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Battle of the Commandos (1969)

La legione dei dannati (original title)
PG-13 | | Action, War | 12 August 1969 (Italy)
Irish Colonel Charlie McPhearson has just had his platoon of twenty-eight slaughtered by German troops. Angered at his superiors for this suicide mission, he takes convicts on his next, ... See full summary »



(story) (as Stefano Bolla), (story) | 4 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
Capt. Kevin Burke
Pvt. Raymond Stone (as Robert Hundar)
Col. Ackerman
Helmuth Schneider ...
Pvt. Sam Schrier
Guido Lollobrigida ...
Pvt. Tom Carlyle (as Lee Burton)
Sgt. Karim Habinda
Franco Fantasia ...
Schiwers, the French Maquis leader
SS Lt. Hapke (as Gerard Herter)
Mirko Ellis ...
Capt. Adler
Bruno Corazzari ...
Pvt. Frank Madigan
Pvt. Albert Hank (as Molino Rojo)
Lorenzo Robledo ...
Pvt. Bernard Knowles
Gen. von Reilow (as Curd Jurgens)


Irish Colonel Charlie McPhearson has just had his platoon of twenty-eight slaughtered by German troops. Angered at his superiors for this suicide mission, he takes convicts on his next, along with fornicating American explosives technician Major Burke, to defuse underwater mines so that a commando squado can prepare for a June 10 invasion to destroy a tank gun. Because Colonel Ackerman, whose troops killed his last platoon, is the leader of the platoon in charge of the gun, McPhearson insists on trying to complete the commandos' mission. Written by Scott Hutchins <scottandrewh@home.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They Challenged the Devil... and Won!


Action | War


PG-13 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 August 1969 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Battle of the Commandos  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Curd Jürgens (General von Reilow) and Wolfgang Preiss (Colonel Ackerman) previously appeared in The Longest Day (1962), which likewise depicted the D-Day landings. See more »


Col. Charley MacPherson: [to his commanding officer] You pig! You dirty rotten *pig*! There were 28 of them, my whole squad. Dead, one by one, *all* of them! And it's ALL YOUR FAULT!
See more »


Featured in ¡Zarpazos! Un viaje por el Spanish Horror (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Generic Sixties Italian War Film - still okay though
15 July 2017 | by See all my reviews

As much as I love Italian cinema I'm not much for these sixties war films - every single one of them is a rip-off of The Dirty Dozen, but when I spotted Aldo Sambrell wearing a turban my index finger jabbed the record button on the remote so hard I'm sure I broke a bone.

As well as an Italian imitating an Indian, we have Jack Palance sporting some sort of Scottish accent (it's says on the IMDb that it's Irish? That's even worse) and some terrible miniature effects, but the usual story of a bunch of Allied misfits sent behind enemy lines to do something or other is so dreary it still manages to end up being a boring experience.

Jack is Colonel Haggis McKiltguy, raging in a really bad way about his last mission, where his entire platoon got wasted. He's all out to give up on all this army business, until he learns that his opposite number in the mission is the German guy in command of that last mission, Major Bratwurst Von Laderhosen. He signs up for the mission pretty shortly after that! However, he needs a new platoon - how about that bunch of jerks acting like jerks in the jerk squad. You know, all them criminals? That doesn't sound like the Dirty Dozen at all!

So Jack and his bunch of Italian and German actors pretending to be British (except the guy pretending to be Indian) head of to Normandy to do some stuff that'll help the D-Day invasion. You've also got a sub plot about the German guy not being so bad, trying to warn his command about the invasion and going head-to-head with the SS, but who cares? It's the usual barrage of sneaking, knifing, wearing the enemie's uniforms, possible double crossing (hinted at then forgotten), paper thin romance, and confrontation that you get in these films.

There were some laughs to be had from the miniature work at the end (I rewound to see that tiny dummy flying out of the train carriage) and was tickled pink as the last scene seemed to show Jack throwing his gun away and giving up the life of a soldier, then seemingly remembering that he can't actually leave the army that way and picking his gun up again.

I'm sick of these Umberto Lenzi films! Give me an Umberto Lenzi film!

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