MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 213 this week

Play Dirty (1969)

 -  Adventure | Drama | War  -  1 January 1969 (UK)
6.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,846 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 »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 22 titles
created 30 Dec 2011
 
a list of 24 titles
created 18 Jan 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 21 Jan 2013
 
a list of 36 titles
created 4 months ago
 
a list of 37 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Play Dirty" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Play Dirty (1969)

Play Dirty (1969) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Play Dirty.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Inkubus (2011)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

Inkubus tells the story of a skeleton crew working the final shift at a soon to be demolished police station. The night takes a gruesome turn when the demon, Inkubus, calmly walks into the ... See full summary »

Director: Glenn Ciano
Stars: Robert Englund, William Forsythe, Joey Fatone
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Director: Tom Poole
Stars: Lee Evans, The Glencorse Pipe Band
The Vortex (2012)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  

After a convoy of American soldiers disappears, a special ops team is deployed to rescue them. They soon encounter an army of gigantic scorpions, spiders and snakes that have come to Earth from another dimension.

Director: Peter Paul Basler
Stars: Jack Plotnick, Sarah Lieving, Ted Jonas
Fort Massacre (1958)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A cavalry troop finds itself under constant attack by Indians.

Director: Joseph M. Newman
Stars: Joel McCrea, Forrest Tucker, Susan Cabot
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

After a seemingly innocent prank goes horribly wrong, a group of sorority sisters are stalked and murdered one by one in their sorority house while throwing a party to celebrate their graduation.

Director: Mark Rosman
Stars: Kate McNeil, Eileen Davidson, Janis Ward
Distant Drums (1951)
Action | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After destroying a Seminole fort, American soldiers and their rescued companions must face the dangerous Everglades and hostile Indians in order to reach safety

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Gary Cooper, Mari Aldon, Richard Webb
Certificate: GP Action | War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A reluctant hero, American Lt. Sam Lawson, is secunded to a motley British unit tasked with destroying a Japanese radio on a Philippine island.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Michael Caine, Cliff Robertson, Ian Bannen
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two convicts break out of Mississippi State Penitentiary in 1936 to join a third on a long spree of bank robbing, their special talent and claim to fame. The youngest of the three falls in ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Keith Carradine, Shelley Duvall, John Schuck
Action | Adventure | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.1/10 X  

An alien scout lands on earth in the year 1854. The creature is searching for water and food. Once it finds what it needs, it will call in an invasion fleet. A lone cowboy must stand against the alien invader or all will be lost.

Director: Rene Perez
Stars: Robert Amstler, Nadia Lanfranconi, Anthony Sant'Anselmo
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Psychological thriller about a novelist, a telekinetic, who causes disasters simply by thinking about them.

Director: Jack Gold
Stars: Richard Burton, Lee Remick, Lino Ventura
Animation | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Based on the 2009 game, Bayonetta: Bloody Fate follows the story of the witch Bayonetta, as she defeats the blood-thirsty Angels and tries to remember her past from before the time she ... See full summary »

Directors: Fuminori Kizaki, Jonathan Klein
Stars: Atsuko Tanaka, Mie Sonozaki, Miyuki Sawashiro
Black Comedy (TV Series 2014)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Stars: Jon Bell, Aaron Fa'aoso, Nakkiah Lui
Edit

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)
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

1 January 1969 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Det beskidte spil  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Nigel Davenport the reason Richard Harris was fired because he refused a military style haircut for the role of a British army officer. See more »

Goofs

Captain Douglas is described as on loan from British Petroleum. During World War II the company was known as the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC). The company was re-named British Petroleum in 1954. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Douglas: ...How did the other English officers die?
Capt. Cyril Leech: Unexpectedly.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Once Upon a Body (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Tornerai
Music by Dino Olivieri
Lyrics by Nino Rastelli
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Loyalty means nothing when you got to look after yourself.
2 May 2007 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

After a string of failures, Col. Masters is given one last chance by General Blore with his information taken from behind enemy lines, which involves blowing up a Nazi fuel depot in North Africa. Masters gets a seven-man unit of criminals ready, led by mercenary Captain Leech, but Blore wants a British officer in charge and Captain Douglas with his oil experience gets picked. After they head off, we learn that they're a decoy for another patrol to fulfil the assignment, but this is unknown to them. Leech and Douglas clash over who's in command, but Leech sees Douglas' honoured methods aren't well suited for their situation and lets Douglas string them along, as there's a money reward for him if he returns back with Douglas alive.

What hits me straight away is the comparisons to Robert Aldrich's 1967 film "The Dirty Dozen", which gets unfairly lumped onto this feature. Honestly this low-key WW2 British production has some similarities, but it has its own story to tell and it's a real good one too. Andre De Toth's direction is resourcefully efficient and randomly unpredictable in detailing the plight.

What George Marton's originally cunning story does, is leave behind all of those slapdash clichés. Looking for something more compact, taut and venomously scathing. It's so open minded, it's hard to tell what's going to occur next and while there might not be much background to these characters. This shows how expendable these men are when at war, but the lack development can be put down to the character themselves. Their here for the present, and they got a job to be done and there's not time for personal insight, because they just don't care. The custom pattern that occurs in a jaggedly slow tempo feels deliberate by trying to get the viewer to experience the rugged path that could lead to their impending doom, before even encountering the enemy. These are the moments when the tension really holds up. Glory and principal is discarded in very cynical fashion, in favour of primal instinct for one self. These are a unlikeable bunch. Exciting entertainment this is not, because it stays pretty level with the film's natural grit, devious intentions and lack of reasoning for the mission. Thrown in are one or two daring and unusual aspects, like the two candidly gay Arabs. The bone-dry script (penned by Melvyn Bragg and Lotte Colin) simply grits its teeth with bitter, ironic and stern dialogues that snaps with tersely realism. You can just see why this wasn't a commercial success (say like Aldrich's war film), and the sourly unrewarding and sudden conclusion is the icing on the cake. I liked this final curve-ball.

The harshly barren and dusty terrain depicts the unsparing tone of the film superbly with Edward Scaife's illustratively expressive camera-work skilfully mixing its scenic and upfront shots within the aim of the story's actions. Michael Legrand's understated music score is goes by virtually unnoticed, but this only heightens the tension because there's no real cues. Most of the music comes from a radio playing on the journey. De Toth gustily demonstrates convincing action scenes. They might be quick and few, but when they happen it's chaotic, rough and relentlessly staged with conviction. Just look at the eruption of explosions towards the dying end. His pacing can be off and get rather padded, but he never loses what his trying to say within these scenes and actually they probably add more to wearily sparse tone. Michael Caine and Nigel Davenport do a serviceable job in their parts and the pair's edgily unsure relationship is quite a compelling one. Caine's professionally stout and well-judged performance as Captain Douglas works fine and a slyly hard-boiled performance by Nigel Davenport as the rogue Captain Leech is that of high quality and the pick of the lot. Living it up in minor roles are Nigel Green and arrogantly gusto turn by Harry Andrews. The rest of the support roles pale in the light of the two leads. However they are solid and gritty performances that fit the mould.

This one undeservedly gets left in the dark, but this hardy effort is a well made and acted war piece due for rediscovery. Recommended.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The two gay arabs IMdb-IM
nitpicking mannoe
Michael Caine's amulet? rac701
music kurt_student
Excellent + Unique British Desert WWII movie.. GregP89
Another desert war movie? dudleydemon
Discuss Play Dirty (1969) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?