The Devil's Brigade (1968) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Devil's Brigade (1968)

The Devil's Brigade (1968)

The Devil's Brigade





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Devil's Brigade Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

During the early days of World War II, while the United States was massing its forces for the war, England hastily plans commando raids against the German forces to keep them at bay until America's troops enter the war. As a part of this plan, the Allies create the 1st Special Service Force to plan and carry out an attack on Norway in order to tie up the German forces. This commando force of Canadian soldiers and American GIs is headed by Lt. Col. Robert T. Frederick (William Holden), a paper-pusher given his first field command. Antagonism immediately erupts between Canadian Maj. Alan Crown (Cliff Robertson) and American Maj. Cliff Bricker (Vince Edwards). But Frederick utilizes their mutual dislike as a basis for a rivalry that turns this rag-tag group of misfits into a disciplined fighting force. But now that Frederick's men are ready to fight, Frederick receives word that the Norway mission has been canceled. After appealing to Washington for another assignment for the commandos, the brigade is sent on a patrol near the German lines in southern Italy. The brigade captures an enemy-held village and is then given the seemingly impossible task of taking Mt. La Difensa.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: William Roberts
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 7, 2002


William Holden
as Lt. Col. Robert T. F...
Vince Edwards
as Maj. Cliff Bricker
Cliff Robertson
as Major Alan Crown
Michael Rennie
as Gen. Mark Clark
Dana Andrews
as Brig. Gen. Walter Na...
Gretchen Wyler
as A Lady of Joy
Andrew Prine
as Pvt. Theodore Ransom
Claude Akins
as Rocky Rockman
Carroll O'Connor
as Maj. Gen. Hunter
Richard Jaeckel
as Omar Greco
Jack Watson
as Cpl. Wilfred Peacock
Paul Hornung
as Lumberjack
Gene Fullmer
as Bartender
Jeremy Slate
as Patrick O'Neill
Don Megowan
as Luke Phelan
Patric Knowles
as Adm. Lord Louis Moun...
James Craig
as American Officer
Richard Dawson
as Hugh MacDonald
Tom Stern
as Capt. Cardwell
Tom Troupe
as Al Manella
Luke Askew
as Hubert Hixon
Bill Fletcher
as Bronc Guthrie
Jean-Paul Vignon
as Henri Laurent
Harry Carey Jr.
as Capt. Rose
Norman Alden
as M.P. Lieutenant
David Pritchard
as Cpl. Coker
Paul Busch
as German Captain
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Devil's Brigade

Critic Reviews for The Devil's Brigade

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

August 18, 2005

February 14, 2005
Reeling Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Devil's Brigade

The Devil's Brigade is a very good and entertaining war film that tells the story of a team of Special Forces mixed up of Canadian and American soldiers during the Second World War. Although not perfect, this is still an engaging movie that is a must see for any war film fan. The cast do a fine job with the material, but it could have been done better at times, considering that the real life Devil's Brigade are true icons of Special Forces warfare. The true story is quite interesting, and this film can peek your interest into the subject as well. However there are parts that are pretty slow, and really should been reworked a bit to really make this a standout war film. The film was viewed as a rip off of the Dirty Dozen, but that is not true. I view them to be separate movies, and each is very different. What we have here with the Devil's Brigade is an exciting war film that chronicles the exploits of the famed regiment. This is a film that is worth seeing if you're interesting in a true story about some truly courageous soldiers. The film may be inaccurate at times, but it has enough going for it to make for a worthwhile film going experience. The Devil's Brigade is an entertaining film that is sure to appeal classic war film fans as well as history buffs. However to get the full story of the brigade, read up on them in books and multiple articles on the net. This is an entertaining film, but one that leaves a lot to be desired. Despite this, it's a film worth seeing.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer


True story. Cliff Robertson is outstanding while Vince Edwards is horrid. Holden is ok. It's like The Dirty Dozen minus the superstar cast of the Dozen. Military prisoners from the U.S. can be a part of this dangerous early WWII mission or they can go back to jail. The major flaw with this movie is making the Germans look like complete bafoons.

Watch this one to the end, as the first half is pretty bad.

The other parts are equally crazy. These guys scale a near mountain with no gloves on 4 ropes for dozens of men. There were no knots in the ropes for a hand hold. Maybe it really happened like this, but it sure strained crediblility for me.

The major plus is the cinematography and sometimes great moments. I wouldn't say it's the best or even near best WWII flick I ever saw, but it is not terrible EXCEPT in the first hour.


SEE this clip from the film, one of the better ones:

"David L. Wolper bought the rights to "The Devil's Brigade" in 1965, well before filming began on "The Dirty Dozen." That makes it impossible to describe Wolper's movie as a weak imitation of "Dirty Dozen." Yet that's what it will seem like to audiences."...."There was doubtless stupidity on both sides during the war; there's certainly no lack of it in "The Devil's Brigade."--- roger ebert


Richard Dawson (of TV's Hogans Heroes) has a role as well as Carrol O'Conner (of TV's Archie Bunker). Vincent Edwards plays a major role, formerly of the very popular doctor tv show "Ben Casey". His acting is forced, not convincing as a tough guy who always has a cigar in his mouth.

[img][/img] the surviving members of The Devil's Brigade

"The film recounts the formation, training, and first mission of the 1st Special Service Force, a joint American-Canadian commando unit, known as the Devil's Brigade. The film dramatizes the Brigade's first mission in the Italian Campaign, the task of capturing what had been an impregnable Nazi mountain stronghold, Monte la Difensa."--wikipedia


Lots of "B" actors in this one. The first mission is to capture German prisoners, but the first three they confront they kill by suprise. Holden leads this treacherous platoon into hostile territory but has never been in combat a day in his life! The flaws in this one are too many to enumerate.

"In The Devil's Brigade - his first film production - Wolper had his Brigade wear attractive but fictional red berets. The pipes and drums featured in the production were the "Salt Lake Scots Pipe Band" who furnished their own instruments and uniforms for the film shoot. The band still exists today."---wikipedia


SEE the entire film for yourself here:


REVIEWS by us nobody's:

fair movie about a true story.



1. Leonard Maltin's reviews gave this a mediocre rating of 70%.

2 General Mark Clark in Italy gave the men a chance to prove themselves. Clark asks the 1st Special Service Force to recon a German garrison in an Italian town, but Frederick (Holden) decides to go one better and capture the entire town.

3. Convinced now of the ability of Frederick's men, Gen. Clark gives them the task no other Allied troops have managed to achieve - to capture Monte La Difensa.

4. A time of civil unrest in the U.S. and black activists complained about no black actors being in the film. There were no black actors hired because there were none in the unit.

5. They were called the Devil's Brigade, and East Liverpool native Hugh R. Starr was counted as one of their elite members.

William Holden as Lt. Col./Col. Robert T. Frederick, Commanding Officer (CO) of the 1st Special Service Force

Cliff Robertson as Maj. Alan Crown, Executive Officer (XO) of the 1st Special Service Force & CO of the Canadian company

Vince Edwards as Maj. Cliff Bricker, Operations Officer

Harry Carey Jr. as Capt. Rose, 2IC of the Canadian company

Andrew Prine as Pvt. Theodore "Handsome" Ransom, former member of the Army Air Forces
Jeremy Slate as Sgt. Patrick "Pat" O'Neill, hand-to-hand combat instructor

Claude Akins as Pvt./Cpl. Rockwell W. "Rocky" Rockman, section leader

Jack Watson as Cpl./Sgt. Wilfrid Peacock, senior NCO
Richard Jaeckel as Pvt. Omar Greco, former circus acrobat, point man

Richard Dawson as Pvt./Cpl. Hugh MacDonald, section leader

Tom Troupe as Pvt. Al Manella
Luke Askew as Pvt. Hubert Hixon
Bill Fletcher as Pvt. "Bronc" Guthrie
Jean-Paul Vignon as Pvt. Henri Laurent, combat medic
Tom Stern as Capt. Cardwell, Garrison CO of Fort William Henry Harrison
Michael Rennie as Lt. Gen. Mark W. Clark, Commander of the U.S. Fifth Army

Carroll O'Connor as Maj. Gen. Maxwell Hunter, Frederick's direct superior

Dana Andrews as Brig. Gen. Walter Naylor

Gretchen Wyler as The Lady of Joy
Paul Hornung as The Lumberjack
Patric Knowles as Adm Lord Mountbatten, Chief of Combined Operations Headquarters
Wilhelm von Homburg as Fritz (as Wilhelm Von Homburg)
Gene Fullmer as The Bartender
Maggie Thrett as Millie
James Craig as Maj. Gen. Knapp
Donald Ein as Gen. Jensen
Dick Simmons as Gen. Bixby (as Richard Simmons)
Norman Alden as The M.P. Lt
Karl-Otto Alberty as German Officer


Directed by

Andrew V. McLaglen

Produced by
David L. Wolper

Screenplay by
William Roberts

Based on
The Devil's Brigade
by Robert H. Adleman
& George Walton

Music by
Alex North

William H. Clothier

Editing by
William T. Cartwright

Wolper Pictures

Distributed by
United Artists

Release dates
May 15, 1968 (US)

Running time
130 minutes


Monsieur Rick
monsieur rick

I thought it was a very good movie. I never knew that durring World War II there ever was a group of Canadians and United States troops that worked together in any kind of training in the United States and The United States Troops were the ones that were the worst trained. I never knew The Canadian Army played bagpipes.

My favorite parts are the bar fight and ceaching all the prisoners.

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