The Dirty Dozen

1967

The Dirty Dozen

Critics Consensus

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91%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 33
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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 group of military prisoners serving life sentences. This "dirty dozen" includes a sex pervert (Telly Savalas), a psycho (John Cassavetes), a retarded killer (Donald Sutherland), and the equally malevolent Charles Bronson, Trini Lopez, Jim Brown, and Clint Walker. On the dim promise of receiving pardons if they survive, the criminals undergo a brutal training program, then are marched behind enemy lines dressed as Nazi soldiers, the better to overtake the chateau and kill everyone in it--including the innocent wives and mistresses of the German officers. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Cast

Lee Marvin
as Maj. Reisman
Ernest Borgnine
as Gen. Worden
Charles Bronson
as Joseph Wladislaw
Jim Brown
as Robert Jefferson
John Cassavetes
as Victor Franko
Richard Jaeckel
as Sgt. Bowren
George Kennedy
as Maj. Max Armbruster
Trini Lopez
as Pedro Jiminez
Ralph Meeker
as Capt. Stuart Kinder
Robert Ryan
as Col. Everett Dasher-Breed
Telly Savalas
as Archer Maggott
Donald Sutherland
as Vernon Pinkley
Clint Walker
as Samson Posey
Robert Webber
as Gen. Denton
Tom Busby
as Milo Vladek
Ben Carruthers
as Glenn Gilpin
Stuart Cooper
as Roscoe Lever
Robert Phillips
as Cpl. Morgan
Colin Maitland
as Seth Sawyer
Al Mancini
as Tassos Bravos
George Roubicek
as Pvt. Arthur James Gardner
Thick Wilson
as Worden's Aide
Dora Reisser
as German Officer's Girl
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Critic Reviews for The Dirty Dozen

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (8)

  • Robert Aldrich dissects the underlying ideas with just enough craft and thoughtfulness to make the implications of this gritty 1966 war drama unsettling in not entirely constructive ways.

    Aug 3, 2015 | Full Review…
  • he lopsided interpretation works largely because of a fine cast and a taut plot that closes the credibility gap.

    Aug 3, 2015 | Full Review…
    TIME Magazine
    Top Critic
  • Lee Marvin heads a very strong, nearly all-male cast in an excellent performance.

    Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Overriding such nihilism is the super-crudity of Aldrich's energy and his humour, sufficiently cynical to suggest that the whole thing is a game anyway, a spectacle that demands an audience.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…

    Chris Petit

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Right up to the last scene the movie is amusing, well paced, intelligent.

    Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • A raw and preposterous glorification of a group of criminal soldiers who are trained to kill and who then go about this brutal business with hot, sadistic zeal is advanced in The Dirty Dozen, an astonishingly wanton war film.

    May 20, 2003 | Full Review…

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