During World War II, a rebellious U.S. Army Major is assigned a dozen convicted murderers to train and lead them into a mass assassination mission of German officers.

Director:

Robert Aldrich

Writers:

Nunnally Johnson (screenplay), Lukas Heller (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
2,708 ( 619)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lee Marvin ... Major Reisman
Ernest Borgnine ... General Worden
Charles Bronson ... Joseph Wladislaw
Jim Brown ... Robert Jefferson
John Cassavetes ... Victor Franko
Richard Jaeckel ... Sergeant Bowren
George Kennedy ... Major Max Armbruster
Trini López ... Pedro Jiminez (as Trini Lopez)
Ralph Meeker ... Captain Stuart Kinder
Robert Ryan ... Col. Everett Dasher Breed
Telly Savalas ... Archer Maggott
Donald Sutherland ... Vernon Pinkley
Clint Walker ... Samson Posey
Robert Webber ... General Denton
Tom Busby ... Milo Vladek
Edit

Storyline

A Major with an attitude problem and a history of getting things done is told to interview military prisoners with death sentences or long terms for a dangerous mission; To parachute behind enemy lines and cause havoc for the German Generals at a rest house on the eve of D-Day. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Train them! Excite them! Arm them!...Then turn them loose on the Nazis! See more »

Genres:

Action | Adventure | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Jim Brown, Ernest Borgnine, and Donald Sutherland appeared in The Split (1968). See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 50 mins) After Wladislaw spills the ink on the guestbook at the château, the German corporal tells them again to sign the guestbook. See more »

Quotes

Major John Reisman: [Kinder has just finished a psychiatric evaluation of Reisman's troops] So what does that give you?
Capt. Stuart Kinder: Doesn't give me anything. But along with these other results, it gives *you* just about the most twisted, anti-social bunch of psychopathic deformities I have ever run into! And the worst, the most dangerous of the bunch, is Maggott. You've got one religious maniac, one malignant dwarf, two near-idiots... and the rest I don't even wanna think about!
Major John Reisman: Well, I can't think of a better way to fight a war.
Capt. Stuart Kinder:
Major John Reisman:
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits don't occur until 10 minutes into the film. While it is common nowadays for films to have a pre-credits sequence, it was considered innovative in 1967. See more »

Alternate Versions

In Germany, in the German-language dubbed version, audiences saw only Jim Brown throwing hand grenades into the airshafts at the chateau. The scenes showing grenades being dumped into, and gasoline being poured into, the airshafts were cut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Beachcombers: Disposable People (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Idiot Waltz
(uncredited)
Music by Miklós Rózsa
See more »

User Reviews

Great fun movie with a great cast
14 November 2003 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

During World War II, Major Reisman is called to a high level meeting to discuss his next mission – to train a group of soldiers and prepare them for a mission behind enemy lines. However the `soldiers' that Reisman has been assigned are all sentenced to death or life in prison for their crimes. The mission is a suicide mission on a French chateau where German top brass will be, the aim being to kill as many as possible. But before the mission, the group must pass a training to be considered for pardoning.

Well known by all men everywhere, this is less a serious war movie and more an enjoyable ensemble romp through a training camp, with the final third being the mission itself. This is the film's strength – the training sections are very enjoyable and good fun to watch. The mission is punchy and dramatic and works very well as the conclusion to the film rather than the whole film itself (which other `mission' films have to do). The training is slick and enjoyable, not only it is occasionally quite funny but it is also consistently amusing and exciting at turns.

The film's main selling point (increasingly so) is the all star cast, all of whom do really good work. Marvin is tough in the lead and he is well supported by Borgnine, Kennedy, Ryan and Jaeckel playing the other officers. Of the prisoners Cassavetes steals the show with his cocky Franko although he is not short of famous support. Sutherland (although not well known at the time) is good comic relief, Savalas is a little too heavy for the film but adds menace, Bronson is good value, Brown is strong and is well known due to a weepy Billy Crystal! The rest of the dozen give good performances, but I'll be honest and say that the famous faces stuck in my mind more.

Overall this is not a wonderful film and, as a war movie it isn't the best `mission' movie you could find (simply cause the mission is quite short and straightforward. However it is a fun movie that never drags despite the slightly longer than normal running time for this type of movie. The training section and the mission itself combine to form an enjoyable film that is driven by a great cast playing good characters.


67 of 99 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 196 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | German | French | Spanish | Latin

Release Date:

22 October 1967 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Dirty Dozen See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$5,400,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed