Synopsis of The Dirty Dozen (1967) - A Military Mission with Convicts
Synopsis of The Dirty Dozen (1967) - A Military Mission with Convicts

Synopsis of The Dirty Dozen (1967) – A Military Mission with Convicts

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The Dirty Dozen is an action-packed war movie directed by Robert Aldrich and released in 1967. The movie is set in the backdrop of World War II and revolves around a secret mission known as Project Amnesty. The movie features Lee Marvin in the lead role of Major John Reisman, a hard-nosed military man tasked with leading a group of 12 convicts on a dangerous military mission. The movie explores the dynamics of the relationship between the convicts who are forced to work together and the challenges they face during the mission.

The movie begins with Major Reisman being chosen to lead Project Amnesty, a highly secretive military mission. The mission involves recruiting 12 convicts who have been sentenced to life imprisonment or death for various crimes, including murder, rape, theft, and others. The convicts are trained by Major Reisman to carry out a mission that involves attacking high-ranking Nazi officials in Rennes, France. The mission is aimed at disrupting the Nazi leadership before the Allied invasion.

The convicts are initially resistant to Major Reisman’s strict military training, but slowly come together as a unit as they undergo intense training. Major Reisman is assisted by Sergeant Clyde Bowren in training the convicts. However, the convicts are not given a warm welcome and feel they are being used as sacrificial lambs, which leads to tensions and protests within the group.

Amidst the training, there are moments of tension, including when Franko, one of the convicts, leads a protest after not being given warm water to shave. However, Reisman punishes the group by giving them cold food and no soap, which leads to the group being nicknamed the “Dirty Dozen” by Reisman.
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As training progresses, they are sent to learn how to use parachutes from Colonel Breed, but Major Reisman lies and tells the convicts that he is bringing along a disguised general as part of their team. The convicts begin to suspect that Major Reisman is working against them and they become more and more suspicious of his true motives. However, things take a violent turn when they are attacked by the men of the camp and have to defend themselves.

Finally, Major Reisman and the Dirty Dozen must convince their superior officers that they are ready for the mission and can be trusted to carry out their orders correctly. Though they manage to complete their mission successfully, they do so in a way that has dire consequences for several of the convicts. The movie ends on a bittersweet note, leaving audiences with a sense of mixed emotions.


The Dirty Dozen is a thrilling war movie that explores the difficulties of working with a group of convicts who have nothing to lose. The movie offers a unique perspective on the challenges and dynamics of the relationship between the convicts and their military trainers. The group’s journey is not an easy one, but they manage to come together as a unit and complete their mission despite the odds against them. Overall, the Dirty Dozen is a classic movie that has entertained and captivated audiences for decades.

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Luthfi Suryanto is a film review writer who is skilled in providing sharp analysis of the latest films. The writing is always interesting and provides a different perspective on the films you have watched.

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