Kelly's Heroes

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Kelly's Heroes is an offbeat 1970 war film about a group of enterprising World War II American soldiers who conspire to rob a bank holding enemy gold behind German lines.

Directed by Brian G. Hutton. Written by Troy Kennedy Martin.
Never have so few taken so many for so much.taglines

Staff Sergeant "Crapgame"[edit]

  • Oh, him? Name's Kelly. Used to be a lieutenant. Pretty good one, too. Till they gave orders to attack the wrong hill. Wiped out half a company of GI's. Somebody had to take the blame and he got picked.

Sergeant "Oddball"[edit]

  • We see our role as essentially defensive in nature. While our armies are advancing so fast and everyone's knocking themselves out to be heroes, we are holding ourselves in reserve in case the Krauts mount a counteroffensive which threatens Paris... or maybe even New York. Then we can move in and stop them. But for 1.6 million dollars, we could become heroes for three days.

Major General Colt[edit]

  • [Listening to Kelly on the radio] Attack, attack, attack! Listen to this guy! That's the kinda fighting spirit I was talkin' about! If he's a major he's a colonel now!
  • I'm gonna decorate every man in this penetration unit, whoever they are. They saved the reputation of this entire army. [To his officers] You're the ones supposed to be fightin' this battle, and you don't even know where the hell it is! Well, I'll tell you where it is. It's thirty miles beyond where you thought it was. Booker! Come on, now, let's get this army of mine back in the war!

First Sergeant Mulligan[edit]

  • [Upon seeing Kelly, assuming Kelly is there to yell at him for shelling Kelly's unit by accident the previous night] Wait, Kelly, wait. Will you listen to me a second? Will ya listen to me! It's not me, I tell ya, it's not me! I - I can't tell one shell from another, they all look alike! They all look alike. If was me, if I could tell, would I be here? WOULD I BE HERE?! I wouldn't be here, Kelly!


Under Kilroy: [Written on the wall of the bank, after it's been cleaned out] Up yours, baby.


Big Joe: [speaking into radio mic] We've been waiting here for two hours...
[pause, listening to radio headset]
Big Joe: No, that's map section three, not four...
[pause, listening.]
Big Joe: I don't give a damn what command says about anything!
[pause, listening.]
Big Joe: Listen, Mulligan, I don't think I'm getting through to you. You're dropping your damn barrage on our position!
[cut to Kelly motioning to the German Colonel to sit]
Kelly: Sitten Sie.
[cut back to Big Joe ]
Big Joe: You can't hear me? The reason you can't hear me is because you're firing your mortars on your end, and they're landing here, at our end!
[pause, listening.]
Big Joe: No, the Krauts aren't here! We're here!
[pause, listening.]
Big Joe: Mulligan, your bombs are coming down on our heads! I don't know where the Krauts are. Just lift your goddamned barrage! Over!
[throws radio mic into jeep with Little Joe ]

Big Joe: [looking around inside a yacht where Captain Maitland is standing] What are you doing in there, sir?
Capt. Maitland: I'm checking out the motor.
Big Joe: The motor? What for?
Capt. Maitland: We're pulling out and I want to see if this yacht is worth taking back to base.
Big Joe: What about Nancy!?
Capt. Maitland: Third Army's taking over. We’re going into reserve. Once they take Nancy, we go back into the line.
Big Joe: Aw, Captain, I don't think you have the welfare of your men at heart here! This is a big, big town, with a lot of with a lot of passionate broads... great restaurants, feather beds in rooms with hot water... Look, Captain, we've been rained on, pushed on, bombed on... mortared on by Mulligan all the way from the Normandy beachhead!
Capt. Maitland: I'm aware of that problem, Sergeant.
Big Joe: “I’m aware of that problem...” You've been aware of that problem ever since we got out of the water at Omaha! Look, why is it that every time we get to a town like Nancy, it’s these clowns with the clean uniforms and ties that get to ride the trucks into town and make their pitch?
Capt. Maitland: The General says we pull out, so we pull out.
Big Joe: Look, Captain! You can't let them do this! I gotta get my men some broads they start freaking-out with each other!
Capt. Maitland: I'm aware that that situation might be developing... [looks around] Think I could get this into the hold of a B-17?
Big Joe: We're point section to the whole damn Army! Nancy's our town, Captain!
[voice from outside] Hey, Big Joe!
Big Joe: What is it!?
[voice from outside] Babra says there's a company of Germans pushing up the road!
Big Joe: I'll be with you in a minute! [turns to Capt. Maitland ]
Big Joe: Look, Captain! We got it all figured out. We even got a guide! All we have to do is get in there!
Capt. Maitland: There’s a couple of German divisions who say you can't.
Big Joe: OK! So we need a little help!
Capt. Maitland: All I need is to figure out how to get this yacht out of here. [pause] You get back to the barn. I'll get the Engineers and do it myself.
Big Joe: You're supposed to be in charge of this outfit!
Capt. Maitland: You're doing such a good job, Sergeant- why should I get in your way?

Big Joe: According to this map, we got a river to cross before we get into this town of yours.
Kelly: Well, there's a bridge right here, six miles out.
Big Joe: There was a bridge. The Air Corps knocked every bridge out of that river months ago.
Kelly: Uh-uh, intelligence reports the Air Corps knocking 'em out by day and the Germans rebuilding 'em at night. Now, all we have to do is be there tomorrow morning at dawn and we got ourselves a bridge.
Big Joe: Oh! Well, how about the German Army? Do you think they'd mind us crossing their bridge there, eh, Kelly?
Kelly: Probably.
Big Joe: You know something, Kelly? I think you're crazy. Better yet, I think I'm crazy! How the hell I ever let you talk the guys into this?! Push 30 miles behind enemy lines, take a bridge held by the Germans and then go into a town we don't know how many German soldiers are guarding!
Kelly: Well, I figure there's between 30 and 40 troops in that town.
Big Joe: All right, how'd you figure that?
Kelly: Well, it's of no military importance, it's not big enough for a garrison-
Big Joe: You still didn't answer the question! How'd you figure 30 or 40 men?
Kelly: Because that's the normal amount of support for three Tiger tanks.
Big Joe: [Aghast] Tigers? Where'd the hell the Tigers come from?!
Kelly: Well, that's why we have Oddball and his Shermans.
Big Joe: Does he know about the Tigers?
Kelly: Not yet, no.
Big Joe: You bet your sweet ass he doesn't, or he'd be still on that funny-farm of his! He may be nuts, but he's not crazy enough to put Shermans up against Tigers! You know once those things get rolling, they'll blow that whole town to pieces, including us, Kelly!
Kelly: Oh, you're too smart to let that happen, Joe.
Big Joe: Oh, wow...
Kelly: You'll figure us a way in and out of that town, and I know you've got a good head for tactics.
Big Joe: Yeah? And I intend to keep it right here on my shoulders, Kelly!

General Colt: This man is the man I have my mind on today and I'll tell you who he is: this is my opposite number, General Bogle, commanding the 2nd German Armor Division. Now I look at that face, I can read that character... this guy's a loser. Here I am sitting in his headquarters, I'm drinking his scotch... hell, I even got one of his broads hanging around here somewheres. The guy's a born loser... but you gentleman have not buried him yet. Now you call yourselves leaders of men?
Major Roach: They're putting up strong resistance, General.
General Colt: Aw, c'mon, Roach, I flew over the battlefield this morning; why, I could march a divisional dress parade with band music right through the middle of their lines!
Major Roach: Well, what about our flanks, sir?
General Colt: Aw, the hell with your flanks, Roach, how many times have I gotta tell ya forget about your flanks, willya?
Major: Sir, there's still half a panzer division between here and Nancy...
General Colt: Without gas. Without gas, gentlemen.
Colonel Booker: Oh, they're getting gas, sir, it's coming up at night.
General Colt: How?
Colonel Booker: By truck.
General Colt: The Air Force has got my orders to blow every bridge in this sector out of existence.
Colonel Booker: Yes, sir, and they're doing it. And the Germans, they're rebuilding the bridges every night.
General Colt: Well, we're supposed to be blowing 'em up again in the daytime. Captain, get me those aerial photographs.
Captain Jablonski: Right, sir.
Major Roach: General, last night someone gave orders to redirect our mortar fire against some damn crossroads.
General Colt: Listen, Roach, I don't want any excuses outta you, ya hear me? All I want is to know why this loser of a general is keeping me the hell out of Nancy.
Major Roach: Sir, we haven't got the supplies - it's just a matter of logistics.
General Colt: Logistics?
Major Roach: Yes, sir.
General Colt: We got logistics comin' out of our ears! What we need is fighting spirit. The will to win! Where are those aerial photographs?
Captain Jablonski: [Rummaging around for the photos] I'm sorry, sir, they don't seem to be here.
General Colt: They don't what?
Captain Jablonski: [Still looking for the pictures] I can't locate them, Sir.
General Colt: Hey. [CPT Jablonski looks at Colt] Did you lose my aerial photographs?

Big Joe: If I hear any more threats against Captain Maitland's life, if I hear any more wild talk about going down to headquarters and killing the General or raping the nurses at the field hospital, I'm going to strangle the guy with my bare hands, you understand that? Now all good things come to those who wait! We're gonna have a lot of fun here, aren't we, Cowboy?
Cowboy: You can bet your boots on that, pardner.
Big Joe: Sergeant! Pardner...
Cowboy: Right, Sarge.
Big Joe: Awright...
Private Willard: Joe?
Big Joe: Yeah?
Private Willard: I think I got the crabs.
Big Joe: [slight pause] We're going to boil our laundry. We're going to set up a little shower area so we can wash our cute little bodies. Right, Barbara?
Babra: Babra, Joe-
Big Joe: SHADDUP!... Shave. A little wine, women and song, a little chichita for you, Petruco, okay? It's gonna take a little time to get organized but I want that farmhouse to look like a nightclub. Little Joe! I want you to set up a bar.
Little Joe: We ain't got no booze.
Big Joe: [mockingly] "We ain't got no booze"... well, we're gonna get some booze. Now, I'm gonna go down to Battalion, see if I can lay my hands on some dirty movies and when I come back, I want that farmhouse not only clean but completely decorated, do you understand that? All right, Corporal, fall them out; let's get moving.

Kelly: Well, what do you think, Oddball?
Oddball: It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.
Big Joe: Hey look, you just keep them Tigers busy and we'll take care of the rest.
Oddball: The only way I got to keep them Tigers busy is to let them shoot holes in me!
Crapgame: Hey, Oddball, this is your hour of glory. And you're chickening out!
Oddball: To a New Yorker like you, a hero is some type of weird sandwich! Not some nut who takes on three Tigers.
Kelly: Nobody's asking you to be a hero.
Oddball: No? Then you sit up in that turret baby.
Kelly: No, because you're gonna be up there, baby, and I'll be right outside showing you which way to go.
Oddball: Yeah?
Kelly: Yeah.
Oddball: Crazy... I mean like, so many positive waves... maybe we can't lose, you're on!

Crapgame: How are things going with the bank?
Big Joe: [A distant explosion is heard as the Tiger fires; Big Joe shakes his head.] Nothin'. The Sherman's broken down and nobody's gonna get that Tiger out of the square.
Crapgame: Make a deal with 'im.
Big Joe: What kind of a deal?
Crapgame: A deal deal! Maybe the guy's a Republican! Business is business, right?
Big Joe: Okay, big mouth.

Big Joe: Hey, this guy in the Tiger? Least we can do is get on the radio and talk to 'im.
Oddball: Are you crazy? That guy's gotta be a full fanatic freak! Otherwise he would a split outta this town twenty minutes ago!
Big Joe: Hey, look, all he's doing is guarding the bank like he was told.
Kelly: Maybe. But I wonder if he even knows what's in it.


  • Never have so few taken so many for so much.
  • They set out to rob a bank... and damn near won a war instead!


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