Making 'A Bridge Too Far'

by Simon Lewis


ISBN: 978-1-7352738-9-1

U.S. Publication Date: May 7, 2024

Hardcover Original, 376 Pages

16 Pages of Rare Production Photos

$29.95/$39.95 CAN


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Ebook ISBN: (coming soon)

WWII's Most Desperate Gamble:

Operation Market Garden


A Bridge Too Far, released in 1977, is still regarded by many as one of the finest epic WWII movies ever made.  Its ambitious goal: to recreate the daring and doomed Allied operation called Market Garden, set in motion in September 1944. Operation Market Garden sought to surprise the Germans with a mammoth parachute drop behind their lines that would bring a quick end to the war; what followed was one of the most heroic stands by any outnumbered force in any conflict in history.


It had been the dying wish of Cornelius Ryan that his best-selling book, A Bridge Too Far, be brought to the big screen. His friend, independent producer Joseph E. Levine, obliged by providing much of the $25 million budget. Many in Hollywood doubted the 70-year-old Levine could pull it off, but he managed to pack his cast with the top stars of the 1970s, including Anthony Hopkins, Robert Redford, Sean Connery, James Caan, Michael Caine, Elliott Gould, Dirk Bogarde, and Laurence Olivier, and shot the film on location in the Arnhem area.

Making “A Bridge Too Far” answers all the questions WWII buffs have had about the production, as author Simon Lewis interviewed many in the cast and crew and uncovered a genuinely entertaining story about bringing WWII to life in sleepy 1976 Holland with  vintage tanks and aircraft and legions of stuntmen and paratroopers, all led by determined director Sir Richard Attenborough. Making “A Bridge Too Far” proves a delight for armchair generals and lovers of old Hollywood.


Operation Market Garden lasted just nine days—from September 17 to 26, 1944. Thirty-two years later, producer Joseph E. Levine and renowned director Richard Attenborough dedicated the balmy summer of 1976 to recreating the event on film.


The epic production included a bold vision:

  • 14 international stars working together
  • Location shooting in the Netherlands, where it all happened
  • A massive parachute sequence in the original drop zone, Ginkel Heath
  • Actors who could realistically portray British First Airborne
  • Finding Allied and German armor and aircraft 30 years after the conflict
  • Script accuracy by technical advisors Urquhart, Frost, Gavin, & Horrocks


Fun facts: Dutch survivors of the war had no patience for actors dressed as German soldiers roaming their streets; Dirk Bogarde was a British war veteran who had participated in Market Garden and bore the mental scars to prove it.


Learn how Levine and Attenborough brought the greatest military gamble of the European war to the screen in Making 'A Bridge Too Far.'

Simon Lewis is a professional TV cameraman/editor, writer, and filmmaker. In 2012 he achieved a lifelong ambition of making his own feature film, Jackals.  Simon is a self-confessed movie nerd with a love of twentieth-century cinema as well as an avid reader of history. These twin passions have drawn him to writing about the creation of epic historical movies. His first book, Waterloo—Making an Epic, saw publication in 2021, and Simon followed up by producing a documentary for the film’s UK Blu-ray release. A regular contributor to Cinema Retro magazine, he is writing a novel based on David Lean’s wilderness years. Simon is married and lives with his family in Blaenavon in Wales, UK.

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