Kelly's Heroes is a comedy/war movie made by MGM. It stars Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles, Donald Sutherland, and Carroll O'Connor. It's about a squad of American soldiers in World War II France who learn about a secret stash of German gold in a bank deep behind enemy lines. Unappreciated by their clueless, profiteering captain and continually denied any chance at decent R&R, they are ripe for the promise of heroic adventure and enthusiastically embark on their new, unauthorized mission. With the help of tank commander Oddball and his squad of misfits, an incompetent artillery officer, a greedy supply officer, a marching band, a grave digger battalion, and eventually the very Germans they set out to fight, they might just succeed, and in the process win an improbable victory for the Allied forces.
All Germans Are Nazis: Averted. In fact, the word "Nazi" is never spoken once. The Germans are just called "Germans", or sometimes "Krauts".
Armchair Military: General Colt thinks the reason things aren't going as well as they could be is because of a lack of Fighting Spirit. It turns out that he's right, but it's due to his own lack of leadership.
Chekhov's Gun: The paint shells that Oddball's tank carries show up again at an inopportune moment: ambushing a Tiger tank. Fortunately, the Tiger is unable to retaliate before they can load a live round.
Oddball is a proto-beatnik, with a "hey, man", "positive vibes" attitude that is jarringly out of place in a war zone.
General Colt attends staff meetings in his bathrobe, blames his subordinates for his own failings, cheers at the battle reports on the radio like he's listening to a sports event, and runs off to the front lines in a Jeep with a box of medals in hand, leaving his command staff behind.
Crapgame has a delayed double-take when he realizes he misplaced a decimal when calculating the value of the gold.
When Oddball is talking to the bridging unit sergeant, it takes him a few tries to realize what Oddball is getting at.
"...I need support units, Oddball! I need at least a hundred guys!" The sergeant gestures toward a window for emphasis. Though the window a full military band can be seen playing. "Where do I find a hundred men, just like that-?" (Beat)
Foreshadowing: When Kelly is rallying the platoon for the heist, Corporal Job says, "If I've got to go, it may as well be this trip as any other." Later, he's one of the three who get killed in the minefield.
Gay Paree: Averted. While the movie takes place in France, nobody goes to Paris, and in fact, meet no French, until the very end. The closest we get to Paris is Captain Maitland coming back from there with his arms piled high with packages.
Hollywood Density: Near the end, boxes filled with bullion are tossed around as though they were empty, even though they would actually weigh several hundred pounds.
Hypocrite: Captain Maitland sternly informs Big Joe that there is to be no looting — while he's stealing a yacht.
Mid-Battle Tea Break - Literally. During the final battle, Oddball's tank breaks down, so he takes the opportunity to set up a nice little spread of bread and wine while his men try to fix it.
Oddball: "I only ride 'em, I don't know what makes 'em work."
Military Maverick - Kelly, who is the primary instigator and motivator of the plan. His backstory states that he used to be a lieutenant, but was made the scapegoat and got busted down when he was ordered to assault the wrong hill, and half his company was killed.
Misfit Mobilization Moment - The squad isn't composed of misfits per se, but they are war-weary and unappreciated. The gold inspires them to uncharacteristic levels of heroism.
Noodle Incident - the "something very special" that Oddball's boys have planned, that makes it impossible for them to start the mission that night. It's played with in that rather than hearing about it after the fact but never finding out what happened, we're told that it's going to happen — and never find out what it was, nor is it ever mentioned again.
From IMDB, It was a party that Oddball was hosting with some French girls. The scene was cut for time presumably.
Not So Different - Our heroes invoke this when trying to talk down the German tank commander.
Photoflood Lighting: In the opening credits the Jeep possesses an unseen bulb of unusual intensity that just happens to illuminate Pvt Kelly's face.
Power Walk: Kelly, Big Joe, and Oddball approaching the German tank. In its pure and classic Western-showdown form, despite taking place in a narrow cobblestone street in a town in France. See also Actor Allusion.
Redshirt Platoon: Oddball has 3 tanks under his command, including his own. The other two are knocked out during the bridge battle towards the end and Oddball does not bat an eyelid.
Reliably Unreliable Guns: During a combat sequence, a 30-cal machine gun jams at a very inopportune time; possibly because the operator didn't have someone to help him feed the belt ammo. Fortunately, the Germans shooting back at him apparently attended the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy, because he manages to clear the jam and kill them all anyway.
Rousing Speech - Big Joe delivers a spoof of one, with true Drill Sergeant Nasty tone, trying to motivate the men to not treat a three day liberty at a dilapidated farmhouse as the crapsack it is.
Screw the War, We're Partying! - Big Joe doesn't care about any intel the German might have, he just wants to know which hotel at their objective is the nicest and if there are girls there.
Oddball and his men (see Noodle Incident, above) and the General's mansion headquarters also qualify.
Maitland seems to regard his military service as an opportunity to shop in Paris and steal somebody's yacht.
Sergeant Rock - Big Joe, who is the de facto platoon leader since Maitland is severely incompetent.
The Scrounger - Crapgame, even though he seems to be more of a middle-man.
Shur Fine Guns - Justified, later subverted. Petuko's machinegun jams at a critical moment during the ambush of the German barracks, since he's firing alone, and doesn't have a loader to guide the ammunition belt. Subverted in that he manages to clear it, just barely in time.
Soundtrack Dissonance - Not really in the soundtrack, but Oddball's tank plays soothing music the first time it fights onscreen. Explosions and shouting to several folksy tunes including I've been working on the Railroad, made doubly hilarious because they're blasting the crap out, among other things, a crew repairing a railroad bridge.
Oddball's tank has a pipe attached to it to make its gun look bigger, it can shoot paint to "make pretty pictures," and it plays music, very loud.
Tiger 115. Even Oddball thinks so, seeing as how he uses his share of the gold to buy it from its crew.
Tanks, but No Tanks - Three Russian T-34 tanks were converted into very life-like German Tiger Tanks (the real glaring error was the wheels of the tanks, and of course, being about half the size of a real Tiger).
Tempting Fate - "It's a big beautiful bridge, and it's gonna be there." Next scene, the bridge is destroyed.
Trigger Happy - Gutkowski. He gets called on burning through clips by the Corporal when they are rearming.
What Happened to the Mouse? - Big Joe turns up at the farmhouse with a Padre and some movies for the guys to watch, after he hears Kelly's speech he decides to go along with the plan which they start preparing. However the padre is still waiting in the jeep outside for a lift back to HQ.
Writers Cannot Do Math - The gold value and number of bars simply cannot be made to both work out in accordance with what we're shown and told. The detailed math kudzu is on the Fridge.Kellys Heroes page, if you're really interested in it.