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.


(as Andre De Toth)


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

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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
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Did You Know?


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 »


The dead "young lieutenant" brought in by Leech at the beginning of the movie can be seen breathing. See more »


[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 »


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


Music by Dino Olivieri
Lyrics by Nino Rastelli
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User Reviews

A virtually unknown British masterpiece from the 60's.
11 July 2004 | by (Uk) – See all my reviews

A virtually unknown British masterpiece from the 60's.

Its cynical and bleak portrayal of men in war is only matched by its lack of notoriety which is a shame considering how powerful the films message is. Admittedly Caine is a little wooden as the straight laced British Officer, but it is the much less known Nigel Davenport who steals the show as the hard bitten second in command. The films cynicism is the sum of it's ending which is suitably negative but still unsuspected. With all the flag waving war films out there its good to see the odd one which suggests the end never justifies the means.

21 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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