The Dirty Dozen is one of the most famous war films of all time, a revision of WWII adventures in which the “heroic” team of American G.I.s is a collection of convicted murderers, rapists and sickos sent on a suicide mission in German-occupied France as an alternative to their bleak prison sentences. Lee Marvin plays their savvy commanding officer, with a primo collection of acting talent and screen personalities—including John Cassavetes, Donald Sutherland, Charles Bronson, Telly Savalas and Jim Brown—as the dozen. Shocking, violent, entertaining and surprisingly funny, The Dirty Dozen was a megahit that spawned a new style of nihilistic war movie during the Vietnam era. —Screen Archives Entertainment
Robert Burgess Aldrich was born in Cranston, Rhode Island, the son of Lora Lawson and newspaper publisher Edward B. Aldrich. He was a grandson of U.S. Senator Nelson W. Aldrich and a cousin to Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller. He was educated at the Moses Brown School, Providence, Rhode Island, and studied economics at the University of Virginia. In 1941, he left university for a minor job at the RKO Radio Pictures, thus beginning his career as a cinéaste.
He quickly rose in film production as an assistant director, he worked with Jean Renoir, Abraham Polonsky, Joseph Losey and Charlie Chaplin, working with the latter as an assistant on Limelight. He became a television director in the 1950s, directing his first feature film, The Big Leaguer, in 1953. In that time, Aldrich was the rare American example of the auteur film maker, depicting his liberal humanist thematic vision in many genres, in films such as Kiss Me Deadly (1955), today a film noir classic, The Big Knife (1955), a cinematic… read more