During the Desert War in North Africa, a group of British commandos disguised in Italian soldiers must travel behind enemy lines and destroy a vital Nazi oil depot.

Director:

(as Andre De Toth)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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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:

(Technicolor)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This writing credit is the sole film credit of Lotte Colin, mother-in-law of producer Harry Salzman. When she was younger, she had wanted to be a screenwriter, so De Toth gallantly ceded his writing credit to her. Six weeks later she died from brain tumor, but enjoyed her brief notoriety. 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

British soldier: Sorry, sir. I didn't see the white flag.
2nd Lieutenant: Don't do it again.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Simon Simon (1970) 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

 
Spare, brutal, grinding war movie in the blowing sands....
31 October 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Play Dirty (1969)

You almost have to see this anarchic, nasty, selfish, brutal WWII movie as a comment on Vietnam, and on war. It's 1969. At first you think Michael Caine, for all his talent, is miscast, but the odd displacement of his character among a lot of very hardened, serious men is part of what works.

This is not like any WWII you've seen. It's an odd mixture of hardship, tedium, humor, and straight up masculine grit. It's set in the Sahara, so dunes and sand and dry nasty weather rules. There is a mission at hand, and these men have to be unorthodox and ruthless to succeed. But there are long stretches of just traveling and conquering the desert, of going day after day through storms and lack of storms. There is also fighting amongst the men, a somewhat horrifying (and unnecessary) attempted rape, some bloody carnage of natives, and of Germans, a long twenty minutes of Fitzcarraldo heroics with some cables, and so on.

But in the end, it really does capture something essential of war, including the nonsense of some of it, and the lack of rules, and the lack of personal safety that comes from chaos, and the difficulty of companionship and trust.


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