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The Dirty Dozen (1967) Poster

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (12) | Audio/visual unsynchronised (2) | Character error (1) | Continuity (12) | Factual errors (10) | Plot holes (1) | Revealing mistakes (2) | Spoilers (5)

Anachronisms 

The clothing and hairstyles worn by the women in the "graduation ball" are 1967 hairstyles. The film is set in 1944.
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General Worden's barracks cap has gold braid on the visor, incorrect for the World War II period. Douglas MacArthur was the only U.S. Army general who wore a cap (of his own design) with unauthorized gold-braid on the visor during WWII.
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The truck they are riding in while in town during the war games is an M-37 Dodge. This truck wasn't made until 1953, well after WWII.
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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.
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In the beginning when Major Reisman is being given his mission, one of the officers speaking to him wears the ribbon for the Army Commendation medal (green with white stripes). The scene is set in 1944, yet Congress did not institute this medal until 1945.
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The ambulance in the movie is a M43 ambulance made during the Korean war (1950-1953) and not WWII (1939-1945).
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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.
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In the chateau scene, the German girl has a 1967 hairstyle and clothing.
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In the dinner scene, at the end of the training and just before the Dozen are in the plane, one of the characters shoots a picture with a Kodak Tourist Flash camera not produced until 1951.
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The flag on the German building is the ensign for the German navy. It should have been the standard all-red flag with swastika in white circle, because all the Germans in the building were army.
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Col. Breed wears Senior Parachutist Wings throughout this picture. This qualification badge did not exist until 1949, five years after the setting.
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Wladislaw uses a suppressed Beretta 950 Jetfire pistol to take out some guards outside the château and the radio operator inside. The weapon was manufactured from 1950 to 2003. The film is set in 1944.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

The Chateau scene: When Jefferson shoots the soldier through the 2nd-floor window, there doesn't appear to be any glass in the framing, but we clearly hear the sound of shattering glass as the soldier tumbles.
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After the scene where the Dirty Dozen remove the weapons from the regular soldiers they can be heard laughing and taunting the Colonel as Major Reisman watches. However, their mouths are closed.
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Character error 

After Sgt. Bowren dubs the "Dirty Dozen" with their titular nickname, he orders, "Dress right, dress." The men space off with left hand on belt and elbow extended to the side, which is "close interval dress". At the sergeant's order, they should have spaced off with the left arm extended at shoulder level.
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Continuity 

During the "war games" sequence, some of the "Dozen" are shown to exchange their Blue Army armbands for the red ones worn by the opposing forces. But for the next few minutes of the film, they are still wearing their blue ones.
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Just after Major Reisman fires into the ground of the camp with Colonel Breed's men holding the dozen, you see a close up of Reisman still on the roof of the building. He orders the sergeant to get some "special help" to disarm Breed's men. As they do this, you see in the background Reisman just hitting the ground as if he had already jumped down from the roof. The action continues and then you see him jump down again.
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When Franco refuses to participate in the close order drill, the direction he is facing changes between ground level view and above ground view.
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An airplane in the sky during the "fake General's inspection" scene disappears a frame later.
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As Reisman, Bowren, Franko and Wladislaw retreat in the half-track, their weapons change from M3s to MP40s several times. Wladislaw picked up several MP40s but this doesn't explain why the guns change from shot to shot.
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When Kinder and Reisman sit down at the table to discuss the 12, a canteen appears which was not in the previous shot
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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.
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As Wladislaw exits the room with the rope and hook, he drops the rope at his feet. In the next far shot, Wladislaw is holding the rope and again drops it at his feet before throwing the hook.
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Pinkley is on a ladder attaching electric wires when Maggot opens the door which is clearly on the hinges. A latter scene shows two of the prisoners trying to fit the door on its frame when they are called to muster. When they break for chow the door is leaning against the building but not in the door frame.
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When Major Reisman and his driver are coming up to the gate where the men will have parachute training, we see a brief glimpse of the guard at the shack on the phone. Then a closeup of the guard shows him with his weapon still on his shoulder. He unshoulders the weapon and calls to announce their arrival.
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The Chateau scene: When Jefferson shoots the soldier through the 2nd-floor window, there doesn't appear to be any glass in the framing, but we clearly hear the sound of shattering glass as the soldier tumbles.
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At (around 1h 35min) in the movie, a group of the Dirty Dozen turn a jeep over and set it on fire to begin their deception. Colonel Breed dispatches a single jeep to "check it out." The jeep returns with another jeep following, carrying a stretcher and the rest of the group. With one jeep burning and another making the round trip to the accident and back, where did the third jeep come from?
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Factual errors 

When two of Breed's men are roughing Wladislaw up in the latrine, one of them is wearing a rank insignia of two chevrons with a rocker. Two chevrons is a corporal. Three with a rocker is a staff sergeant. No rank existed that would have two chevrons with a rocker.
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General Dentons single star is pinned on the end of the epaulet, it should be in the middle.
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Although US military personnel were executed on British soil during WW2, the hanging sequence in The Dirty Dozen shows US Military Policemen carrying out the execution. In reality, they were not legally allowed to do this. Instead, the hangings were carried out by British hangmen such as Albert Pierrepoint, with American personnel acting only as official witnesses.
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While the Germans did actually have early night vision scopes in the Second World War, these active infrared devices were clumsy, very heavy, rare, and reserved for special ops. It is hardly conceivable that any would be stationed at a glorified officer's brothel.
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The 25-pounder howitzers used during the war games do not appear to recoil. They should in fact recoil the full length of the barrel.
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Several times the characters fire their M3 Grease Guns with the dust cover closed. The dust cover doubled as the safety on those weapons and it would never fire with it closed.
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Although Major Reisman correctly wears an officer's overseas cap with the mixed black-and-gold braided trim on it in scenes in which he wears a dress uniform, he (incorrectly) wears an enlisted man's plain overseas cap in scenes in which he wears a fatigue, or field, uniform.
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During the raid on the chateau a convoy of German trucks is seen approaching the building. On the right door of leading truck the traditional black Iron Cross can clearly be seen. The truck is in fact, a British Bedford-ql-3 ton-4x4.
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During the war games, many of the dozen are armed with M3 Grease Guns, but wear magazine pouches for the M1 Garand.
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General Denton has Purple Heart ribbon is the second (lower) row of campaign and meritorious ribbons. The Purple Heart should always be worn in the highest possible row. Only the CMH, Distinguish Service Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, and Bronze Star rate before the Purple Heart. So in most cases the Purple Heart will be in the top row. And in General Denton's case he none of these awards in either row.
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Plot holes 

In the training camp when the Dirty Dozen refuse shave with cold water, they are told that they will be refused hot water, soap and hot meals, only K rations until they do shave and bathe. However the next meal they receive is obviously hot. Also during the training exercise war game, they are clean shaved (and probably washed) despite their refusal to do so. No scene between their refusal and the war game depicts them shaving and washing.
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Revealing mistakes 

Wires visible on a flare during the attack on the German compound.
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When going through the airborne school, the static lines are not connect to the parachute and can be seen when some jump. The cloth ribbon they used for the shot would also not work with as too thin.
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Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

The German soldier that shoots Franko is carrying an M3 submachine gun, which is an American weapon. Also, when he fires it, the sound effect matches that of the German MP40s not the American M3s.
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Character error 

After the girls are left alone to "get better acquainted" with the prisoners, the army psychiatrist asks Major Reisman "do you think these guys know tomorrow is Mother's Day?" Later on in the film, when General Denton (Robert Webber) is chewing out Major Riesman, he states that the girl party took place on the "evening of April 14-15". Mother's Day in America, as established by President Woodrow Wilson on May 9, 1914, takes place on the second Sunday in May; however, the training camp for the Dirty Dozen is located in England, and the English version of Mother's Day is scheduled differently. But even if the psychiatrist was referring to the English version of Mother's Day (called "Mothering Sunday" in Great Britain) he is still wrong, as Mothering Sunday falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent, exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday. The English Mother's Day can therefore only take place at the earliest on 1 March (in years when Easter Day falls on 22 March) and at the latest on 4 April, nowhere near April 14-15, the date that the girl party took place.
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Continuity 

Towards the end of the film, the Major is shot in the shoulder as he drives across the bridge. He immediately grabs the shoulder with his left hand in the wide shot. In the next close-up, that hand and forearm are covered in blood, but when the shot widens again there is no blood.
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When the explosions go off, we see a lot of damage happening to the château. But as the survivors are leaving, we see most of the château, and the damage isn't as bad as it should have been.
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Revealing mistakes 

As the armored car is shown falling into the water at the end of the mission, some of the masonry falls away revealing the timber framing used to construct the bridge.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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