The Tough Guys And Misfits Who Beat The Germans In 'The Dirty Dozen'

By | March 22, 2019

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Donald Sutherland and Lee Marvin in 'The Dirty Dozen.' Source: IMDB

The Dirty Dozen's cast list includes some of the greatest movie tough-guys of the late '60s, as well as a few stars you might not place in a rollicking WWII epic. As the title of the 1967 film suggests, there are a dozen central characters in the movie -- throw in their commanding officer and a few other supporting actors and you've got a locked-and-loaded roster like none other. It starts with Lee Marvin as Major Reisman, a rogue World War II major tasked with leading a band of U.S. soldiers who all have been convicted of serious crimes, some with impending death sentences.

A Ragtag Crew

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Playboy bunny girl Dolly Read with American football player Jim Brown (left) and actor Clint Walker, posing at Elstree Studios during the filming of 'The Dirty Dozen', England, May 10th 1966. (Photo by John Pratt/Keystone/Getty Images)

Major Reisman's charges include Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, and Telly Savalas, all of whom you'd expect to kick some Nazi ass. But there's also Donald Sutherland, not usually an ass-kicker, and -- wait, Trini Lopez? Didn't he sing, or something? And the member of the Dirty Dozen who more or less steals the show is an odd one, you know the face but you can't remember his name -- John Cassavetes, who was phasing out of acting for his true calling, as a director. That's a hell of an ensemble cast right there, but war is hell, after all.