A reasonable phrase
to describe this very entertaining war film would be "pulp action." Starring
Lee Marvin as Major Reisman, the maverick officer selected to train a team of army criminals for a daring
behind the lines assault on the German high command, much of the film is formulaic, yet,
with glue of Marvin's fine portrayal, The Dirty Dozen charges full speed ahead
beyond the limits of its script.
Each section of the film has its special delights. The preface is
Reisman's selection by top military brass for the dirty assignment. It establishes
Reisman's acerbic nature and reveals the details of the mission. Part one is the selection
of the men at the military prison. Each prisoner gets his own special introduction, with
special emphasis on the key players. Part two details the training of the rebellious team,
laced with liberal helpings of humor.
Along with Marvin
on the mission is homicidal New Yorker Victor Franco(John Cassavettes), Southern pervert
Archer Maggott(Telly Savalas), tough Robert Jefferson(Jim Brown), and creepy Vernon
Pinkley(Donald Sutherland). Free spirited over-acting works fine as the order of the day
in the setting of The Dirty Dozen. Robert Ryan is martinet Colonel Dasher-Breed,
the easy target of some "George Kennedy and Ernest Borgnine add some hearty good
fellow and Richard Jaeckel lends his typically sturdy supporting presence as MP sergeant
The slam-bang finale starts on tip toes and winds up at full
throttle. Football fans will marvel at Jim Brown's running prowess and action movie fans
will delight in Robert Aldrich's crisp direction.
The images are quite easy to watch, but the years have placed
some stress on the film elements for The Dirty Dozen. There's a theatrical trailer
and an entertaining short promotional featurette. MGM continues to put together very
informative insert booklets about their releases, an added bonus.
Selections from the
Feature Archive include articles on
John Herzfeld or
Vietnam: The Hollywood Pariah, and many
Vietnam: The Hollywood Pariah
During World War II, Hollywood pumped out war movies one after the other.
Vietnam was was another story. As far as Hollywood was concerned it was a
The Movie Poster Archive
includes extensive poster images from the films of stars like Susan Hayward,
Kirk Douglas, Katharine Hepburn and many more. Our featured star is
Three Kings speeds ahead like a formula one race car on the fast track to
DVD packaging can be the bane of the collector. Click on Rants and Raves for
The DVD Package