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) | 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:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was known as both " Written in the Sand " and " The Dynamiters " while in production. 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
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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.


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