7.8/10
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The Dirty Dozen (1967)

Not Rated | | Action, Adventure, Comedy | 22 October 1967 (UK)
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.

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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:

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:

22 October 1967 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Das dreckige Dutzend  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,400,000 (estimated)
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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

John Wayne was first offered the part of Major John Reisman, but he declined. The part was then offered to Lee Marvin, who took it. Wayne's refusal was due to his disapproval of the original script, in which Reisman has a brief affair with a married woman whose husband is fighting overseas. Other sources say Wayne turned the film down because he did not want to be making a movie in the UK when his third wife Pilar was due to give birth in February 1966. See more »

Goofs

The C-47 Dakota aircraft used in the jump scenes at parachute school is marked with the American white star in a blue roundel. This national insignia was replaced on American aircraft by the more familiar white star and bars on 30 June 1943. See more »

Quotes

Major John Reisman: How come you speak German?
Joseph T. Wladislaw: My old man came from Silesia. He didn't speak German, he didn't dig coal. If he didn't dig coal, he didn't eat.
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 »


Soundtracks

Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree with Anyone Else but Me
(uncredited)
Written by Lew Brown, Charles Tobias and Sam H. Stept
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Great fun movie with a great cast
14 November 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

During World War II, Major Reisman is called to a high level meeting to discuss his next mission – to train a group of soldiers and prepare them for a mission behind enemy lines. However the `soldiers' that Reisman has been assigned are all sentenced to death or life in prison for their crimes. The mission is a suicide mission on a French chateau where German top brass will be, the aim being to kill as many as possible. But before the mission, the group must pass a training to be considered for pardoning.

Well known by all men everywhere, this is less a serious war movie and more an enjoyable ensemble romp through a training camp, with the final third being the mission itself. This is the film's strength – the training sections are very enjoyable and good fun to watch. The mission is punchy and dramatic and works very well as the conclusion to the film rather than the whole film itself (which other `mission' films have to do). The training is slick and enjoyable, not only it is occasionally quite funny but it is also consistently amusing and exciting at turns.

The film's main selling point (increasingly so) is the all star cast, all of whom do really good work. Marvin is tough in the lead and he is well supported by Borgnine, Kennedy, Ryan and Jaeckel playing the other officers. Of the prisoners Cassavetes steals the show with his cocky Franko although he is not short of famous support. Sutherland (although not well known at the time) is good comic relief, Savalas is a little too heavy for the film but adds menace, Bronson is good value, Brown is strong and is well known due to a weepy Billy Crystal! The rest of the dozen give good performances, but I'll be honest and say that the famous faces stuck in my mind more.

Overall this is not a wonderful film and, as a war movie it isn't the best `mission' movie you could find (simply cause the mission is quite short and straightforward. However it is a fun movie that never drags despite the slightly longer than normal running time for this type of movie. The training section and the mission itself combine to form an enjoyable film that is driven by a great cast playing good characters.


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