A Bridge Too Far (1977)

Directed by Richard Attenborough

The story of Operation Market Garden—a failed attempt by the allies in the latter stages of WWII to end the war quickly by securing three bridges in Holland allowing access over the Rhine into Germany. A combination of poor allied intelligence and the presence of two crack German panzer divisions meant that the final part of this operation (the bridge in Arnhem over the Rhine) was doomed to failure.

One of the many interesting things in this film is that it appears to insist on the noble integrity of the Dutch; perhaps this was so the film could avoid the charge of being too provincial and 'British'. That is to say, the Netherlands is perceived as being an inconsequential and harmless example of a European country when compared to the might of Germany, the backwardness of Eastern Europe and, heaven forbid, 'Brussels'. (Also of interest is that the film cannot yet reveal the intelligence revealed by breaking the Enigma codes.)