6.8/10
2,775
34 user 25 critic

Play Dirty (1969)

During World War II in North Africa, a group of British commandos disguised in Italian soldiers must travel behind enemy lines and destroy a vital Nazi oil depot.

Director:

André De Toth (as Andre De Toth)

Writers:

Melvyn Bragg (screenplay), Lotte Colin (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Director: André De Toth
Stars: Jack Hawkins, Gia Scala, Erik Schumann
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Caine ... Capt. Douglas
Nigel Davenport ... Capt. Cyril Leech
Nigel Green ... Col. Masters
Harry Andrews ... Brig. Blore
Patrick Jordan Patrick Jordan ... Maj. Alan Watkins
Daniel Pilon ... Capt. Allwood (Blore's adjutant at Special Forces HQ)
Martin Burland Martin Burland ... Dead Officer
George McKeenan George McKeenan ... Corporal at Quayside
Bridget Espeet Bridget Espeet ... Ann
Bernard Archard ... Col. Homerton
Aly Ben Ayed Aly Ben Ayed ... Sadok
Enrique Ávila ... Kalarides (as Enrique Avila)
Mohsen Ben Abdallah Mohsen Ben Abdallah ... Hassan
Mohamed Kouka Mohamed Kouka ... Assine
Takis Emmanuel ... Kostos Manov (as Takis Emmanouel)
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Storyline

The Dirty Dozen meets the Stiff Upper Lip. A British Petroleum executive (Sir Michael Caine) is assigned to work with the British Army in North Africa handling port duties for incoming fuels. This gives him the official rank of Captain in the British Army. The Colonel (Nigel Green), in charge of the Dirty Dozen, is told he must have a British officer accompany his men on a dangerous mission four hundred miles behind German lines and is saddled with the Petroleum executive, who tries to argue his way out by saying that his contract states he is to only work port duties. That argument is lost on the Brigade Commander (Harry Andrews), who simply points out that the executive is wearing a British uniform. The real leader of the Dirty Dozen (Nigel Davenport), a released prisoner, doesn't need or want the British officer, who's supposed to be in charge, but he's promised an extra two thousand British pounds sterling if he gets him back alive. Disguised as Italians, their trek across ... Written by AzRanger {ArizonaRanger @ Hotmail . com}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Forget the medals, throw away the rule book, if you want to survive.... Play Dirty

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence including a sexual assault | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Arabic | German

Release Date:

1 January 1969 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Dai shinryaku See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Martin Scorsese is a big champion of this movie. See more »

Goofs

Just before Capt Leech massacres the Arabs, he sees Capt Douglas' identity disc, which is shown tucked inside his unbuttoned shirt. Afterwards, his identity disc is now outside his shirt - presumably so that Capt Leech can rip it from his neck in one smooth move rather than having to reach inside his shirt to get to it. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Douglas: [Turns off jeep ignition after the driver turns left] I said we go to the right.
Capt. Cyril Leech: [from the back seat] That road was mined by the Italians a week ago. They don't put it all on the map.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Simon Simon (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

You Are My Sunshine
Lyrics and Music by Jimmie Davis (as Jimmy Davis) and Charles Mitchell
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Spare, brutal, grinding war movie in the blowing sands....
31 October 2010 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Play Dirty (1969)

You almost have to see this anarchic, nasty, selfish, brutal WWII movie as a comment on Vietnam, and on war. It's 1969. At first you think Michael Caine, for all his talent, is miscast, but the odd displacement of his character among a lot of very hardened, serious men is part of what works.

This is not like any WWII you've seen. It's an odd mixture of hardship, tedium, humor, and straight up masculine grit. It's set in the Sahara, so dunes and sand and dry nasty weather rules. There is a mission at hand, and these men have to be unorthodox and ruthless to succeed. But there are long stretches of just traveling and conquering the desert, of going day after day through storms and lack of storms. There is also fighting amongst the men, a somewhat horrifying (and unnecessary) attempted rape, some bloody carnage of natives, and of Germans, a long twenty minutes of Fitzcarraldo heroics with some cables, and so on.

But in the end, it really does capture something essential of war, including the nonsense of some of it, and the lack of rules, and the lack of personal safety that comes from chaos, and the difficulty of companionship and trust.


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