Monday, June 23, 2014

1967 - THE DIRTY DOZEN, on Blu Ray

Tough guy director Robert Aldrich had a big hit with this war movie which at the time was known for it's violence.  Robert Aldrich was an interesting filmmaker.  He had been an assistant director to Jean Renoir, Lewis Milestone and Charlie Chaplin.  His style of film making was to hit the audience over the head with films like Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, Kiss Me Deadly, Attack and The Dirty Dozen.

Aldrich was looking for a commercial hit with this film and was also trying to make a statement about the nastiness of war.  The 12 convict soldiers were not exactly the kind of Army men you would see on a recruiting poster.  However, Aldrich sort of diluted his message by loading the film up with lots of little comedic moments.

When you get right down to it, this is a superbly cast film.  Aldrich used a lot of actors he was very comfortable with and added a real live wire by hiring John Cassavetes as the criminal turned soldier, Victor Franco.  Finally there is ex Marine Lee Marvin as Major Reisman the leader of The Dirty Dozen.  This is an actor who is completely immersed in his part.

As a Blu Ray, the film looks pretty good if maybe a little over saturated in the colors.

150 minutes.

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