The Dirty Dozen is ultimately two movies in one; a “men in training” film and an action-packed war movie.
In the opening scenes, we’re witnesses to the intense training program that the prisoners are subjected to, and we begin to spot each man’s strengths and weaknesses as a result. Wladislaw (Charles Bronson) is a natural soldier, perhaps even a natural leader, and both Jefferson (Jim Brown) and Posey (Clint Walker) prove they’re more than capable of following orders. Even loud-mouthed Victor Franco (John Cassavetes) manages to unite the men under a common cause when he demands that they have hot water for shaving. Throughout this preparation, we see a group of criminals transform into a well-organized unit.
Then, they're given a chance to put that training to the test. When the story switches to the raid behind enemy lines, The Dirty Dozen changes gears and becomes an intense action film, culminating in one of the most exciting battle sequences to be found in any World War II movie.
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