Wednesday, July 11, 2018

THE DIRTY DOZEN (1967)

Britain, 1944.  A US Major (Lee Marvin) is given orders to select twelve men from the local military prison, train them, then go on a suicide mission behind enemy lines to kill as many German officers as possible.  This will create disruption in the chain of command right before the D-Day invasion.  The men who survive the mission will be pardoned.

Watching THE DIRTY DOZEN today, it's dated as fuck, but still entertaining.  The story was definitely cool and the action scenes were kinda like the cover's the the men's adventure magazines of the 1950's come to life, but I was mainly fascinated by the all-star cast!  I mean, this thing is pack from floor to ceiling with big names.  Charles Bronson, Donald Sutherland, Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine...pretty much every scene had somebody awesome in it.

I also found the film to be interesting from a historical perspective.  I'd love to know more about it.  For example: I'm curious how many films previous to TDD showed American soldiers so gleefully killing not only Nazi officers and soldiers, but also the women with them?  Did the subversive feel of the film have something to do with the Vietnam War?

Younger audiences would probably find the whole thing boring, but it's definitely worth a viewing for fans of (older) WWII movies and movie nerds.

Side note: IMDb lists Dick Miller as "MP at Hanging (uncredited)", but I couldn't find him.

Part 2 - The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission
Part 3 - The Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission
Part 4 - The Dirty Dozen: The Fatal Mission