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Play Dirty (1969)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama, War  |  1 January 1969 (UK)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,986 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 14 critic

The Dirty Dozen meet the Stiff Upper Lip. A British Petroleum executive (Michael Caine) is assigned to work with the British Army in North Africa handling port duties for incoming fuels. ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Andre De Toth)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Play Dirty (1969)

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Director: André De Toth
Stars: Jack Hawkins, Gia Scala, Erik Schumann
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Capt. Douglas
...
Capt. Cyril Leech
...
Col. Masters
...
Brig. Blore
Patrick Jordan ...
Maj. Alan Watkins
Daniel Pilon ...
Capt. Allwood (Blore's adjutant at Special Forces HQ)
Martin Burland ...
Dead Officer
George McKeenan ...
Corporal at Quayside
Bridget Espeet ...
Ann
Bernard Archard ...
Col. Homerton
Aly Ben Ayed ...
Sadok
Enrique Ávila ...
Kalarides (as Enrique Avila)
Mohsen Ben Abdallah ...
Hassan
Mohamed Kouka ...
Assine
Takis Emmanuel ...
Kostos Manov (as Takis Emmanouel)
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Storyline

The Dirty Dozen meet the Stiff Upper Lip. A British Petroleum executive (Michael Caine) is assigned to work with the British Army in North Africa handling port duties for incoming fuels. This gives him the official rank of Captain in the British Army. The Colonel (Nigel Green) in charge of the Dirty Dozen is told he must have a British officer accompany his men on a dangerous mission 400 miles behind the German lines and is saddled with the Petroleum executive, who tries to argue his way out by saying that his contract states he is to only work port duties. That argument is lost on the Brigade Commander (Harry Andrews) who simply points out that the executive is wearing a British uniform. The real leader of the Dirty Dozen (Nigel Davenport), a released prisoner himself, doesn't need or want the British officer, who's supposed to be in charge, but he's promised an extra 2,000 British Pounds if he gets him back alive. Disguised as Italians, their trek across Rommel's Africa includes ... Written by AzRanger {ArizonaRanger @ Hotmail . com}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Forget the medals, throw away the rule book, if you want to survive.... Play Dirty

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

1 January 1969 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Dai shinryaku  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie is considered a "Dirty Dozen" influenced picture. Both movies' story-lines involve convicts going on a World War II deadly mission. This film even uses the word "Dirty" in its title like The Dirty Dozen (1967). Interestingly, this movie's cinematographer Edward Scaife was also the D.O.P. on The Dirty Dozen (1967). See more »

Goofs

Cpt. Leech points out that the new minefield in the road isn't shown on British maps. Yet the second British convoy somehow knows to make the same turn, despite Cpt. Douglas' route being the most tactical. See more »

Quotes

[Leech unexpected guns down a group of Bedouins]
Capt. Douglas: [startled but calm] What did you do that for?
Capt. Cyril Leech: I didn't like the tea.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Harry Saltzman: Showman (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Lili Marlene
German Lyrics by Hans Leip
English Lyrics by The Personnel of the Long Range Desert Group and the Special Air Services
Music by Norbert Schultze
See more »

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User Reviews

Workmanlike fare – good but rather plodding at times
14 March 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

After yet another failed covert operation, a specialist unit is given one last chance to show success to account for losses. When the commander learns of an oil station many miles behind enemy lines it is selected for the mission. Capt Douglas is chosen to head the team of ex-criminals to carry out the destruction. However a large military unit is sent out behind them. When the military unit are all killed, Douglas is forced to abandon his training and become a little more like the un-gentleman-like Capt Leech, and play dirty.

I had only seen this film once almost 15 years ago and had reasonable memories of it. I watched it again today because of this memories and it goes to show that a good end to a film can wipe out everything else that you could remember. I loved the ending to this film – I won't even talk about why in case I spoil it because it loses it's impact after seeing it once. However the rest of the film isn't up to the same sort of value. As it is, the plot is very much a version of the Dirty Dozen but in reality it doesn't have any training or recruiting that film does but instead leaps straight into `the action'. I say `action' because, although it sustains the interest, it is a rather plodding film that is consistent but has no high points as a result.

The story is good but the delivery is one that is clearly meant to make a point rather than entertain in the way Dirty Dozen does. Caine is good in the lead – one of his `young officer' roles a la Zulu. However he doesn't have much in the way of chemistry with xxxx, really there needed to be a lot more friction and sparks between the two, sadly the tension between the two was only very basic. It is mostly Davenport's fault as I found him to be lacking in real screen presence. He easily had the best character but failed to dominate with it – also I found it distracting that he looked a little like Sean Connery, I assumed that Sean was unavailable. The support cast are unmemorable – whereas many people can name all the dirty dozen, none of these really make an impression – only the gay pair stick but mainly because of how surreal it feels in the setting.

Overall this is an OK film with a good ending. It is consistently fair and never really dips above or below that standard. Worth a watch once but don't expect it to bare anything other than a passing resemblance to the Dirty Dozen – certainly not in the same league entertainment wise.


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