34 user 25 critic

Play Dirty (1969)

During World War II in North Africa, a group of British commandos disguised in Italian soldiers must travel behind enemy lines and destroy a vital Nazi oil depot.


André De Toth (as Andre De Toth)


Melvyn Bragg (screenplay), Lotte Colin (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon


Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: GP Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A reluctant hero, American Lieutenant Sam Lawson, is secunded to a motley British unit tasked with destroying a Japanese radio on a Philippine island.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Michael Caine, Cliff Robertson, Ian Bannen
Deadfall (1968)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Cat burglar Henry Clarke and his accomplices, the Moreaus, attempt to steal diamonds from the château of millionaire Salinas. However, Henry's partners in crime aren't the most emotionally stable people.

Director: Bryan Forbes
Stars: Michael Caine, Giovanna Ralli, Vladek Sheybal
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A British Agent is sent to East Berlin to receive a Communist defector, but the true situation turns out to be rather more complicated.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: Michael Caine, Oskar Homolka, Paul Hubschmid
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A former British spy stumbles onto a plot to overthrow Communism with the help of a supercomputer. But who is working for whom?

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Michael Caine, Karl Malden, Ed Begley
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A black anti-Apartheid activist and a British engineer are forced to run from South African Secret Police.

Director: Ralph Nelson
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Michael Caine, Nicol Williamson
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A British Agent's son is kidnapped and held for ransom.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Michael Caine, Donald Pleasence, Delphine Seyrig
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In London, a counter espionage Agent deals with his own bureaucracy while investigating the kidnapping and brainwashing of British scientists.

Director: Sidney J. Furie
Stars: Michael Caine, Nigel Green, Guy Doleman
Gambit (1966)
Comedy | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An English cat burglar needs a Eurasian dancer's help to pull off the perfect heist, but even the most foolproof schemes have a way of backfiring.

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Michael Caine, Herbert Lom
Anzio (1968)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

One of WWII's bloodiest battles as the Allies smash through the German lines which have enclosed the Anzio beachhead. Four months and 30,000 casualties before the Allies finally march to Rome.

Directors: Edward Dmytryk, Duilio Coletti
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Peter Falk, Robert Ryan
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

When a U.S. Intelligence Agent is unable to bring a ruthless drug baron to justice, he resorts to hiring a contract killer. But the man with whom he is put in contact turns out to be an old friend.

Director: Robert Parrish
Stars: Michael Caine, Anthony Quinn, James Mason
Certificate: GP Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

During the Thirty Years' War of 1600s, a band of Protestant mercenaries peacefully coexist with German Catholic villagers in a hidden idyllic mountain valley untouched by war.

Director: James Clavell
Stars: Michael Caine, Omar Sharif, Florinda Bolkan
Tobruk (1967)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A Canadian POW major is rescued by a special British military unit made up of Germans to help lead an attack on a major Nazi fuel depot in Tobruk, Libya.

Director: Arthur Hiller
Stars: Rock Hudson, George Peppard, Nigel Green


Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Caine ... Capt. Douglas
Nigel Davenport ... Capt. Cyril Leech
Nigel Green ... Col. Masters
Harry Andrews ... Brig. Blore
Patrick Jordan Patrick Jordan ... Maj. Alan Watkins
Daniel Pilon ... Capt. Allwood (Blore's adjutant at Special Forces HQ)
Martin Burland Martin Burland ... Dead Officer
George McKeenan George McKeenan ... Corporal at Quayside
Bridget Espeet Bridget Espeet ... Ann
Bernard Archard ... Col. Homerton
Aly Ben Ayed Aly Ben Ayed ... Sadok
Enrique Ávila ... Kalarides (as Enrique Avila)
Mohsen Ben Abdallah Mohsen Ben Abdallah ... Hassan
Mohamed Kouka Mohamed Kouka ... Assine
Takis Emmanuel ... Kostos Manov (as Takis Emmanouel)


The Dirty Dozen meets the Stiff Upper Lip. A British Petroleum executive (Sir Michael Caine) is assigned to work with the British Army in North Africa handling port duties for incoming fuels. This gives him the official rank of Captain in the British Army. The Colonel (Nigel Green), in charge of the Dirty Dozen, is told he must have a British officer accompany his men on a dangerous mission four hundred miles behind German lines and is saddled with the Petroleum executive, who tries to argue his way out by saying that his contract states he is to only work port duties. That argument is lost on the Brigade Commander (Harry Andrews), who simply points out that the executive is wearing a British uniform. The real leader of the Dirty Dozen (Nigel Davenport), a released prisoner, doesn't need or want the British officer, who's supposed to be in charge, but he's promised an extra two thousand British pounds sterling if he gets him back alive. Disguised as Italians, their trek across ... Written by AzRanger {ArizonaRanger @ Hotmail . com}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Forget the medals, throw away the rule book, if you want to survive.... Play Dirty


Adventure | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence including a sexual assault | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | Arabic | German

Release Date:

1 January 1969 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Dai shinryaku See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Technicolor)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


According to Nigel Davenport, the reason Richard Harris was fired, was because he refused a military-style haircut for the role of a British Army officer. See more »


The British casualties from the German ambush are shown with criss-crossed boot laces. British army soldiers fasten their boot laces across the boot i.e.from eyelet to opposite eyelet. See more »


Capt. Cyril Leech: What's all this about?
Col. Masters: Brig. Blore is not very pleased with our record. He insists. We'll have to take him.
Capt. Cyril Leech: I'll take him.
Col. Masters: If he doesn't come back alive, we're out of business.
Capt. Cyril Leech: Hmph. You're out of business.
Col. Masters: You get well paid for these trips, don't you, Leech?
Capt. Cyril Leech: Not really.
Col. Masters: I'll give you a bonus if you get him back.
Capt. Cyril Leech: How much?
Col. Masters: Dead, nothing. Alive, 2,000 pounds.
See more »


Referenced in Once Upon a Body (1969) See more »


You Are My Sunshine
Lyrics and Music by Jimmie Davis (as Jimmy Davis) and Charles Mitchell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Workmanlike fare – good but rather plodding at times
14 March 2003 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

After yet another failed covert operation, a specialist unit is given one last chance to show success to account for losses. When the commander learns of an oil station many miles behind enemy lines it is selected for the mission. Capt Douglas is chosen to head the team of ex-criminals to carry out the destruction. However a large military unit is sent out behind them. When the military unit are all killed, Douglas is forced to abandon his training and become a little more like the un-gentleman-like Capt Leech, and play dirty.

I had only seen this film once almost 15 years ago and had reasonable memories of it. I watched it again today because of this memories and it goes to show that a good end to a film can wipe out everything else that you could remember. I loved the ending to this film – I won't even talk about why in case I spoil it because it loses it's impact after seeing it once. However the rest of the film isn't up to the same sort of value. As it is, the plot is very much a version of the Dirty Dozen but in reality it doesn't have any training or recruiting that film does but instead leaps straight into `the action'. I say `action' because, although it sustains the interest, it is a rather plodding film that is consistent but has no high points as a result.

The story is good but the delivery is one that is clearly meant to make a point rather than entertain in the way Dirty Dozen does. Caine is good in the lead – one of his `young officer' roles a la Zulu. However he doesn't have much in the way of chemistry with xxxx, really there needed to be a lot more friction and sparks between the two, sadly the tension between the two was only very basic. It is mostly Davenport's fault as I found him to be lacking in real screen presence. He easily had the best character but failed to dominate with it – also I found it distracting that he looked a little like Sean Connery, I assumed that Sean was unavailable. The support cast are unmemorable – whereas many people can name all the dirty dozen, none of these really make an impression – only the gay pair stick but mainly because of how surreal it feels in the setting.

Overall this is an OK film with a good ending. It is consistently fair and never really dips above or below that standard. Worth a watch once but don't expect it to bare anything other than a passing resemblance to the Dirty Dozen – certainly not in the same league entertainment wise.

15 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 34 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed