A movie too long. A BRIDGE TOO FAR tells the true story of a WWII military blunder that cost many lives and, in the end, meant little to the war effort. Field Marshal Montgomery and General Eisenhower planned to drop 35,000 Allied troops into Holland to secure the six bridges leading to Germany, after which a British force was to speed through Belgium to the last bridge at Arnhem. From there, the two groups were to smash into the Ruhr area and crush the already damaged factories of the German war effort. Murphy's Law acted up on a massive scale: foul weather, poor judgment, panic, and bad luck all took their toll, and the operation (code-named "Market Garden") was a total disaster. A BRIDGE TOO FAR is not a total disaster, but it does suggest that the curses hanging over certain historical debacles should perhaps be heeded by Hollywood filmmakers. Running three squirming hours and casting a dozen top stars in what are in some cases little more than cameos prove effective as sure ways to annoy an audience. (Gould's performance, for instance, comprises little more than his uttering "Shit!" as a bridge is blown up before his eyes.) A thoroughly disappointing and overproduced picture, A BRIDGE TOO FAR is nevertheless technically impressive and its sheer scope may interest hardcore warmongers. Screenwriter Goldman has also injected a handful of character touches which lend an occasional burst of humanity and intimacy to this otherwise overly indulgent behemoth.