The Dirty Dozen

From Academic Kids

This article is about the well-known movie; Dirty Dozen may also refer to D12.


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

The Dirty Dozen is a 1967 war film directed by Robert Aldrich from the novel by E.M. Nathanson. It stars Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, John Cassavetes, Telly Savalas, Donald Sutherland, Ernest Borgnine, Clint Walker, Robert Ryan, Al Mancini, Richard Jaeckel, George Kennedy, Trini Lopez, Ralph Meeker, Robert Webber, Tom Busby, Ben Carruthers, Stuart Cooper and Colin Maitland.

It was a huge box office success for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and the year's high-grossing film. It was nominated for four Oscars, including a supporting actor nomination for Cassavetes, and won one Oscar for its sound effects. In 2001, the American Film Institute included it on its list of 100 Years...100 Thrills.

Brown announced his retirement from football during the filming of this movie.

The movie takes place during World War II. Twelve Allied soldiers, all imprisoned and several facing sentences of death, are given the chance to go on a very risky mission. If they survive, their sentences will be set aside.

John Reisman (Marvin) is in charge of the mission, an assault on a chateau in Normandy, frequented by Nazi officers. The mission is set to happen just prior to the D-Day invasion.

For its time, the film was an unconventional and extremely violent depiction of war. Roger Ebert, in his first year as a movie critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, was shocked by its violence. He wrote (sarcastically):

I'm glad the Chicago Police Censor Board forgot about that part of the local censorship law where it says films shall not depict the burning of the human body. If you have to censor, stick to censoring sex, I say. ... But leave in the mutilation, leave in the sadism, and by all means leave in the human beings burning to death. It's not obscene as long as they burn to death with their clothes on.

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