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The Dirty Dozen: The Fatal Mission (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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16 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

This time the motley group goes to stop a train with Nazi passengers who attempt to create the IV Reich

Author: ma-cortes
17 May 2011

¨Dirty Dozen: The Fatal Mission¨ is an average follow-up with Telly Savalas as tough officer replacing Lee Marvin and the ordinary team of renegade soldiers of World War II . Telly Savalas training a group of rebel and misfit soldiers for a dangerous assault on a railway locomotive , the Orient Express . This is a rugged WWII actioner concerning about an experienced officer , Major Wright , he's assigned by Military staff (Ernest Borgnine who acted in the original and all the sequels)) to train a dropout group of murderers , criminals and rapists who get a chance to redeem themselves . They are a bunch of dispensable characters with no past and no future . Savalas reprieves a bunch of ¨Death Row¨ inmates , forges them into a two-fisted fighting unit and leads them on a deadly assignment into Nazi territory , but there is a traitor in the team .The prisoners are oddballs , rag-tag and undisciplined gang (a large cast formed by Erik Strada , Mancini, Ernie Hudson , Ricardo Yniguez ), under command a sergeant (Jeff Conaway) and a lieutenant (Heather Thomas). The team is hardly trained by the Major Whright . In this film Savalas and his motley band , the Dirty Dozen, are suppose to destroy and avoid the constitution of the IV Reich against the Allies . When they arrive in Yugoslavia are helped by the resistance fighters . At the end they must participate in the suicidal mission behind the enemy lines , to wipe a German train , number 420, going to Istambul by means of an assault over a strongly protected vehicle.

Savalas as Maj. Wright assumes the character of the leader of the Dirty Dozen from Lee Marvin in the classic directed by Robert Aldrich and based on the characters created by T.M. Nathanson , being scripted by Nunnally Johnson and Lukas Heller. This moving film packs frantic thrills, perilous adventures , relentless feats , and buck-loads of explosive action and violence. The noisy action is uniformly regularly-made, especially deserving of mention the rip-roaring final scenes on the train , including a spectacular crashing . Apart from the values of team spirit , cudgeled by Savalas into his rebel group , the film is full of feats , suspense , and thrills . Rough Telly Savallas is good as leader of the motley pack together thwart the Nazi schemes, as well as the largely secondary cast with special mention to Ernie Hudson. Atmospheric and martial musical score by John Cavacas and appropriate cinematography filmed in Zagreb, Croatia . This is is a wartime typical vehicle and into the ¨warlike commando genre¨ , which also belong : Where eagles dare(Brian G. Hutton) and Kelly's heroes(Hutton ), Tobruk (Arthur Hiller), Devil's Brigade (Andrew V McLagen) and many others .

The exciting , original and Box-Office hit ,¨Dirty dozen¨ with star-studded as Marvin , Robert Ryan , Clint Walker , Jim Brown was followed by various sequels , a trio of inferior Telefilms (1985 , 87 , 88) as ¨Dirty Dozen II: The next mission ¨ by Andrew V McLagen with Lee Marvin and Richard Jaeckel, Borgnine , Larry Wilcox and Wolf Kahler , ¨Dirty Dozen III : Deadly mission¨ by Lee H Katzin and ¨Dirty Dozen : Fatal mission¨ also by Lee H Katzin ; both of them shot at the same time with similar actors , director , musician , John Cavacas, and cameraman , Tomislav Pinter , being filmed in Croacia.

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14 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Heather Thomas Can Act

Author: Thom Rafferty from United States
20 August 2005

I just watched Heather Thomas in "The Dirty Dozen: The Fatal Mission" a 1988 made for TV movie. If you want to watch a movie where Heather shows plenty of skin, this isn't it. She's never out of uniform. But if you like action films with lots of things blowing up, you may like it. This is Heather's best acting performance, at least that I've seen.

The basic plot is that the Nazis are sending twelve men under thirty who are bright, talented and loyal to the Reich to the via the Orient Express ti the Middle East with a long term (decades maybe) mission of starting a Fourth Reich in case they lose the war. The mission of the Dirty Dozen will be to kill them.

Heather plays Lieutenant Carol Campbell, a military intelligence officer and daughter of a career foreign service officer who traveled extensively in eastern Europe. She starts out in the movie working for Ernest Borgnine, who is a General with oversight on Telly Sevales, leader of The Dirty Dozen. She drives Bornine into the military prison right after Sevales fails to recruit Joe Stern, played by Hunt Block, long-time soap opera star (he's still on "Guiding Light"). As Sevales takes a walk with Borgnine, Block sits up from the potatoes he's peeling and takes a good look at Heather. Heather goes over to talk to him. He joins the team. They fall in love.

There is a plot hole and a nitpick in the film involving Heather. She is with Sevales during a raid in the opening scene. But when she volunteers to join The Dirty Dozen, he acts like she's never worked for him before and tries to talk her out of it. Also, Heather does double duty as Borgnine's driver. An officer wouldn't have that job. The producers probably were just trying to get her into more scenes.

So, good job on the acting, Heather. But couldn't the writers have put in a shower scene somewhere?

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18 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Fatal and Deadly make a great double feature

Author: solar12 from United States
23 October 2006

I highly recommend picking up the two Dirty Dozen double feature DVD sets. The first one includes the classic 1967 film The Dirty Dozen with it's 1985 made for television sequel Dirty Dozen: The Next Mission. There's also a documentary on the making of the original Dirty Dozen and a historical documentary on the real life Filthy Thirteen. The other double feature DVD contains the 1987 made for television sequel Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission and it's 1988 made for television sequel Dirty Dozen: The Fatal Mission. Fatal and Deadly make an affordable DVD package that is infinitely re-watchable and highly entertaining - if you don't take 'em too seriously. There's plenty of humor and action in this double feature. It's a great way to spend a few hours kicking back with a quality beverage. Give the Deadly Mission / Fatal Mission double feature DVD a spin.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Solid acting, but a very generic and forgettable story

Author: Thomas ( from Berlin, Germany
6 October 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"The Dirty Dozen: The Fatal Mission" is an American movie from 1988 that was done in co-production with Italy and Yugoslavia and according to IMDb, it is a German-language movie. I doubt that though as looking at the cast, they were definitely speaking English when they made it. Two more years and it will have its 30th anniversary. The director of these slightly over 90 minutes is Lee H. Katzin and he brought a screenplay by three writers to the screen here, to the small screen actually as this one is, like several other "Dirty Dozen" sequels a television release. And with this, I already mentioned the Oscar-winning original that this is based on. It is already the 4th entry to the film series and it came out more than two decades after the first. Taking this into account, it is still pretty solid they have Oscar nominees like Savalas on board and also Borgnine, Oscar winner, who played in these films since the very first.

This is the story of a bunch of American renegade soldiers in charge of going against Germany during the Nazi days. Sadly, the story is really generic and so are most of the characters, even if the actors manage to elevate the forgettable-written material on some occasions. I may be a bit biased as I am not a military movie fan at all, but if the story is good, I certainly appreciate a quality work. This is not one of these, however. And as much as I already praised the performances, some of these are also on the forgettable side. Overall, the film should have been 10 minutes shorter or more as it dragged a bit on some occasions. For the most part, it's soldiers acting like tough guys and making the occasional (sexist) joke in here and towards the end, the focus drifts to battle scenes without heavy tank machinery mostly. It's about the foot soldiers. I personally thought this film was never really funny, touching or dramatically and historically relevant, which is especially disappointing as the writers tried to deliver in all these areas. I am not surprised this was the last film from the franchise not counting the short-lived series. It's not worth checking out unless you really really love the three previous films. Thumbs-down.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Egad- this was bad.

Author: kfo9494 from United States
14 November 2011

It stole 3 hours of my life. Yes I know the movie only lasted an hour and half but it seemed like 3 hours.

I am one of those people that like war movies. I liked the original Dirty Dozen and similar movies. But this one is sad as any I have ever seen. It was like watching a Community Stage production of the original Dirty Dozen with limited funds for the project.

The movie goes far beyond the portrayal of Germans as buffoons. When the American's jump on a train the Germans are so inept they they cannot guess the next town the train will be arriving.

There are laughable scenes that actually was filmed as serious drama. There are lighter scenes that appear to be meant as serious. Just a poor film all around.

Pass this movie and re-watch the original.

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Entertaining but not memorable.

Author: AldoSterone from United Kingdom
4 March 2017

It's difficult to rate this movie. I watched after reading the reviews and it seems that many people didn't like it.

The original movie "The Dirty Dozen" was released in 1967. This sequel was attempted 21 years later (1988) with less money and less stars. Lee Marvin died in 1987. Charles Bronson was 67 at the time and didn't participate. Telly Savalas was 66.

The original movie was produced by Robert Aldrich. The 1988 sequel by Mel Swope who is known for Fame and Miami Vice.

This movie takes the same ingredients without bringing in any element of originality. The net result is an average war movie. I found that the second part was much better than the first but eventually the whole thing is weak.

For a war movie, you need a lot of FX to create credible scenery, explosions and historical reconstitution.

Entertaining but not memorable.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

"When it's impossible...send in the dozen"

Author: TankGuy from United Kingdom
11 March 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

During the Second World war, allied intelligence discovers that 12 top Nazis are to be sent to the Balkans to form a fourth Reich. Major Wright(Telly Savalas)is ordered to assemble a 12 man killing machine known as the "dozen" to attack the train on which the Nazis are travelling and wipe them out...

Fatal Mission is the final of the 3 made-for-TV movies which were all spinoffs of Robert Aldrich's 1967 actioner. Immensely entertaining with a skinny plot, Fatal Mission is one of the fast food war movies. You can enjoy this film at any time without taxing your brain cells and it's only an hour and a half. The script is about as cheesy as it gets which will make the movie seem to some like a corny rehash of the 1967 original. In a way this is true, but I wasn't bothered by it at all. Some of the dialogue from the original has been copied and pasted straight into this movie, Lee Marvin's "foul up" speech is repeated word for word by Telly Savalas. The action scenes failed to disappoint with thrilling stunts and impressive special effects. The action builds to a spectacularly explosive finale which looks almost too professional for a TV movie. The cast was okay, Telly was the best part of it. The other actors who made up the dozen were forgettable. However, Telly was pushing 70 when he made this movie and is amazingly versatile. He blisters with plenty of that Kojak-esque charisma that had helped make him an international star. His glory days had come to an end and he spent his last years doing TV and movies like this, but his affecting personality and exuberance would never die.

An exciting action flick that delivers an hour and a half of sturdy fun with some unintentional humour. A tired cast headed by Telly Savalas is another bonus. 9/10.

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5 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Cheese-laden trash stuck in 60s era production

Author: scottehlersmac from United States
27 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

the Germans all stand out in the open and get mowed down with a machine gun. the Good guys never die, unless its for dramatic purposes. the "plot" has so many holes its laughable. (Where did the German soldiers go once they rolled the fuel tank towards the train? Erik Estrada? Please!) And the whole idea, hijacking a train? How moronic is that! The Germans KNOW where you are going to go, its not like you can leave the track and drive away! What a waste. I would rather bonk myself on the head with a ball peen hammer 10 times then have to sit through that again. I mean, seriously, it FELT like it was made in the 60s, but it was produced in 88!! 1988!! the A-Team is more believable than this horrid excuse for a movie. Only watch it if you need a good laugh. This movie is to Tele Sevalas what Green Beret was to John Wayne.

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9 out of 21 people found the following review useful:


Author: alcohom from Wigan
16 March 2007

Another made for TV piece of junk! This is an insult of a war movie (I use the word movie in it's loosest possible form!) I thought Telly Savalas's career had hit rock bottom when he did the voice over on that visit Birmingham video that's shown on Tarrant on TV on a semi regular basis, but then I'd forgot he was involved in this! I'd tried to push it into my subconscious memory, but cable TV brought the memory kicking and screaming out of me!!

I like the bit (laughs sarcastically!) in the film which claims to be a scene from Liverpool in the forties, but it's blatantly a shot of Zagreb Cathedral in the late eighties. Also the steam train the Commando's are training on shows the JZ (Jugoslavia Zeleznice, or Yugoslav state railways) logo's on the side of the locomotive quite clearly, even though the makers have tried to black them out. Why not just film in the UK, if that's where most of the film is set?

Cheap rubbish, and a waste of celluloid!

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11 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Embarrassing dross of the highest order

Author: steverr63 from Germany
2 April 2008

It really was that bad. On a par with the (mercifully!) short-lived "Dirty Dozen" TV series that starred Ben Murphy and was made at around the same time (also on the cheap in Yugoslavia).

I was embarrassed for the cast members of this film - and for Telly Savalas in particular. He was waaaaaay too old and fat for the role (pushing 70 when he made this garbage), and the reviewer who draws parallels with Telly the Greek in this and John Wayne in "The Green Berets" pretty much sums it up.

Other reviewers have pointed out some of the many laughable howlers that this crime against celluloid contains, so I won't repeat them here. But I will add that I'm amazed that no-one's yet mentioned the ridiculously tiny-looking helmet that Savalas wears on his big, bloated head.

I'm also astonished that this trainwreck of a film has a rating as high as 4.7 here at IMDb.

As far as I'm concerned, it's a "1" right across the board. If you want a good example of why flogging a franchise to death really is a bad idea (especially 20-plus years after the original) - look no further than "The Dirty Dozen - The Fatal Mission".

Awful - avoid!!!!

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