Up 187 this week

Play Dirty (1969)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama, War  |  1 January 1969 (UK)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 2,074 users  
Reviews: 30 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 »


(as Andre De Toth)


(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 28 Feb 2012
a list of 25 titles
created 21 Jan 2013
a list of 27 titles
created 05 Oct 2013
a list of 37 titles
created 03 Jul 2014
a list of 49 titles
created 8 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Play Dirty" on

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... 

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
Deadfall (1968)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Cat burglar Henry Clarke and his accomplices the Moreaus attempt to steal diamonds from the château of millionaire Salinas. However, Henry's partners in crime aren't the most emotionally stable people.

Director: Bryan Forbes
Stars: Michael Caine, Giovanna Ralli, Eric Portman
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A British agent is sent to Berlin to receive a Communist defector, but the true situation turns out to be rather more complicated.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: Michael Caine, Oskar Homolka, Paul Hubschmid
Certificate: GP Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

People in a small German village in the last valley to remain untouched by the devastating Thirty Years' War try to exist in peace with a group of soldiers occupying the valley.

Director: James Clavell
Stars: Michael Caine, Omar Sharif, Florinda Bolkan
Tobruk (1967)
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A Canadian POW major is rescued by a special British military unit made up of Germans to help lead an attack on a major Nazi fuel depot in Tobruk, Libya.

Director: Arthur Hiller
Stars: Rock Hudson, George Peppard, Nigel Green
Comedy | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A former British spy stumbles into in a plot to overthrow Communism with the help of a supercomputer. But who is working for whom?

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Michael Caine, Karl Malden, Ed Begley
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A British agent's son is kidnapped and held for ransom.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Michael Caine, Donald Pleasence, Delphine Seyrig
Pulp (1972)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A seedy writer of sleazy pulp novels is recruited by a quirky, reclusive ex-actor to help him write his biography at his house in Malta.

Director: Mike Hodges
Stars: Michael Caine, Mickey Rooney, Lionel Stander
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Blaise Starrett is a rancher at odds with homesteaders when outlaws hold up the small town. The outlaws are held in check only by their notorious leader, but he is diagnosed with a fatal wound and the town is a powder keg waiting to blow.

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Robert Ryan, Burl Ives, Tina Louise
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A commander receives a citation for an attack on Rommel's headquarters, which is actually undeserved as the commander is unfit for his job. On top of that, unbeknownst to him, his wife is having an affair with one of his officers.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Richard Burton, Curd Jürgens, Ruth Roman
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A German plot to kidnap Winston Churchill unfolds at the height of World War II.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland, Robert Duvall
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

This movie is based on a true story as written in A.P. Scotland's autobiography "The London Cage". The plot has greatly exaggerated the actual events of A.P. Scotland's experiences, including the addition of a fictional love interest.

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


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 ...
Bernard Archard ...
Col. Homerton
Aly Ben Ayed ...
Enrique Ávila ...
Kalarides (as Enrique Avila)
Mohsen Ben Abdallah ...
Mohamed Kouka ...
Takis Emmanuel ...
Kostos Manov (as Takis Emmanouel)


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


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


Adventure | Drama | War


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

1 January 1969 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Dai shinryaku  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Final credited official film of director André De Toth. See more »


If the Brits could overfly the fuel dump to photograph it (near the end of the film), they could bomb it. See more »


British soldier: Sorry, sir. I didn't see the white flag.
British soldier: Don't let it happen again!
See more »


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


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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Gripping look at the chilling underbelly of war
12 January 2006 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

Prescient, dark slice of a desert war campaign -- a band of jaded misfits is sent on a critical dangerous mission -- that you will not be able to erase from memory. The tension De Toth creates in one scene of a booby-trapped way-station, with long patient shots and close ups of sweat beads, surpasses any but the most masterful of Hitchcock. Michael Caine's role as a reluctant oil executive tagged on to the mission is a study in ambivalent survival. The characters are some you'd never expect.

De Toth is among the most interesting directors no one has ever heard of. His distaste for the studio system has meant that many of his movies have been overlooked. His style of storytelling is terse and sparse, almost unfinished, leaving the viewers to fill in their own ideas. Probably unsatisfying to some, but fascinating in his contrast to so many over-explaining movie makers.

Syriana owes much to the tenor of this story. It is the flip side of Band of Brothers. A story that today holds more lessons than ever.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The two gay arabs IMdb-IM
nitpicking mannoe
music kurt_student
Michael Caine's amulet? rac701
Excellent + Unique British Desert WWII movie.. GregP89
One of the top war adventures algre06
Discuss Play Dirty (1969) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: