It's May 1943 at a US Air Force base in England. The four officers and six enlisted men of the Memphis Belle - a B-17 bomber so nicknamed for the girlfriend of its stern and stoic captain, ... See full summary »
In 1943, in the Russian front, the decorated leader Rolf Steiner is promoted to Sergeant after another successful mission. Meanwhile the upper-class and arrogant Prussian Captain Hauptmann ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
Three cast members, Jim Brown, Ernest Borgnine, and Donald Sutherland, all appeared the next year in "The Split." See more »
During the war games when General Warden's jeep passes Victor Franko's jeep, Franko says "Good afternoon, General". Shortly after that, the general arrives at Colonel Breed's Command post, Breed says "Good morning, General", and the general says "Good morning, Breed, morning". Is it in the morning or afternoon? See more »
A good old fashioned war film with no hidden agenda.
A generally entertaining war film with no real political axe to grind
or patriotic flagwaving getting in the way.
Its very dangerous trying to humourise war in the movies, because that
would be offensive to all those that had served & died in real life.
Kelly's Heroes and 1941 probably went a little too far, pretending that
war is really fun & cool when you've got people like Clint Eastwood in
But then you have other war films that are black in its humour but
manage to keep into focus the cruelty & horrors of war at the same time
- M*A*S*H and Catch 22 are the best examples.
With Dirty Dozen we have something of a go-between; the humour amongst
the characters is light & welcoming but never falls into farce or
bad-taste; and Aldrich quickly pulls us back into the fold with some
tight scripted scenes of drama & mass murder (throwing petrol &
grenades into that German bunker to name but one. I often wonder about
that scene, and whether it was some kind of metaphor for the gas
chambers & concentration camps in Belsen)
But unlike MASH & Catch 22, Aldrich resists the temptation to openly
politicise the effects of war, after all this film was made in '67 near
the height of the Vietnam war/protests. Instead he takes a straight
line course of action and lets us be moved & entertained by the
convicted GIs doing their duty.
Marvin is excellent as the hardnosed but disobediant Major. He plays
the anti-hero far better than Eastwood in Kelly's Heroes. Marvin just
looks the type who'd give the top brass as well the Germans a real hard
But special mention must go to Cassavettes as Viktor Franko, the
trouble-maker's trouble-maker. His character is so refreshing & wild
amongst a relatively mild cast of supporting extras, with the exception
of Savalas. Franko is the Joker of the pack but you soon feel an
attachment for him in spite of his crimes.
Sutherland & Bronson, don't really add much. The former plays a
slightly naive man who hasn't really grown up and Bronson just smirks &
mumbles a lot.
The only other character worthy of a mention is the truly terrifying
Savalas, who is a Christian through & through, yet hates all women as
much as the Germans; and has a most spine chilling laugh! Difficult to
believe this man later became Kojak!
The film is a tad overlong; the first & last 40 minutes hold the
interest but the middle section (the War Games scene), is far too long
and generally detracts.
All the same, DD is a very good movie, especially for those who don't
want to be politically moralised too.
22 of 35 people found this review helpful.
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