- Actors: Lee Marvin, Telly Savalas, Jim Brown, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan
- Directors: Robert Aldrich
- Producers: Kenneth Hyman
- Format: PAL
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
- Number of discs: 2
- Classification: 15
- Studio: Warner
- DVD Release Date: 7 Aug. 2006
- Run Time: 147 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B000GQMLVO
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 96,943 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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The Dirty Dozen : The Movie & More (2 Disc Special Edition)  [DVD]
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Robert Aldrich directs this classic American war film starring Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine and Charles Bronson. In 1944, 12 death row convicts are selected by Major John Reisman (Marvin) and his commander Major General Sam Worden (Borgnine) for a suicide mission code-named Operation Amnesty. With the aid of his assistant, Sergeant Bowren (Richard Jaeckel), Reisman gradually moulds his gang of murderers, rapists, thieves and psychotics into a tough fighting unit. He leads them into occupied France in an attempt to infiltrate a chateau where the Nazi top brass are holding a summit. The cast also includes John Cassavetes, Jim Brown, George Kennedy, Ralph Meeker and Robert Ryan.
A model for dozens of action films to follow, this box-office hit from 1967 refined a die-hard formula that has become overly familiar, but it's rarely been handled better than it was in this action-packed World War II thriller. Lee Marvin is perfectly cast as a down-but-not-out army major who is offered a shot at personal and professional redemption. If he can successfully train and discipline a squad of army rejects, misfits, killers, prisoners, and psychopaths into a first-rate unit of specialized soldiers, they'll earn a second chance to make up for their woeful misdeeds. Of course, there's a catch: to obtain their pardons, Marvin's band of badmen must agree to a suicide mission that will parachute them into the danger zone of Nazi-occupied France. It's a hazardous path to glory, but the men have no other choice than to accept and regain their lost honor. What makes The Dirty Dozen special is its phenomenal cast including Charles Bronson, Donald Sutherland, Telly Savalas, George Kennedy, Ernest Borgnine, John Cassavetes, Richard Jaeckel, Jim Brown, Clint Walker, Trini Lopez, Robert Ryan, and others. Cassavetes is the Oscar-nominated standout as one of Marvin's most rebellious yet heroic men, but it's the whole ensemble--combined with the hard-as-nails direction of Robert Aldrich--that makes this such a high-velocity crowd pleaser. The script by Nunnally Johnson and Lukas Heller (from the novel by E.M. Nathanson) is strong enough to support the all-star lineup with ample humor and military grit, so if you're in need of a mainline jolt of testosterone, The Dirty Dozen is the movie for you. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
entertaining World War 2 movies of yesteryear.(1967)
Twelve no-hopers, psycho's and killers each condemned to either 'Hang' or serve numerous
years behind bars are offered a slim chance of redemption.
'Major Reisman' (Lee Marvin) has been given what amounts to a suicide mission and has
been given the twelve prisoners to prepare for the task, if the mission succeeds and they
survive the prisoners will be pardoned.
The Major is assisted by 'Sgt Bowren' (Richard Jaeckal) who will be a part of the mission, they
have to submit the Twelve to a six week intense and rigorous training program behind a
Among the Twelve - 'Joseph Wladislaw' (Charles Bronson) 'Maggot' (Telly Savalas) 'Robert
Jefferson'(Jim Brown) 'Franco' (John Cassavetes) 'Vernon' (Donald Sutherland) 'Pedro' (Trini Lo'pez)
'Posey' (Clint Walker) '
When the training is completed and a few complications are resolved the 'Dirty Dozen' led by the
Major and Sergeant are to attack a Chateau behind enemy lines, the Chateau is heavily guarded
and used as a pleasure centre for 'German' Top-Brass as restbite from the war.
The mission is to kill as many high-ranking German Officers as they can to disrupt the chain of
command ahead of the D-Day landings.
Among the other well know actors on-board 'Ernest Borgnine' (General Warden) 'Robert Ryan'
(Col.Everett Dasher Breed) and 'George Kennedy' (Maj. Max Arnbruster)
This is a brilliantly entertaining action-movie which harbours many moments of humour along the
way leading up to the explosive Operation itself.
There are many brilliant performances along the way from the star-studded line-up.Read more ›
In a generally excellent ensemble cast of seasoned character actors (ERNEST BORGNINE, TELLY SAVALAS (KOJAK!!), JOHN CASSAVETES, CHARLES BRONSON et al), DONALD SUTHERLAND is a standout, quite superb in a smaller but crucial role.
Great action set-pieces and inspired, brutally appropriate direction from ALDRICH at his very best make this movie a fondly remembered 60s classic. Unmissable and unbeatable entertainment!
It's an 'A' list cast:
John Cassavetes (who was nominated for Best supporting actor in 1967)
The first 2/3 of the film works best where The Major (Marvin) has to train his bunch of no-hopers. Of course they are under-cover so he upsets some of the top brass and this leads to some run-ins with Col Breed (Ryan). These scenes are wonderfully done and the acting and the script all work brilliantly. For me the last part of the film is less successful. This is where they go into battle. I'm not sure why I find this less interesting, but perhaps its because really the Army is fighting itself in the first part of the film and as soon as they are fighting the Germans I don't care as much.
The extras are worthwhile in this release. There are some interesting commentaries from members of the original cast and a few 'experts'. On the 2nd disc you also get the 1985 sequel movie "The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission" (which still has members of the original cast in it), plus three documentaries.
So superb entertainment from director Robert Aldrich, which does hold up to repeated viewings - even if you have already seen it 25 times!
1. It’s a war movie which doesn’t really contain an awful lot of ‘war’ stuff, meaning that fans of the genre will appreciate it as much as those who aren’t into the Second World War
2. The stellar cast. Okay, so some of the twelve prisoners conscripted into Lee Marvin’s secret task force aren’t that memorable, but there are plenty who are... Charles Bronson and Telly Savalis to name but two.
3. Naturally, a great cast produces great performances. There’s no room for a ‘weakest link’ here.
4. Everyone roots for the ‘antihero.’ And here we not only have twelve convicted felons to cheer on, but also their leader – the allegedly pure Lee Marvin – is also as prone to ‘rule-breaking’ as his new charges
5. Black humour. Yes, there may be a war on, but there are a handful of light-hearted moments dotted about here and there that to lighten the tone enough.
6. It’s epic. The two hours it runs for don’t feel like it.
7. It doesn’t pull any punches. As I said... there is a war on and you may find yourself grinning one minute before being completely horrified by the level of brutality that transpired during the historical period.
8. One hell of a tense finale – when the mission comes, it’s worth the wait. You’ll be on the edge of your seat as you cheer all your newfound antiheros on.
Basically, ‘The Dirty Dozen’ is a war film that’s more akin to simply being put in the ‘action’ bracket, rather than classed as a straight ‘war film.’ The mission never actually happened. This film is total fiction. But there’s always that feeling at the back of your mind regarding how, although it never transpired, it probably very well nearly did.
You don’t have to be a war film fan to enjoy this, just enjoy a mismatched bunch of rag-tag antiheros, working together (and sometimes against each other!) on a mission to kill Nazis.