The Dirty Dozen (1967)

Not Rated   |    |  Action, Adventure, War


The Dirty Dozen (1967) Poster

During World War II, a rebellious U.S. Army Major is assigned a dozen convicted murderers to train and lead them into a mass assassination mission of German officers.


7.7/10
66,272


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  • Jim Brown in The Dirty Dozen (1967)
  • Jim Brown in The Dirty Dozen (1967)
  • Lee Marvin and Clint Walker in The Dirty Dozen (1967)
  • Dora Reisser in The Dirty Dozen (1967)
  • Lee Marvin in The Dirty Dozen (1967)
  • Charles Bronson and Robert Aldrich in The Dirty Dozen (1967)

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User Reviews


7 April 2007 | bkoganbing
7
| "Feed the French, Kill the Germans"
John Wayne who apparently was offered the part of Major Reisman probably wisely turned it down. Wayne would never have done in the part of the maverick major in charge of training the way Lee Marvin was so perfect in the role. In fact Marvin's and the performance of others in the cast helped The Dirty Dozen get over two very big improbable situations I have always found in this film.

The first one being the way the conflict between Robert Ryan and Lee Marvin is handled. I can certainly see why a spit and polish West Point graduate like Ryan would not like Marvin, why Marvin would rub him the wrong way. But I cannot understand why when the Dozen are transferred to his command for parachute training they don't tell him what's going on. I would think he would have a need to know. Then again a whole big part of the film wouldn't have occurred if Ryan had been let in on Marvin's mission.

The second thing is that granted these guys might be considered expendable to say the least with several of the dozen scheduled for a firing squad, but the army would want to make sure the mission had some chance of succeeding. There's no way, absolutely no bloody way, that a psychotic like Telly Savalas would have been allowed on the mission. And why Lee Marvin didn't scrub him when psychiatrist Ralph Meeker offered to is beyond me as well.

Those glaring holes in the story have always prevented me from giving The Dirty Dozen the top rating that most have given it. But it hasn't prevented me from enjoying the film.

The basic idea of the film appeals to me. An unorthodox major taking a group of nonconformists to say the least and making them a crack fighting outfit. Regular army training did not do it for this crew the first time around.

Charles Bronson is one of the dozen and this film certainly put him well on the way to top billing. A dozen years later in fact he'd have it over Lee Marvin in Death Hunt. Jim Brown also having just finished his football career began his movie career with a winning performance as another of the dozen. John Cassavetes was singled out for a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Also Donald Sutherland got his first real notice as yet another of the dozen.

A year later William Holden and Cliff Robertson did The Devil's Brigade which bore a lot of resemblance to The Dirty Dozen. It got slammed by critics for ripping off from The Dirty Dozen. The only problem was that Holden's film was based on a real outfit and The Dirty Dozen is pure fiction. Only in movieland.

Marvin's mission is to infiltrate and kill a lot of the German high command as they gather at a French château in the weeks before D-Day. How he does is something you have to watch The Dirty Dozen before. But I think you'll like seeing what happens.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lee Marvin told an interviewer following the release of this film, "Life is a violent situation. It's not just the men in the chalet who were Nazis; the women were part of it, too. I liked the idea of the final scene because it was their job to destroy the whole group and maybe in some way speed up the demise of the Third Reich. We glorify the 8th Air Force for bombing cities where they killed 100,000 people in one night, but remember, there were a lot of women and children burned up in those raids."


Quotes

Soldier: 1. Down to the road block, we've just begun 2. The guards are through 3. The Major's men are on a spree 4. Major and Wladislaw go through the door 5. Pinkley stays out in the drive 6. The Major gives the rope a fix 7. Wladislaw throws the hook to ...


Goofs

(at around 1h 28 mins) The howitzers shown were British not US and have chromed muzzle brakes. US howitzers do not have chromed muzzle brakes. US howitzers are referenced by bore size, i.e. 105mm, 8 Inch, not weight of projectile.


Crazy Credits

The opening credits don't occur until 10 minutes into the film. While it is common nowadays for films to have a pre-credits sequence, it was considered innovative in 1967.


Alternate Versions

In Germany, in the German-language dubbed version, audiences saw only Jim Brown throwing hand grenades into the airshafts at the chateau. The scenes showing grenades being dumped into, and gasoline being poured into, the airshafts were cut.


Soundtracks

You're in the Army Now
(uncredited)
Music by
Isham Jones
Lyrics by Tell Taylor and Ole Olsen
Arranged by Frank De Vol

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Action | Adventure | War

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