Dirty Dozen
  • Dirty Dozen
  • Dirty Dozen

Dirty Dozen

4.8 6
Director: Robert Aldrich

Cast: Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson


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Director Robert Aldrich took what he considered a hopelessly old-fashioned script by Lukas Heller and Nunnally Johnson and fashioned The Dirty Dozen into one of MGM's biggest moneymakers of the 1960s--and the sixth highest-grossing film in the studio's history. See more details below


Director Robert Aldrich took what he considered a hopelessly old-fashioned script by Lukas Heller and Nunnally Johnson and fashioned The Dirty Dozen into one of MGM's biggest moneymakers of the 1960s--and the sixth highest-grossing film in the studio's history. Lee Marvin plays Major Reisman, assigned to coordinate a suicide mission on a French chateau held by top Nazi officers. Since no "normal" GI can be expected to volunteer for this mission, Reisman is compelled to draw his personnel from a group of military prisoners serving life sentences. This "dirty dozen" includes a sex pervert (Telly Savalas), a psycho (John Cassavetes), a retarded killer (Donald Sutherland), and the equally malevolent Charles Bronson, Trini Lopez, Jim Brown, and Clint Walker. On the dim promise of receiving pardons if they survive, the criminals undergo a brutal training program, then are marched behind enemy lines dressed as Nazi soldiers, the better to overtake the chateau and kill everyone in it--including the innocent wives and mistresses of the German officers.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ben Wolf
Redefining the WWII movie for a less trusting age, The Dirty Dozen became one of the biggest hits of the '60s. Robert Aldrich reflected the antiwar sentiments of the times with this tale of a suicide mission that a U.S. general assigns to a group of convicted murderers and rapists. Lee Marvin, wounded during the Battle of Saipan in real life, plays the officer responsible for training these psychopaths to go behind enemy lines and assassinate members of the German High Command. John Cassavetes also stars, and Aldrich allowed him to improvise much of his Academy Award-nominated role. The maverick actor then utilized the clout that he gained from this movie to produce his own highly regarded independent films. Reviled for its brutality upon its release, the movie now falls into the cycle of Vietnam-era revisionist films, such as The Wild Bunch and M.A.S.H., that changed American attitudes towards authority, making The Dirty Dozen one of the most important war movies of its generation.
All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Robert Aldrich's The Dirty Dozen is remembered today as a fine action-adventure film, along the lines and proportions of The Great Escape and Kelly's Heroes. In its time, it was also a groundbreaking piece of popular cinema. Until its release, Hollywood had struggled with how to portray men in war, especially World War II. Movies such as The Naked and the Dead, Attack, and Between Heaven and Hell had tried to present the reality that not every American soldier, or even most, were bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, flag-waving patriots; but those movies never caught on with the public, and one extreme example, Carl Foreman's The Victors, was a box-office disaster. The Dirty Dozen succeeded at presenting the darker sides of humanity, employed in the service of good. It broke lots of lingering screen taboos, showing its heroes cavorting with prostitutes and killing with very little discrimination, and it generally held all authority in contempt -- pretty strong stuff for a mainstream movie coming out in the midst of the Vietnam War. It did for the war movie what Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch and Sergio Leone's Man-With-No-Name trilogy did for the Western, while retaining just enough roughhousing fun to hang on to more traditional audiences, thus yielding a box-office bonanza for its producers and opening more conservative audience members to further films in this vein.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; Documentary operation Dirty Dozen; Theatrical trailer; Languages: English & Français; Subtitles: English, Français & Español

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lee Marvin Maj. Reisman
Ernest Borgnine Gen. Worden
Charles Bronson Joseph Wladislaw
Jim Brown Robert Jefferson
John Cassavetes Victor Franko
George Kennedy Maj. Max Armbruster
Richard Jaeckel Sgt. Bowren
Robert Ryan Col. Everett Dasher-Breed
Trini Lopez Pedro Jiminez
Ralph Meeker Capt. Stuart Kinder
Telly Savalas Archer Maggott
Clint Walker Samson Posey
Donald Sutherland Vernon Pinkley
Robert Webber Gen. Denton
Tom Busby Milo Vladek
Ben Carruthers Glenn Gilpin
Stuart Cooper Roscoe Lever
Robert Phillips Corporal Carl Morgan
Colin Maitland Seth Sawyer
Al Mancini Tassos Bravos
Thick Wilson Worden's Aide
Dora Reisser German Officer's Girl
Dick Miller Actor
George Roubicek Pvt. Arthur James Gardner

Technical Credits
Robert Aldrich Director
Bert Batt Asst. Director
Mack David Songwriter
Frank deVol Score Composer
Ernest Gasser Makeup
Lukas Heller Screenwriter
W.E. Hutchinson Art Director
William Hutchinson Art Director
Kenneth Hyman Producer
Nunnally Johnson Screenwriter
Michael Luciano Editor
Alan McCabe Camera Operator
Cliff John Richardson Special Effects
Edward Scaife Cinematographer
Wally Schneiderman Makeup
Sibylle Siegfreid Songwriter
Tony Spratling Camera Operator

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Logos [:19]
2. Hanging With Reisman [2:13]
3. Project Amnesty [9:04]
4. Main Titles [3:24]
5. Deadhead Drill [4:00]
6. Happy, Smiling Faces [9:00]
7. Three Ways To Go [4:24]
8. Home Construction [4:24]
9. Einsam [2:01]
10. Going To The Can [1:59]
11. Rope Trick [1:47]
12. Picking On Posey [8:25]
13. No Soap [3:46]
14. Top Secret Operation [1:37]
15. General Inspection [7:12]
16. Latrine Beating [3:02]
17. The Bramble Bush [2:09]
18. Graduation Ball [4:46]
19. Breed Contempt [7:04]
20. Six-Week Review [3:40]
21. Divisional Maneuvers [16:49]
22. The Last Supper [2:51]
23. The Mission Begins [5:16]
24. At The Chateau [6:11]
25. Scaling The Roof [9:19]
26. Wolfgang? [3:26]
27. Judgement Day [3:08]
28. Locked In The Bunker [6:04]
29. Gasoline & Grenades [6:24]
30. "Blow It!" [1:19]
31. Taking Their Leave [3:36]
32. End Credits [:43]

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