The Dirty Dozen
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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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lee Marvin is superb in this film, and the supporting performances by a long list of Hollywood's leading actors of the period were solid as well. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jim Rufer
Nice to have the second TV movie - case was fine and the Dirty Dozen is a great film.Published 2 months ago by RM
Gotta love Lee Marvin. Entertaining war movie if that's possiblePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Good classic American war story. Love the angles and the characters in the film.Published 2 months ago by Eric H
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