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The Dirty Dozen

403 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Dirty Dozen, The (DVD)

World War II. An impossible mission ... The fate of the Allied invasion hanging in the balance ... 12 men with nothing left to lose. Now the fate of the free world depends on a group of convicted murderers, thieves and thugs--The Dirty Dozen. Twelve American military prisoners are offered parole--if they complete a suicide mission behind enemy lines just before D-Day. After weeks of grueling training, they are dressed in German uniforms, dropped deep behind enemy lines and left on their own to complete their mission and try to get out alive. Based on the novel by E.M. Nathanson.

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Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, John Cassavetes
  • Directors: Robert Aldrich
  • Writers: Nunnally Johnson, Lukas Heller
  • Producers: Kenneth Hyman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English, French, German
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 16, 2007
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (403 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007TKNM4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,495 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Dirty Dozen" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin J Burgraff VINE VOICE on July 29, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"The Dirty Dozen", Robert Aldrich's 1967 adventure classic, would redefine a whole genre of films, as public attitudes towards warfare and heroism changed, due to Vietnam. With 'heroes' who were certainly not noble, a mission that would require a level of cruelty film audiences had never before seen from American fighting men, and graphic language and bloodshed, the impact of the the film was both immediate (despite huge 'box office', many critics panned the film as 'disturbing' and glorifying violence), and continuing (influencing films as diverse as "Patton" and "Saving Private Ryan"). It can be viewed at many levels, as a crackling good adventure yarn, an 'anti-establishment' and anti-war statement, the ultimate 'buddy' film...few films have generated as much controversy, or stood the passage of time, better!

Based on E.M. Nathanson's novel (of rumored 'Death Row' convicts offered a pardon or reduction of sentence for volunteering for a suicide mission), with a large dash of the Pathfinders' legendary "Filthy Thirteen" of WWII tossed in, the property was purchased as a potential starring vehicle for John Wayne. The Duke passed on the project, however (choosing to make "The Green Berets", instead). Director Aldrich never envisioned Wayne in the lead, preferring WWII Marine vet Lee Marvin in the complex role of maverick Maj. John Reisman, and the actor, fresh from winning an Oscar for "Cat Ballou", was dead-on perfect in the part. Veteran stars Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Ralph Meeker, Robert Webber, George Kennedy, and Richard Jaeckel were cast as Marvin's military allies and adversaries.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Elwood Conway on November 2, 2006
Format: HD DVD Verified Purchase
Wow...this HD presentation captures everything, including (much maligned) film grain. It is most likely a better presentation than this film had when originally released to theaters. Visuals are wonderfully clear, the print is exceptionally clean and the sound, for a movie almost 40 years old, is top shelf. This is definitely the version to own!!
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57 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Westley VINE VOICE on February 21, 2004
Format: DVD
"The Dirty Dozen" became one of the biggest hits of 1967, placing behind only "The Graduate," "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," and "Bonnie and Clyde." Its success was well-deserved and unsurprising given how enjoyable and stirring it is. Lee Marvin stars as a Major during WWII who is disliked by many of his superiors. He's assigned to lead a suicide style mission behind Nazi enemy lines. He's disinclined to do so, particularly after he meets his "troop" comprised of a dozen murderers and other criminals - the titular "dirty dozen." Despite his misgivings, Marvin eventually agrees to train and lead this rag-tag group, as a shot of redemption for all concerned.
The story is constructed brilliantly, beginning with an introduction to the assignment and the dirty dozen, detailing their training, showing their first "mock" operation, and climaxing with their final mission. The cast is a superior mix of established stars and then-newcomers, including Ernest Borgnine, George Kennedy, Charles Bronson, Trini Lopez, Jim Brown, Clint Walker, Telly Savalas, and Donald Sutherland. Special cudos go to Lee Marvin, who is terrific as the renegade Major, and John Cassavetes as the rebellious Franco; Cassavetes received his first Oscar nomination for the role (he later received one for writing and one for directing his own films).
Director Robert Aldrich does his best-ever work (he was nominated for best director by the Director's Guild of America), building on such earlier hits as "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" and "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte." His skillful direction manages to make us care deeply and root for a collection of violent offenders. Overall, "The Dirty Dozen" is a first-rate action movie - one of the most enjoyable ever made.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jordan M. Poss VINE VOICE on June 1, 2006
Format: DVD
Warner Brothers has made up for the long wait for a good DVD edition of The Dirty Dozen. This two-disc package is excellent, a major improvement on the previous release.

Image quality: A new transfer to anamorphic video. The image is great--very sharp and clear, giving all due emphasis to the gritty quality of the story. In some shots you can see every pore on Lee Marvin's face. A little frightening, I suppose, but worth it.

Sound: Very good. The Dirty Dozen won the Oscar for Best Sound Effects, and this DVD's sound does the film justice.

Special features: Surprisingly good for a film as far-removed in time as this. The highlight, for me, was the commentary on the film by a few of the surviving actors, a film historian, and Cpt. Dale Dye of Warriors, Inc. Dye's salty commentary is the real jewel of the features on this edition.

It's nice to see a movie I've loved since childhood getting the DVD it deserves. If you've been waiting for this DVD--or even if you haven't--pick it up as soon as you can. Highly recommended.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Darren Harrison VINE VOICE on June 2, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The movie THE DIRTY DOZEN led to three sequels, easily the best of which was the 1985 TV movie DIRTY DOZEN: THE NEXT MISSION. That movie, which reunited Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine and Richard Jaeckel from the original movie is featured in the two-disc collectors set DVD as the primary special feature.
Learning of a German plot to kill Hitler, Allied intelligence is worried. The war is not going well for the Reich and Hitler is making illogical and irrational decisions. The Allies realize that if the Fuhrer is assassinated, that the decision-making powers could be given to a more capable military commander and thereby prolong the war, as Borgnine's Gen. Worden notes, Hitler is in fact their best ally.
What follows is a largely retread of the recruitment and training that was seen in the first movie, however the target this time is a train and instead of killing a whole mansion full of generals, the target this time is one. However, as expected, things do not go entirely to plan and the closing minutes of the movie are laden with a couple of surprises for the team. It's lightweight fun and not at all up to the same quality as the original, but it's entertaining enough and has its great moments. The 1985 movie's running time is 1 hour, 35 minutes and is (since it was made for television) full-frame. It's inclusion as a special feature here is reason enough for this movie to be a recommended purchase.
But it's not alone in the special features department. Add to that a scene specific commentary that is held together by film historian David Schlow. For the most part the participants appear to have been recorded separately (with former marine Capt. Dale Dye being the sole participant for the first eight minutes), and at times it can be a little dry, but it's fascinating and informative.
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