The film tells the story of Operation Market-Garden, and its ultimate failure, the Allied attempt to break through German lines and seize several bridges, with the main objective the bridge over the Lower Rhine (Neder Rijn) River, in the occupied Netherlands during World War II. The name for the film comes from a comment made by British Lieutenant-General Frederick A.M. Browning, deputy commander of the First Allied Airborne Army, who told Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery before the operation, "I think we may be going a bridge too far."The ensemble cast includes Dirk Bogarde, James Caan, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Denholm Elliott, Elliott Gould, Edward Fox, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins, Jeremy Kemp, Laurence Olivier, Robert Redford, Liv Ullmann, Maximilian Schell, Hardy Krüger and Ryan O'Neal. The music for the film was scored by John Addison, who was a soldier with the British XXX Corps during Operation Market Garden.
The largely fictitious film plot is based on the building in 1943 of one of the railway bridges over the Mae Klong—renamed Khwae Yai in the 1960s—at a place called Tha Ma Kham, five kilometers from the Thai town of Kanchanaburi. This was part of a project to link existing Thai and Burmese railway lines to create a route from Bangkok, Thailand, to Rangoon, Burma, to support the Japanese occupation of Burma. About a hundred thousand conscripted Asian labourers and 12,000 prisoners of war died on the whole project. MORE »