Black SplatThe Dirty Dozen (1967)

"I will personally blow your brains out!"

The Dirty Dozen - Major John Reisman

Description: Lee Marvin as Major Reisman in the WWII military action adventure The Dirty Dozen (1967).

Major John Reisman is a tough, no-nonsense, O.S.S. officer with an attitude problem who is assigned the task of finding twelve military prisoners and turning them into an assassination squad that will parachute into Germany prior to the D-Day invasion and conduct a mass extermination of high-ranking German officers gathered at a fortified chateau near Rennes in Brittany.

If the prisoners chose to volunteer for the secret mission, they will be given a pardon for their crimes. But they are told there is a good chance that many of them will not return from the mission.

The Dirty Dozen - Reisman with convicts

After Reisman selects his men from the available pool of military convicts, an army psychiatrist reviews his choices, and declares:

"Along with these other results, it gives you just the most twisted, antisocial bunch of psychopathic deformities, I have ever run into...You’ve got one religious maniac, one malignant dwarf, two near idiots, and the rest I don’t even want to think about."

Name Sentence
Bravos, T. R. (Al Mancini) 20 years hard labor
Franko, V. R ( John Cassavetes) Death by hanging
Gilpin, S. (Ben Carruthers) 30 years hard labor
Jefferson, R. T. (Jim Brown) Death by hanging
Jiminez, J. P. (Trini Lopez) 20 years hard labor
Lever, R. (Stuart Cooper) 20 years imprisonment
Maggott, A. J. (Telly Savalas) Death by hanging
Pinkley, V. L. (Donald Sutherland) 30 years imprisonment
Posey, S. (Clint Walker) Death by hanging
Sawyer, S. K. (Colin Maitland) 20 years hard labor
Vladek, M. (Tom Busby) 30 years hard labor
Wladislaw, J. T. (Charles Bronson) Death by hanging

As the twelve soldiers chosen for the mission stand at attention, Mayor Reisman lays it on the line as to what they can expect in the coming days:

"You all volunteered for a mission that gives you just three ways to go. Either you can foul up in training and be shipped back here for immediate execution of sentence, or you can foul up in combat, in which case I will personally blow your brains out, or you can do as you’re told, in which case you might just get by."

During their training, the men are dubbed the "Dirty Dozen" by Sergeant Bowren (Richard Jaeckel) because of their refusal to shave or bathe when they protest their living conditions. Soon, the convicts bond as a team and after building their own camp and training for the mission, the Dirty Dozen parachute into France.

Immediately, the group looses one of its members when Jimenez breaks his neck upon landing. Despite the loss, the team infiltrate the chateau and accomplish their mission by killing a gathering of German officers and their guests who seek the safety of a bomb shelter. They rush to shelter when Maggott goes crazy, kills a female guest and begins to shoot up the place.

The Dirty Dozen - Reisman and Wladislaw in German Uniforms

As the Generals and other SS officers huddle in the apparent safety of the shelter, Reisman and Wladislaw who infiltrated the chateau in Nazi uniforms lock the Germans in the bomb shelter while the other Dirty Dozen members pour gasoline down the ventilation shafts. Then Jefferson drops grenades down the shafts, killings all those in the underground bunker.

At the end of the mission, only three survive: Major Riesman, Sgt. Bowren and Wladislaw, the only remaining member of the Dirty Dozen team.

As Major Reisman and Wladislaw recuperate in a hospital, one of the American officers (Robert Ryan) who had nothing but insults for Reisman and his outfit, compliments Reisman and Wladislaw for their heroic actions. Wladislaw then turns to his Reisman, and says, "Boy-oh-boy-oh-boy, killin' General’s could get to be a habit with me!"

Note: The movie trailer for the movie contained this narration:

"Major Reisman you are ordered by allied command to select twelve general prisoners convicted by court martial and sentenced to be executed or serve lengthy prisons terms for murder, rape, robbery or other crimes of violence and you will deliver them secrtely behind enemy lines in France to undertake a mission of sabotage that can change the course of the war. The twelve men will be known as....the Dirty Dozen....Train them! Excite them! Arm them! And turn them loose on the Nazi High Command!"

The Dirty Dozen - Movie Poster

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