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I recommend purchasing the double feature DVD set of the original Dirty Dozen and it's 1985 made for television sequel Dirty Dozen: The Next Misssion. It's a very entertaining package that also includes a documentary on the making of The Dirty Dozen and documentary on the real life Filthy Thirteen. My favorite part of the set is Dirty Dozen: The Next Mission. It's cartoony yet infinitely re-watchable and highly entertaining if you don't take it seriously. The two other Dirty Dozen sequels are also available in a double feature DVD package. All three sequels have plenty of humor and action. They are a great way to spend a few hours kicking back with a quality beverage. Give the Dirty Dozen double feature DVDs a spin.
Nearly twenty years after the original, Major Reisman again played by Lee Marvin gets assigned a new gang of G.I. convicts for another mission. If this had to be made why did it have to be done with the Reisman character. Lee Marvins age clearly showed which hurt the picture. Then to make matters even worse Ernest Borgnine and Richard Jaeckel reprise their roles from the 1967 film. Unlike the original the convicts are colorless, the mission pointless and the end cartoonish. Watch the original and consider the story ended when Charles Bronsons Joseph Wladislaw says at the conclusion `Killing Generals could get to be a habit with me.'
This film is definitely more of a remake of the classic THE DIRTY DOZEN
a sequel. (Although the events here are said to take place in September
1944.) There's a lot of the same dialog as in the original movie and even
the same type of characters! There's a Telly Savalas clone, a Jim Brown
clone, a Charles Bronson clone, Marvin, Borgnine and Jaeckel reprise
original roles, and all three look about ready to drop dead on the set.
the time of filming, Marvin was about 60, Borgnine almosty 70 and Jaeckel
almost 60. All too old to be in combat operations.) You'll feel as though
you're watching the same characters (meaning the 12, not the officers
leading them) from the original, except played here by new actors. The
mission is even similar: kill a Nazi general, rather than the many of the
first movie. This time there is no character development and little
(It's almost an hour shorter than the original film, too) The men land
trek across France, whining all the way, always about to rebel but
to Marvin's widsom in the end. Same stuff as before. The climax was
and I liked the action theme more than the music of the original movie.
I'd watch this only to see how badly a movie can be remade / followed-up when a studio tries to make money. Here they failed miserably. I paid $.50 cents to watch this at a rental store. It's not worth much more if you've seen the original 1967 film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The original The Dirty Dozen had Lee Marvin and his jail house crew on
a mission that took place inside occupied France days before the D-Day
invasion at Normandy. The mission this second trained dozen performs is
a few months later.
A few months in World War II time, but unfortunately 18 years for the returning cast members from the original cast, Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, and Richard Jaeckel. They've all aged considerably and sad to say it shows. Especially on Marvin. Due to health problems, Lee Marvin's cinema appearances were cut down considerably during the Eighties.
Still Marvin's the same maverick Major Reisman as before. Not too much time is devoted to the training as in the original because that's where we got to know some of the dozen as individuals.
The new group is a rather faceless and personalityless lot. None of them stand out in the way that John Cassavetes, Clint Walker, Donald Sutherland, or Telly Savalas did. Of course they were all killed so we couldn't bring them back. Just as well for the producers because those salaries in 1985 would have busted the budget.
Still this talented group of players put over an extremely preposterous story back in 1967. This story is more preposterous and it doesn't have the talent to back it up and put it over.
Would you believe that the army wants to assassinate S.S. General Sepp Dietrich because they think he might be looking to assassinate Hitler? I didn't think anyone would, I sure didn't.
I'd really stick with the original here.
Flat and unconvincing follow-up to the original where Major Reisman
(Lee Marvin) is ordered to lead another group of convicts into France
to take out a German SS general who is planning to eliminate the
Besides Marvin reprising his role here, Ernest Borgnine and Richard Jaeckel also return "nearly" two decades after the original came out.
It's almost impossible for me to decide which was worse, watching the three cast members (from the first movie) forced to carry the burden on their backs and/or how terrible the story (and the apparent lack of character development and humor if there is any). I bet a college freshman could come up with a far better story that anyone would enjoy.
Stick with the original.
According to an article written many years ago, the original "The Dirty Dozen" novel was actually based on real life story. US military convicts were offered pardon in exchange for similar suicide missions in Nazi occupied France. They agreed, but after the drop they turned their tails and spent the rest of the war in neutral Spain. In real life, use of pardoned convicts as soldiers is rather common phenomena, as experiences in former Yugoslavia indicate. In WWII Red Army and Wehrmacht employed such practice. The operation that actually resembles this movie the most was conducted by Germans. In May of 1944, frustrated with unsuccessful attempts to chase down and destroy the core formations of Yugoslav Partisans, German High Command planned the daring parachute raid on the headquarters of Partisan leader Tito and trained entire battalion of convicts for that very purpose. At the end of the day, Tito, although initially surprised, managed to get away and the convict paratroopers, decimated in a hellatious battle, took only Tito's freshly tailored Field Marshall uniform as their only trophy.
Nearly 20 years after the blockbuster success of "The Dirty Dozen," Lee
Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, and Richard Jaeckel re-teamed for a sequel,
"The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission." While Borgnine and Jaeckel retain
their dignity and acquit themselves reasonably well, Marvin seems bored
and tired throughout; "show me the money" is written all over his face.
But the lead is not the only casting problem with this lackluster
followup. The original dirty dozen were a motley crew of psychopaths
and criminals, embodied by such great character actors as John
Cassavetes, Telly Savalas, and Donald Sutherland. The dirty dozen in
"Next Mission" are well scrubbed, clean cut young guys, who look as
though they were former boy scouts recruited from a male escort
service. To suggest these choir boys had committed crimes worthy of
hanging or life at hard labor is laughable.
Mercifully, "Next Mission" is about an hour shorter than the classic original. The assignment this time is to assassinate a Nazi general, who is intent on killing Hitler. However, the reasoning for saving Der Fuhrer's life is never explained. The mission not only lacks justification, but also seems to lack any logical plan. The team lands at an airport inside Nazi controlled territory, calmly walks from the plane dressed in German uniforms, and boards a waiting bus. One of the team is an African-American, but that only seems to occur to anyone at the last minute, just before they deplane. If that is not howler enough, the team member who has only flown crop dusters suddenly becomes expert at flying a German war plane. Marvin tells the group they will not parachute, because they have not been trained and would be killed; later, the entire group parachutes safely in the dark. Michael Kane is credited with the "writing;" he should have sued to take his name off.
Director Andrew V. McLaglen is a competent director of such TV westerns as "Gunsmoke," Have Gun will Travel," and "Rawhide;" occasionally, he turned out a decent movie as well: "Shenandoah," "McLintock," "The Undefeated." However, the script for "Next Mission" defeated McLaglen and his career was over six years later, not long after another misguided sequel, "Return from the River Kwai." "The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission" should be required viewing in film school, The Pitfalls of Making Sequels to Successful Films, 101. "Mission" is unnecessary, howlingly inept at times, and only tarnishes the image of Lee Marvin. Not surprisingly, none of the new dirty dozen became household names afterward; all involved should have passed on this mission and so should viewers.
I only watched this as it came as part of the set with the first classic film, and dear me, it stinks. It's a shame to see an actor of Lee Marvin's stature stoop so low for a few bucks. Everyone in it seems to be mugging to the camera as if to say, "hey we know it's rubbish but who cares? I know it was made for TV but such contempt for the audience does no-one any favours especially the reputations of once legendary screen figures. TV had started to come of age by the 80's and production executives had started to allow SOME level of quality, but then again, the lowest common denominator seems to rule on US networks. I hate to use such an obvious yardstick, but the fact that nothing of worth gets blown up shows us how cheap and nasty the whole thing was. The plot is utterly ridiculous, production values pathetic, and it's just abysmal from all points of view. I wish I'd never had to see it....avoid at all costs.
Part II picks up a few months after the first(despite coming out 18
years later!) which has Lee Marvin returning as Major Reisman(older
looking but still game) along with Ernest Borgnine and Richard Jaekel
in their original roles. Reisman must once again recruit 12 condemned
military prisoners, only this time, the group seems even less
trustworthy than the first...
Belated TV sequel tries to provide a seamless transition from the first film, and almost succeeds, but plot is uninspired, even silly(stop the assassination of Hitler? Unlikely in late World War II, but OK...) Works as well as it does by the good cast(Lee Marvin is still appealing, as are Borgnine and Jaeckel). Not bad at all, but hardly necessary! Still, there would be two more TV sequels, then a series.(Which I haven't seen).
Maj. John Reisman gets another mission, where he has to train convicted army soldiers.This time they have to kill a Nazi general, who plans to assassinate Adolf Hitler.And there's some talk about a Nazi treasure.The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission (1985) is directed by Andrew V. McLaglen.Lee Marvin reprises his role as Maj. Reisman.As does Ernest Borgnine as Gen. Worden.And so does Richard Jaeckel as MP Sgt. Clyde Bowren.Ken Wahl plays Louis Valentine.Larry Wilcox plays Tommy Wells.Sonny Landham is Sam Sixkiller.Ricco Ross is Arlen Dregors.Gavan O'Herlihy plays Conrad E. Perkins.Jay Benedict plays Didier le Clair.Stephen Hattersley is Otto Deutch.Rolf Saxon is Robert E. Wright.Wolf Kahler plays S.S. General Sepp Dietrich.Michael Sheard plays the part of Hitler, as he did in a few other movies.The movie has some tight action scenes.And at one point Dregors has Hitler at his target.That is quite fascinating to watch, when he's pondering should he pull the trigger.The sequel, although not gaining the level of the original, still manages to entertain.In these kind of movies you don't have to ask for more.
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