Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Dirty Dozen (1967)

Tagline: "Train them! Excite them! Arm them!...Then turn them loose on the Nazis!" One of the most famous war films of all time, it starred Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Telly Savalas, Charles Bronson and Donald Sutherland, among others. It's about training a dozen American convicts into a cohesive unit to conduct a suicide mission behind enemy lines: to infiltrate a château near Rennes, used as a retreat for senior Wehrmacht officers, on the eve of the D-Day invasion. This would ideally disrupt the German chain of command, since there is a constant rotation of senior staff officers through the facility.

Lee Marvin starred as Major John Reisman, the unit commander. He selects, trains the men and leads them in their mission. Dragon released this WWII ETO (European Theatre of Operations) US Army Special Mission Commander, "Major Lee" in 2001.

Major Reisman managed to get his dirty dozen to remember their mission by reciting it like a poem in a operational count-off: "One: down to the road block, we've just begun; Two: the guards are through; Three: the Major's men are on a spree; Four: Major and Wladislaw go through the door; Five: Pinkley stays out in the drive; Six: the Major gives the rope a fix; Seven: Wladislaw throws the hook to heaven; Eight: Jiménez has got a date; Nine: the other guys go up the line; Ten: Sawyer and Gilpin are in the pen; Eleven: Posey guards points five and seven; Twelve: Wladislaw and the Major go down to delve; Thirteen: Franko goes up without being seen; Fourteen: Zero-hour, Jiménez cuts the cable, Franko cuts the phone; Fifteen: Franko goes in where the others have been; Sixteen: we all come out like it's Halloween."

Dragon's "Major Lee" is armed with the M3A1 .45 Sub-machine Gun, nicknamed "Grease Gun".

Lee Marvin's likeness very well captured.

Lee Marvin would also star in "Big Red One (1980)", a WWII movie about the fighting men of the 1st Infantry Division together with Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker of Star Wars fame).

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