During WW2, American General Worden orders Major Wright to pick 12 condemned soldiers from the brig and parachute into occupied France where they must destroy a Nazi nerve gas facility and extricate the foreign scientists working there.
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Telly Savalas assumes the role of the leader of the Dirty Dozen from Lee Marvin. In this movie he and the Dozen are suppose to destroy a nerve gas manufacturing plant before the Germans can make enough to use against the Allies. Written by
Wow after "The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission (1985)" they managed to scrape out another two more late 80s straight-to-TV sequels. I didn't even know there was a fourth, yet alone a third. No more Lee Marvin, instead we have Telly Savalas barking the orders. Actually amongst that tough impression is a reflectively moralistic manner that shows he's not your typical by the book soldier. He pushes his men, but for that he grows attached to them. Again it follows the chewy formula of its influencer's; during WW2 a group of misfit stock criminals facing the death penalty are hand picked and trained up in England by Savalas' character to go on a virtual suicide mission behind enemy lines in France to destroy nerve gas containers hidden in a Monastery. Some familiar faces (some slumming it) do pop up in this group; Bo Svenson (who gets a memorable introduction), Vince Edwards, Randall 'Tex' Cobb, Vincent Van Patten, James Van Patten and Thom Mathews (who'll horror fans might recognize). Also featuring is Ernest Borgnine and Wolf Kahler as a German Colonel. It's a sturdily brazen little action joint, as the drama thickens and it builds up to a thrilling climax battle where the act of bravery and redemption shines through. There are enough bangs, secret phrases, cheerful marching music, character conflicts and tension to be entertained within its quick moving time frame.
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