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The Dirty Dozen (1967)

Not Rated | | Action, Adventure, Comedy | 15 June 1967 (USA)
A US Army Major is assigned a dozen convicted murderers to train and lead them into a mass assassination mission of German officers in World War II.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Trini López ...
Pedro Jiminez (as Trini Lopez)
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Tom Busby ...
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Storyline

A Major with an attitude problem and a history of getting things done is told to interview military prisoners with death sentences or long terms for a dangerous mission; To parachute behind enemy lines and cause havoc for the German Generals at a rest house on the eve of D-Day. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Train them! Excite them! Arm them!...Then turn them loose on the Nazis! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | | |

Release Date:

15 June 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das dreckige Dutzend  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (70 mm prints)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a TCM short about Lee Marvin and the filming of this movie, the working title of the film is shown as "Operation Dirty Dozen". See more »

Goofs

In several scenes where Col. Breed's men are knocked down, you can see they are wearing "trouser blousers" (a sort of bungee cord with hooks at both ends) to blouse their trousers. The correct method of blousing trousers at the time (and still in airborne units) is to tuck the trousers into the boots. This was the only method possible in 1944, the time portrayed in this film, when airborne troops were the only ones allowed to blouse class A or B trousers. "Trouser blouser" cords didn't come along until the late 1950's. See more »

Quotes

Major John Reisman: Posey, what did they lock you up for? I mean, what did you do?
Samson Posey: I already told you that sir.
Major John Reisman: Well tell me again. I'm sure your friends over here would like to know too.
Samson Posey: This fella kept pushing me. I don't like t be pushed so I hit him.
Major John Reisman: Killed a man with your bare hands because he shoved you?
Samson Posey: I only hit him once.
Major John Reisman: Only him him once. And drove his jawbone right through his brain because he pushed him.
See more »

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. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mercenaries (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Rosen aus dem Süden (Roses from the South), Op. 388
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Arranged by Frank De Vol
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Splendidly Produced; a Tough and Tough-Minded Film
19 June 2005 | by See all my reviews

Many viewers of film, myself include, rate this as one of the most exciting "mission"'' stories of all time. Adapted from an intelligent but Freudian source novel, the plot theme is a subtle one for a movie; it's about convicted men in WWII being given odds for life in the form of a suicide mission that may wipe their slates clean-- or perhaps not... its main theme is self-assertion, set against its opposite, enforced repression. The key to every action men undertake in this very tough and and tough-minded Nunnnally Johnason and Lukas Heller script is: "Is that person dealing with the reality of the world of and his/her own responsibility to act?" From convict Telly Savalas' character, mystical murderer of women who claims a divine calling to punish their sexuality, to Charles Bronson and Jim Brown who reacted to persecutions and are innocent by reason of self-defense, to their leader, the mission's architect, Major Reisman, who wants his plan to go forward his way despite resistance from brass, every man of the outfit is tried against the same standard. Jimenez is climbing a rope and says he can't make the tower; Franco refuses to shave because the officers have hot water and he does not, Posey can't control his temper, control-freak Col. Breed hates any man who does not go by the book; etc. As a production, Robert Aldrich's direction is probably his masterpiece; the acting is far above average, especially Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Donald Sutherland, Clint Walker, Robert Webber, energetic John Cassevetes and Al Mancini; the inspired casting of powerful top-sergeant-level Ernest Borgnine as an obviously far-beyond-his element general works brilliantly. The art direction, special effects, sets, and music (by Frank de Vol) all complement a taut script filled with memorable terse dialogue. Entire sequences such as the selection interviews for the mission team, the building of the camp, a visit to Breed's hq, Breed's invasion of the camp, the training regimen, the "graduation party", Reisman's verbal defense of his men, the war games' challenge, preparing for the mission, the early invasion steps, Maggot's adlib, the attack by Reisman's team, the escape and the hospital climax and denouement--all these sections are made memorable to many admirers of this beautifully made and unusual story. As officers attached to the mission, George Kennedy, Richard Jaene-too-subtle secondary theme of the film is: the wrongness of arbitrary power in anyone's hands, including Nazis, US army officers or their brutal agents (such as Breed's men who beat up Charles Bronson for information). The film is about individuals who when they harm no one else and are effective human beings, men who can always get the job done, always control themselves. who need to be free to operate. Such men the film says are "heroes"--men with an unusual ability to create results on Earth; the sort of men films ought to be made about in a nation that talks individualism and claims to value capability. This is a great adventure, of enduring artistry, occasional brutality and intelligently-developed dialogue. It has logical actions, and spectacular physical performances and This is a strong and well-thought-out adventure film, one of the richest of its genre, to be watched many times.


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