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The movie opens in England in the spring of 1944 as Allied forces in the United Kingdom prepare for the D-Day invasion during World War II. Major John Reisman (Lee Marvin) is witness to the execution by hanging of a US soldier. Reisman, an OSS officer, then meets with Major General Worden (Ernest Borgnine). Dramatic tension is created when Reisman spots Colonel Everett Dasher Breed (Robert Ryan) in the anteroom of Worden's office; a pair of knowing looks makes it clear the two have a history together but no words are spoken. The tension mounts when Reisman salutes General Worden, being forced to hold the salute an uncomfortably long time before it is returned. Reisman is offered a seat in front of a panel of officers, and Worden reviews Reisman's reports on his service record with him. The meeting then comes to the point - a mission is described involving the training of twelve American soldiers, all general convicts convicted of capital offences including murder, desertion, robbery and rape, and sentenced to either execution or long terms of imprisonment. The soldiers are to be trained and eventually ordered to destroy an assigned target, the identity of which remains secret. The plan is then described to Reisman; a large château near Rennes in Brittany is known to be the location of a retreat for German senior officers. In preparation for the D-Day invasion, Reisman's group will train to drop by parachute and destroy the chateau, killing the officers inside and hopefully disrupting the German chain of command as the invasion is launched. Most of the occupants are killed when the building is blown up. Only Reisman, Sergeant Bowren (Richard Jaeckel), and one of the Dirty Dozen, Wladislaw (Charles Bronson), survive the mission.

Starring ... Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown,
Donald Sutherland, Telly Savalas, Trini Lopez, Clint Walker.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Producer: Kenneth Hyman


Year Released - June 1967

Length - 145 minutes

Music Composer: Frank De Vol

Movie Distributed by MGM Pictures



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