|this is not dissimilar to how I deal with new employees|
Watching the movie now is fascinating as I know a bit more of the talent in the movie. Not just Bronson, Borgnine, Telly Savalas and Lee Marvin. Robert Ryan, Donald Sutherland, John Cassavetes, Jim Brown and others are in the film. Its a real all-star fest.
As far as war pictures go, its a product of its time, reveling in the scrappy outsiders, but not quite celebrating them in the way we'd see in Kelly's Heroes by 1970, who were in the war for fun and profit.*
With such a large cast of soldiers, some played by stars, some not, all convicted criminals (not a spoiler, ya'll), it also fits in neatly with the sort of movie where anyone could go at any minute, which ups the ante when it comes to the tension of the flick. Sure, some of these guys you aren't going to feel too badly if they go, but it all feels a bit like a suicide mission from the outset, so....
*I'm a Kelly's Heroes fan, by the way. Terrific movie.