't we all need a little support when we are trying to do something positive in our lives?

Be precise

Set a precise goal that includes starting dates, times and amounts so that you can properly measure your achievement.

If you do this, you will know exactly when you have achieved the goal, and can take complete satisfaction from having achieved it.

Being precise in setting your goals is no more than setting them with exact details. It is easier this way because then you can follow a step-by-step format. That's all there is to it.

Set priorities

When you have several goals, give each a specific priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most important ones and follow each in succession. Setting priorities will force you into the step-by-step format above.

By doing the most important first and moving to the least important in succession, you are enabling each task to be easier than the last. It causes the accomplishment of each task to get easier and easier which will encourage you to complete your goal.

There’s a few more “tidbits” for you at Lifetime Goals

Don't worry, they're FREE!

Enjoy your day – And have a GREAT one!

By the way, learn how to Make New Years Resolutions you can keep there also.

12:00 am  
Anonymous Achievements said...

Thanks for a good read on your blog.

I’m leaving a little “teaser” for you here to start you thinking about something you may have disregarded for awhile.

Perhaps it will make a difference in your day, month or year. Who knows, it could change your life!

I hope this is of great benefit to you, and maybe you can pass it on…

How to Begin to Achieve Your Goals

Once you have set your lifetime goals, the best thing that you can do is set a 25 year plan of smaller goals that you should complete if you are to reach your lifetime plan.
From there you can just shorten your overall goal spans for example, you set a 5 year plan, 1 year plan, 6 month plan, and 1 month plan of progressively smaller goals that you should reach to achieve your lifetime goals.

Each of these should be based on the previous plan. It is the best way to begin to achieve a lifetime that is filled with and results in a life without any failed wishes. It results in a life without regret.

You see, by starting out slowly, you are giving yourself the chance to realize and work on achieving the goals that you set out to.

Nobody ever succeeds at attaining a goal that was forced through. Those that tried never really got what they were hoping for. In rushing through and trying to achieve your goals quickly you will likely miss a few key aspects that can really change your outcome.

Think of it this way; if you were to run a 10K marathon and decided to take a cab for half of the journey; have you really achieved that goal? Would you be satisfied when you crossed the finish line?

It would be a hollow victory that could only provide a moments happiness.

Finally set a daily to do list of the things that you should do today to work towards your lifetime goals.

At an early stage these goals may be to read books and gather information on the achievement of your goals. This will help you to improve the quality and realism of your goal setting and in effect; make it easier to achieve them.

You also have to review your plans, and make sure that they fit the way in which you want to live your life.

Once you have decided what your first set of plans will be, keep the process going by reviewing and updating your to-do list on a daily basis.

You have to periodically review the longer term plans, and change them to reflect your changing priorities and experiences in your life.

Have a GREAT day, and set a few new goals while you’re at it!

You can find more "tidbits" on goal setting at Reachable Goals.

PS. If this was helpful to you and you think someone else might be able to use it please pass it on. You never know, you could change someones life with this simple information!

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