Synopsis by Paul Brenner
This bleak World War II action drama, directed by John Guillermin, concerns the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen -- the last remaining span across the Rhine into Germany during the final days of the war in 1945. German General von Brock (Peter Van Eyck) is ordered to blow up the bridge rather than let it fall into American hands. Von Brock is reluctant to carry out the orders, however, because that would mean abandoning 50,000 soldiers to the on-coming Americans. Putting Major Paul Kreuger (Robert Vaughn) in charge, he tells him to try to hold the bridge as long as possible. Meanwhile, U.S. Brigadier General Skinner (E.G. Marshall) is trying to trap the retreating Germans by making a push to the Rhine. Leading the offensive is Major Barnes (Bradford Dillman), an officer held in contempt by most of the men. Platoon leader Lieutenant Phil Hartman (George Segal) takes a particular dislike to him. Hartman is also at odds with Sergeant Angela (Ben Gazzara), a scavenger who likes to steal from the corpses of dead German soldiers. As the Americans push onward to Remagen, the Germans step up their resistance. When the Americans reach Remagen, Krueger unsuccessfully attempts to blow up the bridge and throws all his soldiers into a full-assault on the Americans. Skinner orders that the American soldiers must push forward and take the bridge intact. In the face of heavy German opposition, Hartman and Angelo find that they must put aside their differences and fight for a common cause -- to take the bridge at all costs.
war, battle [war], bridge [structure], Allies, Axis-Powers, Nazi, against-all-odds, territory, American [nationality], German [nationality]