Saturday, January 28, 2012

Movie Watch 2012: The Dirty Dozen

It's not that I hadn't seen The Dirty Dozen (1967).  I watched it on VHS back in 7th grade or so, and I remember sort of liking it, but the fact that its paced a bit slower than action movies of the 1980's meant that it didn't engage me as much as, say, Commando.  Since then, I've seen bits and pieces of the movie on cable, and, of course, the premise of the movie has been copied and borrowed from so often, as well as the idea of a rag-tag-bunch-of-ne'er-do-wells-think-outside-the-box-and-that's-why-they're-successful has been copied in everything from Suicide Squad comics to the Police Academy series.

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.

1 comment:

Simon MacDonald said...

This is one of my favourite movies probably for nostalgic purposes. My Dad and I used to sit down and watch old WWII movies when I was a wee lad. I don't think all the violence left any long lasting emotional scars but it did give me a reverence for those people who fought for our freedom in WWII. Plus, I realy hate Nazi's!