Edit
The Devil's Brigade (1968) Poster

Trivia

The Devil's Brigrade actually existed (although the unit was actually known as "The Black Devils"). During World War II, the brigade suffered casualty rates of 39%. Following the end of WWII, the brigade was disbanded. Veterans of the Devil's Brigade have been meeting each year, since 1945, in Montana, at the former training facility depicted in the movie, although in the movie, filming took place in Utah, as a stand in for Montana.
When O'Neill arrives his regiment patch on his shoulder reads PPCLI. This stands for the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, a real regiment, named for Princess Patricia of Connaught, originated in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in August 1914, later based in the area of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and which continues as an active unit as of 2015. The "Patricia's" celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2014.
The Devil's Brigade as seen in this movie was based on the true story of the 1st Special Service Force, a joint American-Canadian commando unit.
Robert T. Frederick, the commander of the Devil's Brigade, had a mustache in real life, but William Holden, who reportedly did not like his own image on film with a mustache, refused to grow or wear a false one, so the film's Frederick is clean lipped. Just one year later, Holden did agree to wear a mustache (a false one) in The Wild Bunch (1969) after several arguments with Sam Peckinpah.
Nearly all the actors were too old to play soldiers.
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
According to the DVD back cover, "The U.S. Department of Defense provided 300 members of the Utah National Guard to play soldiers in the mass battle scenes filmed on Wasatch Mountain."
9 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The two actors who play the senior Canadian officers had both previously played future Presidents of the United States in military service. Harry Carey Jr. played Dwight D. Eisenhower as a West Point cadet in The Long Gray Line (1955), and Cliff Robertson played John F. Kennedy as a World War II Navy lieutenant in PT 109 (1963).
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
William Holden was on Variety's list of Top 10 Overpriced Stars of 1968.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
On February 5 2015, surviving members of the "Black Devils" upon which this movie was based--all in their 90s--received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award, for their service in WWII.
This movie has some of Utah's most famous boxers. Gene Fullmer who was a world Middleweight champion famous for beating Sugar Ray Robinson twice. Gene's brother Don who was an American Middleweight Champion, and Rex Layne who once challenged Rocky Marciano for the World Heavyweight Championship.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
William Holden and Claude Akins also appeared together in "The Proud and Profane" where Akins had an bit part as "big soldier"..
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
On several of the movie posters, the American contingent is referred to as "Spit," contrasting with the Canadian contingent, which is referred to as "Polish".
6 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Claude Akins also appeared in Merrill's Marauders (1962) Both pictures were based on the experiences of real life military units.
5 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The first of four films directed by Andrew V. McLaglen in which Jack Watson appeared.
6 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

See also

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

Contribute to This Page