A Bridge Too Far

Synopsis: The true story of Operation Market Garden, the Allies attempt, in September 1944, to hasten the end of WW2 by driving through Belgium and Holland into Germany. The idea was for US airborne divisions to take the towns of Eindhoven and Nijmegen and a British airborne division, reinforced by a Polish airborne brigade, to take the town of Arnhem. They would be reinforced, in due course and in turn, by the British XXX Corps, land-based and driving up from the British lines in the south. The key to the operation was the bridges, as if the Germans held or blew them, the paratroopers could not be relieved. Faulty intelligence, Allied high command hubris and stubborn German resistance would ensure that Arnhem was a bridge too far.
Genre: Drama, History, War
Production: United Artists
  Won 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
175 min

It's hard to remember now,

but Europe was like this in 1944.

The Second World War

was in its fifth year...

and still going Hitler's way.

German troops

controlled most of Europe.

D-Day changed all that.

June 6, 1944...

when the Allied forces, under

their commander General Eisenhower...

landed on the northern

coast of France.

By July they were able

to begin their own offensive.

By August, Paris was liberated.

Everywhere the Germans retreated.

But with the Allied victories

came problems.

Supplies still had to be driven

from Normandy, over 400 miles away...

and became dangerously short.

The Allied advance

began to come to a halt.

Another problem

facing Eisenhower was this:

his two most famous generals...

Patton, who was in the south...

and Montgomery in the north...

disliked each other intensely.

The longstanding rivalry

had never been more fierce.

There simply were not

enough supplies for both armies.

Each wanted to be the one

to defeat the Germans.

Each wanted to beat

the other to Berlin.

In September, 1944...

Montgomery devised

a new and spectacular plan...

given the code name

"Market Garden."

Eisenhower, under great pressure

from his superiors...

finally sided with Montgomery...

and Operation Market Garden

became a reality.

The plan, like so many plans

in so many wars before it...

was meant to end

the fighting by Christmas...

and bring the boys back home.

What is that noise?

- Can I look out?

- No, they might shoot us.

The Germans have collapsed.

Then the war is over?


But what is that noise?


You may begin.

May I first be permitted to say,

and I think I speak for all of us...

how pleased we are,

Field Marshal Von Rundstedt...

that you have been reappointed

commander of our forces in the West.

Speeches are for

victory celebrations.

Let's get to the point.

Air power?

Air power, Field Marshal?

Briefly, please.

- Air power is minimal.

- Ammunition?

Also minimal.

Tanks... Troops...


- Minimal.

- Morale?


What do you think

we should do?

End the war, you fools.

- Why in the world are you laughing?

- Excuse us.

We have such confidence in you.

Everyone knows you have

never lost a battle.

I'm still young.

Give me time.

The first thing we must do...

is to turn this rabble

into something like an army.

Anything at all on when

they plan to invade Holland?

They seem to have

paused in Belgium.

Most likely supply problems.

Otherwise we can't imagine why.

I think it's because

we're retreating...

faster than they can advance.

How many vehicles

in the past hour?


And for the same hour yesterday?


Last week your mother and I

could have captured Holland alone.

Already the panic has stopped.

It isn't over yet

and those idiots don't realize it.

- War takes time.

- Listen to the expert.

I was nine when they got here.

Next month I'll be 14.

I ought to know something.

Father, the Allies will come?

But when?

I've just got back to England

from Brussels...

where I had a meeting this morning

with Field Marshal Montgomery.

There was an earlier one

with General Eisenhower.

They both feel, as I do...

that when the Field Marshal's plan

has succeeded...

we should be able

to end the war by Christmas...

in less than 100 days.

Actually, the plan

is really very simple.

We're going to fly 35,000 men 300 miles,

and drop them behind enemy lines.

It'll be the largest

airborne operation ever mounted.

Quite frankly, this kind of thing's

never been attempted before.

- Where's this all going to take place?

- Holland.

- And when?

- I'm coming to that now.


The ground forces: 30 Corps, commanded

by General Horrocks, 20,000 vehicles.

And this, as you know,

is the German front line.

Now we're going to lay a carpet,

as it were, of airborne troops...

over which 30th Corps can pass.

We shall seize the bridges...

it's all a question of bridges...

with thunderclap surprise...

and hold them until

they can be secured.

Now first of all,

General Maxwell Taylor...


You take and hold

the bridges there with 101st.

General Gavin,

with your 82nd...

you get Nijmegen.

You take and hold the bridges.

And Roy, you get the prize:


Arnhem Bridge.

- And you hold it.

- For how long?

Monty assures me that 30 Corps...

will do the 63 miles

in two days.

Sixty-three miles in two days.

- They oughta be able to handle that.

- Oh, I'm sorry.

General Sosabowski, you go with

your Polish Brigade with Roy Urquhart.

I'm so sorry.


when you've secured

your bridge...

and 30th Corps have got across it,

we can turn east...

right into the industrial heart

of Germany... the Ruhr.

Once we control their factories,

there's not much they can do about it.

And that is the plan.

And we go next Sunday.

Seven days?

Why not?

The sooner we go, the better.

We've got them on the run.

Is something troubling you,

General Sosabowski?

- I've said nothing.

- Precisely.

Your silences are thunderous.

General Browning, I...

I am a Pole...

considered by some

to be smart.

If that is so...

it makes me member

of a true minority group.

Minority groups

are more comfortable in silence.

I should have thought the opposite

was true. But you do disapprove?

I am thrilled that your great Field

Marshal Montgomery has devised a plan.

Rate this script:3.7 / 3 votes

William Goldman

William Goldman (born August 12, 1931) is an American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. He came to prominence in the 1950s as a novelist, before turning to writing for film. He has won two Academy Awards for his screenplays, first for the western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and again for All the President's Men (1976), about journalists who broke the Watergate scandal of President Richard Nixon. Both films starred Robert Redford. more…

All William Goldman scripts | William Goldman Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "A Bridge Too Far" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Apr. 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/a_bridge_too_far_4682>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Browse Scripts.com

    A Bridge Too Far



    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.