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Gabe's Movie Reviews (454)

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The Dirty Dozen 
Good War Film
3/4 stars

Lee Marvin is great as always as the leader of a group of convicted men to go on a dangerous and ultimately futile mission to kill a bunch of NAZI leaders. What I find interesting about this film is, you really don't learn anything special about these men. You learn what they did to be thrown in jail and that's about it. But, you don't really need that backstory because that's not the point. But, you would think that this is about that final, climatic battle at the chateau, but it's not really about that either. That final 20 minutes or so is a great set piece, but it doesn't matter. The film is about community building and building relationships between 13 individuals that should have nothing in common. Basically, what basic training is supposed to do in real life. It doesn't matter if they succeed in their mission, because it's even mentioned in the film that it's a frivolous mission that some lunatic general thought might boost morale and slow down the Nazis.

It's a very entertaining film with good performances. John Cassevetes was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor but ultimately lost to George Kennedy for Cool Hand Luke.


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