The Dirty Dozen

release year: 1967
genre: action
viewing setting: home Bluray 12/3/18 and 5/30/13 and home DVD, 1/24/04

synopsis: A maverick officer is given a suicide mission and told to recruit from the dregs of the military's convicted prisoners.

impressions: Good old-style WWII action. All parts of this movie, whether the planning of the mission, the selecting of the people, their training, or the execution in Germany are well-done and entertaining. Unlike a lot of movies from the 1960s and 1970s, this one had clear dialogue, no mumbling. Another thing to remember is that the mission is basically a mass assassination. While I didn't feel like I got to know all of the twelve or could tell them apart from the others, there were some good, fun characters. There was also plenty of action!

body count: 32, plus whoever died in two truck explosions and the chateau explosion

things to watch for: The wargames against the idiot colonel's force, or the actual attack on the Nazis.

acting: Lee Marvin is excellent as a not-quite-by-the-book major who makes it his mission to rehabilitate and train the men. As I said, not all of the dozen were notable. I personally recalled these: Charles Bronson was a tough, quiet ex-officer; Clint Walker and Jim Brown were the big guys, John Cassavetes was the wisecracker; Telly Savalas was the religious nut; Donald Sutherland was the goofy-looking and /acting one. Ernest Borgnine was the general in charge of it all, George Kennedy was his assistant, and Robert Ryan was a jerk officer who didn't like Lee Marvin's character.

final word: Good war action, well worth seeing.

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