The Dirty Dozen (1967)

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    There are 83 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by ethanedwards.

    • The Dirty Dozen (1967)




      Information From IMDb

      Plot Summary
      An Army Major who likes to butt heads with his superiors, is being "given" a new assignment, to train 12 men who are either sentenced to death or life imprisonment, to go behind enemy lines raid a chateau that the Germans are using as an R&R center and kill as enemy officers as they can and disrupt the German chain of command. Now he not only has to train them; he has to get them to start acting like a unit. And when a Colonel whom the Major has been having the most trouble with reports to the Generals that his unit is not working out, the Major asks the General to try them out by having them participate in a war game. If they don't succeed they will be sent back to prison to face their sentences.
      Written by rcs0411

      Lee Marvin ... Major Reisman
      Ernest Borgnine ... General Worden
      Charles Bronson ... Joseph Wladislaw
      Jim Brown ... Robert Jefferson
      John Cassavetes ... Victor Franko
      Richard Jaeckel ... Sergeant Bowren
      George Kennedy ... Major Max Armbruster
      Trini López ... Pedro Jiminez (as Trini Lopez)
      Ralph Meeker ... Captain Stuart Kinder
      Robert Ryan ... Col. Everett Dasher Breed
      Telly Savalas ... Archer Maggott
      Donald Sutherland ... Vernon Pinkley
      Clint Walker ... Samson Posey
      Robert Webber ... General Denton
      Tom Busby ... Milo Vladek
      Ben Carruthers ... Glenn Gilpin
      Stuart Cooper ... Roscoe Lever
      Robert Phillips ... Corporal Morgan
      Colin Maitland ... Seth Sawyer
      Al Mancini ... Tassos Bravos
      George Roubicek ... Pvt. Arthur James Gardner
      Thick Wilson ... General Worden's Aide
      Dora Reisser ... German Officer's Girl
      Gerard Heinz ... Cardplaying german officer (uncredited)
      John Hollis ... German porter at chateu (uncredited)
      Hildegard Knef ... (uncredited)
      Richard Marner ... German sentry at chateau (uncredited)
      Dick Miller ... MP At Hanging (uncredited)
      Suzanne Owens ... Prostitute (uncredited)
      Frederick Schiller ... Drunken German General (uncredited)

      Writing credits
      E.M. Nathanson (novel)

      Nunnally Johnson (screenplay) and
      Lukas Heller (screenplay)

      Produced by
      Raymond Anzarut .... associate producer
      Kenneth Hyman .... producer

      Original Music
      Frank De Vol (as De Vol)

      * Although Robert Aldrich had tried to purchase the rights to E.M. Nathanson's novel "The Dirty Dozen" while it was still in outline form, it was MGM that successfully acquired the property in May 1963. The book became a best-seller upon its publication in 1965.

      * The French chateau that appears in the film was constructed especially for the production by art director William Hutchinson and his crew of 85. One of the largest sets ever built, it stood 240 feet across and 50 feet high. Gardeners surrounded the building with 5400 square yards of heather, 400 ferns, 450 shrubs, 30 spruce trees and 6 full-grown weeping willows.

      * Construction of the faux chateau proved *too* good. The script called for it to be blown up, but the construction was so solid that 70 tons of explosives would have been needed to achieve the effect! Instead, a section was rebuilt from cork and plastic.

      * John Wayne was first offered the part of Maj. John Reisman, but he declined and went on to star in and direct another war film (The Green Berets (1968)). The part was then offered to Lee Marvin, who took it.

      * Originally Jiminez, the Trini López character, was supposed to be one of the heroes. He was to be the one to ignite all of the dynamite that would destroy the entire chateau.

      * The operation count-off is as follows: - One: down to the road block we've just begun - Two: the guards are through - Three: the Major's men are on a spree - Four: Major and Wladislaw go through the door - Five: Pinkley stays out in the drive - Six: the Major gives the rope a fix - Seven: Wladislaw throws the hook to heaven - Eight: Jiminez has got a date - Nine: the other guys go up the line - Ten: Sawyer and Gilpin are in the pen - Eleven: Posey guards points Five and Seven - Twelve: Wladislaw and the Major go down to delve - Thirteen: Franko goes up without being seen - Fourteen: Zero hour, Jiminez cuts the cable Franko cuts the phone - Fifteen: Franko goes in where the others have been - Sixteen: we all come out like it's Halloween

      * Lee Marvin (Marines), Telly Savalas and Charles Bronson (Army), Ernest Borgnine (Navy) and Clint Walker (Merchant Marine) all served in World War II.

      * Donald Sutherland was a late casting decision, replacing an actor who dropped out because he thought the role was beneath him.

      * Robert Aldrich was told that he could be in line for an Oscar as Best Director for the film if he cut out the scene of Jim Brown dropping hand grenades into the bomb shelter. The scene was considered controversial because the Germans (including women) were locked inside the bunker and had no chance to survive. Aldrich considered it but elected to leave the scene in to show that "war is hell".

      * Jack Palance turned down the Telly Savalas role.

      * The character of Reisman (Lee Marvin) was based on John Miara of Malden, Massachusetts, who was a close personal friend of Marvin's while both were serving in the Marine Corps during WW II.

      * Jim Brown's character is credited as 'Napoleon Jefferson' in the original US trailer.

      * The scene where one of the dozen pretends to be a general inspecting Robert Ryan’s troops was initially written for Clint Walker’s character. However, Walker was uncomfortable with this scene, so Robert Aldrich decided to use Donald Sutherland instead. The scene was directly responsible for Sutherland being cast in MASH (1970), which made him an international star.

      * The sub-machine guns being used by most of the Dirty Dozen are M3, .45 ACP Cal., sub-machine guns know as the "Grease Gun". It came into use late in the war replacing Thompson sub-machine guns. It was not a general issue weapon to infantryman, normally it was the crew weapon on a tank. Many "found" their way to the frontline troops. This earlier model weapon had a charging lever on the side. Later models (M3A1) were charged by simply pulling back on the bolt by inserting your finger into a recess in the bolt. The M3A1 wire stock included a tab to help load magazines, the ends threaded to accept a cleaning brush to clean the barrel and was used as a wrench to unscrew the barrel for disassembly. The weapon, only manufactured during WWII by General Motors Headlight division, at a cost about $20 vs. the Thompsons at a few $100 each.

      * During the "Last Supper" scene, Maggot (Telly Savalas) is in the Judas position of the Da Vinci painting, before betraying the team during its mission.

      * Trini López's character was killed off early after his agent unwisely demanded more money. Instead of conceding to his demands, Robert Aldrich swiftly had an off-screen death scene for Lopez written into the script.

      * Continuity: During the "war games" sequence, some of the "Dozen" are shown to exchange their Blue Army armbands for the red ones worn by the opposing forces. But for the next few minutes of the film, they are still wearing their blue ones.

      * Anachronisms: In the beginning when Major Reisman is being given his mission, one of the officers speaking to him wears the ribbon for the Army Commendation medal (green with white stripes). The scene is set in 1944, yet Congress did not institute this medal until 1945.

      * Anachronisms: The C-47 Dakota aircraft used in the jump scenes at parachute school is marked with the American white star in a blue roundel. This national insignia was replaced on American aircraft by the more familiar white star and bars on 30 June 1943.

      * Continuity: As Reisman, Bowren, Franko and Wladislaw retreat in the half-track, their weapons change from M3s to MP40s several times. Wladislaw picked up several MP40s but this doesn't explain why the guns change from shot to shot.

      * Factual errors: The German soldier that shoots Franko is carrying an M3 submachine gun, which is an American weapon. Also, when he fires it, the sound effect matches that of the German MP40s not the American M3s.

      * Revealing mistakes: As the armored car is shown falling into the water at the end of the mission, some of the masonry falls away revealing the timber framing used to construct the bridge.

      * Continuity: As the German guard walks away after having lit his cigarette off Pinkley's, Pinkley can be seen in the background coolly blowing smoke in the air and dropping the cigarette to his side. In the next shot, however, Pinkley is still staring dumbfounded at the guard with the cigarette held at chest height.

      * Factual errors: After Sgt. Bowren dubs the "Dirty Dozen" with their titular nickname, he orders, "Dress right, dress." The men space off with left hand on belt and elbow extended to the side, which is "close interval dress". At the sergeant's order, they should have spaced off with the left arm extended at shoulder level.

      * Continuity: When Kinder and Reisman sit down at the table to discuss the 12, a canteen appears which was not in the previous shot

      * Factual errors: The 25-pounder howitzers used during the war games do not appear to recoil. They should in fact recoil the full length of the barrel.

      * Continuity: Towards the end of the film, the Major is shot in the shoulder as he drives across the bridge. He immediately grabs the shoulder with his left hand in the wide shot. In the next close-up, that hand and forearm are covered in blood, but when the shot widens again there is no blood.

      * Factual errors: Several times the characters fire their M3 Grease Guns with the dust cover closed. The dust cover doubled as the safety on those weapons and it would never fire with it closed.

      * Anachronisms: The truck they are riding in while in town during the war games is an M-37 Dodge. This truck wasn't made until 1953, well after WWII.

      * Continuity: As Wladislaw exits the room with the rope and hook, he drops the rope at his feet. In the next far shot, Wladislaw is holding the rope and again drops it at his feet before throwing the hook.

      * Factual errors: Although US military personnel were executed on British soil during WW2, the hanging sequence in "The Dirty Dozen" shows US Military Policemen carrying out the execution. In reality, they were not legally allowed to do this. Instead, the hangings were carried out by British hangmen such as Albert Pierrepoint, with American personnel acting only as official witnesses.

      * Factual errors: General Worden's barracks cap has gold braid on the visor, incorrect for the World War II period. Douglas MacArthur was the only U.S. Army general who wore a cap (of his own design) with unauthorized gold-braid on the visor during WWII.

      * Factual errors: Although Major Reisman correctly wears an officer's overseas cap with the mixed black-and-gold braided trim on it in scenes in which he wears a dress uniform, he (incorrectly) wears an enlisted man's plain overseas cap in scenes in which he wears a fatigue, or field, uniform.

      * Anachronisms: The hairstyles worn by the women in the film are 1967 hairstyles. The film is set in 1944.

      * Continuity: In one scene, an alcohol bottle Major Reisman is drinking from appears to be near-empty during the two-shots. However, during the cutaway shot of Reisman in the same scene, the same bottle is completely full.

      Filming Locations
      Aldbury, Hertfordshire, England, UK
      (Devon village - Red Force Division 1 HQ)
      Ashridge Management College, Little Gaddesden, Hertfordshire, England, UK
      (Marston-Tyne Military Prison - recruitment of the dirty dozen)
      Ashridge Park, Little Gaddesden, Hertfordshire, England, UK
      Beachwood Park School, Markyate, Hertfordshire, England, UK
      Chenies, Buckinghamshire, England, UK
      Hendon Aerodrome, Hendon, London, England, UK
      Little Gaddesden, Hertfordshire, England, UK
      MGM British Studios, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, UK
      (Borehamwood, England) (studio)
      Markyate, Hertfordshire, England, UK
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 3 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Classic War Movies- The Dirty Dozen (1967)

      The Dirty Dozen is a 1967 war film directed by Robert Aldrich and released by MGM.
      It was filmed in England and features an ensemble cast, including
      Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown,
      John Cassavetes, Telly Savalas and Robert Webber.
      The film is based on E. M. Nathanson's novel of the same name
      that was potentially inspired by a real life group called the "Filthy Thirteen".
      In 2001, the American Film Institute placed the film number 65 on their 100 Years... 100 Thrills list.

      A great classic war film, full of all the adventure and daring,
      one would expect. Violent and at times, came under the scrutiny of critics.
      Duke was originally chosen to play Major Reisman,
      but turned the part down, due to is involvement,
      on his own production The Green Berets.
      However there is no doubt, that Lee Marvin,
      went on to claim the part for himself,
      and there's no denying, that it would be hard
      to visualise the movie, without him!!

      Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson,
      George Kennedy, Robert Ryan
      Telly Savalas,Donald Sutherland
      and Clint Walker all shone as stars would.
      Even singer Trini López, turned up,
      but didn't last long, after wrangles with his agent!

      User Review

      Splendidly Produced; a Tough and Tough-Minded Film
      19 June 2005 | by silverscreen

      Many viewers of film, myself include, rate this as one of the most exciting "mission"'' stories of all time. Adapted from an intelligent but Freudian source novel, the plot theme is a subtle one for a movie; it's about convicted men in WWII being given odds for life in the form of a suicide mission that may wipe their slates clean-- or perhaps not... its main theme is self-assertion, set against its opposite, enforced repression. The key to every action men undertake in this very tough and and tough-minded Nunnnally Johnason and Lukas Heller script is: "Is that person dealing with the reality of the world of and his/her own responsibility to act?" From convict Telly Savalas' character, mystical murderer of women who claims a divine calling to punish their sexuality, to Charles Bronson and Jim Brown who reacted to persecutions and are innocent by reason of self-defense, to their leader, the mission's architect, Major Reisman, who wants his plan to go forward his way despite resistance from brass, every man of the outfit is tried against the same standard. Jimenez is climbing a rope and says he can't make the tower; Franco refuses to shave because the officers have hot water and he does not, Posey can't control his temper, control-freak Col. Breed hates any man who does not go by the book; etc. As a production, Robert Aldrich's direction is probably his masterpiece; the acting is far above average, especially Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Donald Sutherland, Clint Walker, Robert Webber, energetic John Cassevetes and Al Mancini; the inspired casting of powerful top-sergeant-level Ernest Borgnine as an obviously far-beyond-his element general works brilliantly. The art direction, special effects, sets, and music (by Frank de Vol) all complement a taut script filled with memorable terse dialogue. Entire sequences such as the selection interviews for the mission team, the building of the camp, a visit to Breed's hq, Breed's invasion of the camp, the training regimen, the "graduation party", Reisman's verbal defense of his men, the war games' challenge, preparing for the mission, the early invasion steps, Maggot's adlib, the attack by Reisman's team, the escape and the hospital climax and denouement--all these sections are made memorable to many admirers of this beautifully made and unusual story. As officers attached to the mission, George Kennedy, Richard Jaene-too-subtle secondary theme of the film is: the wrongness of arbitrary power in anyone's hands, including Nazis, US army officers or their brutal agents (such as Breed's men who beat up Charles Bronson for information). The film is about individuals who when they harm no one else and are effective human beings, men who can always get the job done, always control themselves. who need to be free to operate. Such men the film says are "heroes"--men with an unusual ability to create results on Earth; the sort of men films ought to be made about in a nation that talks individualism and claims to value capability. This is a great adventure, of enduring artistry, occasional brutality and intelligently-developed dialogue. It has logical actions, and spectacular physical performances and This is a strong and well-thought-out adventure film, one of the richest of its genre, to be watched many times.

      All in all, an exciting movie, that can be watched time and time again.
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 3 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Classic War Movies- The Dirty Dozen (1967)

      Jay J. Foraker wrote:

      I'm doing more of this forgetting business lately! The ol' mind ain't what it used to be.

      Amen, Jay.

      I just got back from a 3-day visit to my sister. Her husband died last Tuesday and they had his funeral today. At the funeral, a man came up and clapped me on the back. I turned around and saw one of my oldest and best friends from high school days (and whom I've seen several times in the past few years). For the life of me, I could not remember his name (which I know almost as well as I know my own). I stood there wracking my brain and finally said, "your brother's name is Larry but I'll be damned if I remember yours". Finally, he took pity on me and said "Charlie." Talk about feeling like a complete idiot. Believe me I did. :stunned:
      De gustibus non est disputandum
    • Re: Classic War Movies- The Dirty Dozen (1967)

      Stumpy - I don't know how many times in recent years I have gone to another room in the house, got there and wondered why I was there. Or my wife will ask me to get something for her and I will forget what it was before I get there (but I'm usually in the vicinity of what I'm suppose to get.). It does get frustrating at times.:yeaahh:
      Cheers - Jay:beer:
    • Re: Classic War Movies- The Dirty Dozen (1967)

      Hi Stumpy. I know very well how you feel about having trouble remembering names. I had a small stroke about a year ago and since then I seem to be having the same problem
      I have decide that this getting old thing is not what its cracked up to be!
    • Re: Classic War Movies- The Dirty Dozen (1967)

      captain dan wrote:

      I have decide that this getting old thing is not what its cracked up to be!

      That's for sure - don't know who it was that came up with the expression "Golden Years" to describe old age but they sure didn't know what they were talking about.

      What's especially frustrating is that I used to have a razor-sharp memory and when I can't even remember the first name of an old friend, it's bad.
      De gustibus non est disputandum
    • Re: Classic War Movies- The Dirty Dozen (1967)

      ethanedwards wrote:

      When you older members who are losing your marbles,
      get back your memories, will you remember the movie this thread
      is supposed to be about??

      Sorry, Keith. I know I'm one of the board's worst for wandering off track.

      "The Dirty Dozen" is one of my favorite war movies. BTW, you forgot to mention Richard Jaeckel as one who shone in this film.
      De gustibus non est disputandum
    • Re: Classic War Movies- The Dirty Dozen (1967)

      ethanedwards wrote:

      When you older members who are losing your marbles,
      get back your memories, will you remember the movie this thread
      is supposed to be about??

      Sorry Keith - Guilty as charged. It is so easy to slide off into another subject without batting an eye!(ot)
      Cheers - Jay:beer:
    • Re: Classic War Movies- The Dirty Dozen (1967)

      The Dirty Dozen is a top-notch war movie and one of my all-time most favorites. I stumbled across in the credits, that Hildegard Knef was in this movie. I never knew that and next time I can watch it, im going to look for her. I guess she was one of the ladies in the background (at the German Officers Party at the Chateau)
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..
    • Re: Classic War Movies- The Dirty Dozen (1967)

      Hi Keith, this movie too, is one of my all-time most favorites. I'm sure it was one of the first ten or so DvDs I ever bought-now having close to 360 ;-)) This movie gets better and better with every viewing and one never gets bored watching it. I can't honestly tell you how many times I have watched this movie but would estimate it to be over 70 viewings. In fact, this and The Great Escape, are just two of the movies i'd say that I most watch-equivellent to a few of Dukes movies of course.
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..
    • Re: Classic War Movies- The Dirty Dozen (1967)

      Hello All,
      Iwatched this movie on DVD just recently and agree it deserves to be called a classic. However I was watching the Antiques Roadshow on Cable TV and a guest had Albert Pierrepoint's records of the people he executed. Among them was some overseas troops. His records included the dates, height, weight and nationality of each person.
      RACMP - For the troops With the troops