Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Dirty Dozen Comic Book and Movie

The Dirty Dozen (the comic book)

I liked The Dirty Dozen (even though as a war film, it is mostly fiction--but not completely). As a piece of story telling, however, it is great entertainment. 

Robert Aldrich apparently intended the film an anti-war message, but was it? The message of The Dirty Dozen was basically Nazis are monsters and it is okay to kill them by whatever means were available (and in fact Nazis were monsters and it was okay to kill them as quickly and ruthlessly as possible). 

Ok, the movie did come out in 1967.  In the context of Vietnam there is arguably an anti total war message, but in a WWII context would it have been better off to leave those senior Nazi officers whoring and partying in that chateau just before D-Day? So what if they killed them, I absolutely disagree it portrays the Allies as equal to the Nazis. So they made sure all the Nazi officers died (I get that their French woman collaborators also died with them)? 

I recognize this is fiction, but hypothetically, if the Allies they knew all those Nazi officers were there in that chateau, they could have also scheduled a massive air-raid with fire bombs to take them out. Would that have made things any different? We did that to plenty of German cities in order to defeat the Nazis. The reason for the commando raid was not to tip off the Germans the invasion was about to start.  

Lee Marvin does a fine job in that film, even though he called it "crap" and was drunk a lot of time when they were making it. 
Lee Marvin referred to this movie as "crap" and "just a dummy moneymaker", although he enjoyed the film. The movie has nothing to do with war, he stressed, and he was very pleased that he got to do The Big Red One (1980), which mirrored his own wartime experiences.
 Marvin served as a Marine and was wounded at Saipan.  Many of the actors in that film were veterans.

What I did not know was there was a comic book issued for that movie.  

I also did not know that Pedro Jimenez's character "breaks his neck" in film because of scheduling conflicts with Trini Lopez:
As film production ran over schedule, Frank Sinatra advised Trini López to quit so that his recording career wouldn't lose its momentum or popularity. Lopez took Sinatra's advice and quit. Another account is that his agent demanded more money, which Robert Aldrich refused to grant. Originally, Lopez's character, Jiminez, was supposed to be one of the heroes. He was to be the one to ignite all of the dynamite that would destroy the entire château. With Lopez's abrupt departure, however, his character was written off as being killed during the parachute jump.

For not being an actor, Jim Brown does a great job in the film. I also did not realize Jim Brown retired from football over scheduling conflicts with the movie.  


  1. MAGGOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. And so I am the "Maggot"! I figured I'd get credit for being the Telly Savalas character, the one insensitive to the female condition. Ah well.

  3. Almost forgot, I liked DD too. Wasn't influenced in life by it (I was a flight deck rat in the Navy), but it was ok. It certainly projected the personality and presence of Lee Marvin more than any movie Marvin did, that I can recall anyway. Perhaps not as much as the drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket, though. THAT was a performance.


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