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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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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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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:

D-Day Began When The Dirty Dozen Were Done! 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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (70 mm prints)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Donald Sutherland's biggest payday so far in his career, earning $600 per week. As a jobbing Canadian actor struggling in London, this saved him. See more »

Goofs

As the German guard walks away after having lit his cigarette off Pinkley's, Pinkley can be seen in the background coolly blowing smoke in the air and dropping the cigarette to his side. In the next shot, however, Pinkley is still staring dumbfounded at the guard with the cigarette held at chest height. 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

Featured in Hollywood Remembers Lee Marvin (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

The Thunderer
(uncredited)
Music by John Philip Sousa
Arranged by Frank De Vol
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A good old fashioned war film with no hidden agenda.
9 July 2000 | by (Birmingham, England) – See all my reviews

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 charge.

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 time.

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.

***/*****


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