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The Dirty Dozen (1967)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 0



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Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 40,660

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Movie Info

Director Robert Aldrich took what he considered a hopelessly old-fashioned script by Lukas Heller and Nunnally Johnson and fashioned The Dirty Dozen into one of MGM's biggest moneymakers of the 1960s--and the sixth highest-grossing film in the studio's history. Lee Marvin plays Major Reisman, assigned to coordinate a suicide mission on a French chateau held by top Nazi officers. Since no "normal" GI can be expected to volunteer for this mission, Reisman is compelled to draw his personnel from a


Drama, Classics

Lukas Heller, Nunnally Johnson

Apr 28, 1998


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All Critics (26) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (1) | DVD (19)

Aldrich manages to use his time well, focusing on character traits and never letting the pace become bogged down.

March 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

However trite the scenario looks now, it's still better than all but the best of its copycats.

August 19, 2010 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Boasting an all-male star cast, headed by Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson, this funny, nasty and brutal WWII actioner is Robert Aldrich's most popular film, a cult classic that changed the conventions of the war genre.

July 16, 2009 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

One of those movies in which you ask yourself, "So, who isn't in this movie?" The answer? Not many.

May 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

It's a cholesterol-free action-packed war drama and not a tale about an unsanitary egg carton.

February 4, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comments (4)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

...we expect action-adventure flicks to embroider reality. This one does so without stretching credibility to the breaking point and provides a good time in the process.

May 19, 2006 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

A macho male fantasy that still plays to the inner rebel in all viewers who harbor such a streak.

September 16, 2005 Full Review Source:

Classic and extremely popular WWII actioner directed by Robert Aldrich.

May 31, 2005

Upped the level of violence in cinema by leaps and bounds, and was a great movie, to boot!

November 13, 2002
Juicy Cerebellum

Classic all-star action. Just a whole lot of good, gritty fun.

July 29, 2002

Audience Reviews for The Dirty Dozen

In the 1960's and 1970's so many action films have grace the big screen, providing some truly classic and thrilling moments for the viewer. With an all star cast, director Robert Aldrich crafts a thrilling and exciting action picture that delivers some stunning performances, thrills, humor and memorable action that not even today's action flicks can top. The cast here is brilliant and each brings something to the screen that makes this such a great film. As an action film, The Dirty Dozen ranks as a classic of the genre. The pacing of the film is good and lets the action steadily build up to a killer climax. As far as classic action films are concerned, you have got to see The Dirty Dozen. This is a fun, entertaining film that should please either action fans or war film fans, even though this is not a straight forward war film. Richard Aldrich directs a solid piece of cinematic intensity that will certainly appeal to die hard action fans. This is action to its bare bones, with no fancy special effects, and that's why it is a terrific flick to watch. Brilliant and well acted this is a solid entertaining classic that still is fun to watch even today. The actors chosen play their parts well, and each shine on-screen. Lee Marvin is terrific in the lead role as the Major who commands the Dirty Dozen. Little flaws, but you don't care because this is a nonstop testosterone driven action picture that has great performances, and enough thrills to satisfy the most demanding viewer.
October 13, 2012
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

10/07/2012 (Blu-Ray PS3)
July 10, 2012

Super Reviewer

Major John Reisman: You know what to do, feed the French and shoot the Germans! 

"Train them! Excite them! Arm them!... Then turn them loose on the Nazis!"

The Dirty Dozen is one of the more interesting war films I have seen. It's madly serious, while being wildly silly. I can't help but compare this to a later film Robert Aldrich would direct, which wouldn't seem comparable; that being The Longest Yard. Both of these movies involve a leader having to train inadequate men to be great in order to beat the enemy. Here it is more serious, because it is a matter of life and death. But it is cool to see that Aldrich used basically the same formula for a football movie a little later in his career.

The Dirty Dozen has a reputation as a guys film, and it is easy to see why. There's not a whole lot of femininity going on here. It's a lot of guns, tough talk, and fighting. It also has a reputation as being a fun film, which many war movies can't say. And this is a pretty fun movie. The characters, except for one notable exception, are easy to like. The cast shines.  And most notably, you have to love the ironic way the Americans kill the Nazis. There is a long line of these kill the Nazi movies. Of all of them I have seen this is probably my favorite, but I haven't watched Inglorious Basterds in awhile. 

The story is about Major Reisman who is assigned a crap job. He must train convicted murderers, many of whom are going to be hanged, for a secret Nazi assassination mission. Most of the movie takes place in the training facility, where the Major must bring his men together. The film isn't all shoot em up, but the last 30 minutes or so are not lacking in suspense and action. 

I guess the performances in this film is what sets it apart from other films of this genre. Lee Marvin as Reisman exerts a tough and excellent performance. It helps when you're backed up by Donald Sutherland, Jim Brown, Charles Bronson, Telly Salvalas, and John Cassavetes. The other actors whom I don't recognize are pretty good at bringing out the most in their characters as well.

The Dirty Dozen is one of those must see movies. It is deservedly classified as a landmark film and the fact that it has held up so well to this point is a testament to Aldrich's terrific direction. 

Joseph T. Wladislaw: Killin' generals could get to be a habit with me. 
January 23, 2012
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

The Dirty Dozen is a classic blokes film. It's brash, clunky and hasn't washed behind the ears. It's pretty far from being the best WW2 film though, it's set during WW2 and they are WW2 soldier but somehow, it just isn't a WW2 film. It's about killing Nazis sure but there is no history here, just an idea set in a time period so calling it one of the greatest war films doesn't sit too well with me. I can help but think films like this influenced many a exploitation film in many ways, it certainly gave birth to the likes of Inglorious bastards. It's a great film though, not really my cup of tea but I can see why everyone likes it. The cast is fantastic, Marvin and Bronson are ace but for me Cassavetes steals the show - he was as good an actor as he was a director in my opinion.
July 8, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Joseph Wladislaw: I wish I could read this. I think it's dirty.
    – Submitted by Taylor W (2 years ago)
    1. Maj. Reisman: Any questions?
    2. Archer Maggott: Suh? Do we have to eat with niggahs? [Jefferson jumps Maggot]
    3. Sgt. Bowren: [as Reisman exits the room] : What's going on, sir?
    4. Maj. Reisman: Oh, the gentleman from the South had a question about the dining arrangements. He and his comrades are discussing place settings now.
    – Submitted by Taylor W (2 years ago)
    1. Maj. Reisman: Any questions?
    – Submitted by Taylor W (2 years ago)
    1. Maj. Reisman: You know what to do, feed the French and shoot the Germans!
    – Submitted by Taylor W (2 years ago)
    1. Archer Maggott: It's judgment day, sinners! Come out, come out wherever you are!
    – Submitted by Taylor W (2 years ago)
    1. Vernon Pinkley: Very pretty, General. Very pretty. But, can they fight?
    – Submitted by Taylor W (2 years ago)
View all quotes (8)

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Foreign Titles

  • Das dreckige Dutzend (DE)
  • The Dirty Dozen (UK)
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