Dirty Dozen Questions

While channel surfing last night, I discovered that The Dirty Dozen was on again. Since I’ve only seen it 16 or 17 times, I figured I’d give it another screening. As expected, Lee & the gang did not disappoint. What a fun movie.

That being said, I have a few questions:

(Read no further if you haven’t seen the movie and don’t want any of the plot revealed.)

  1. After Charles Bronson gets mugged by two of Breed’s goons in the men’s room, he concludes that it was Reisman who sent the goons. This seems perfectly logical to everyone in the unit. They accept it instantly.

Huh? Why would Reisman send 2 goons to force one of his own men to reveal the unit’s secret? To test him? Everyone saw how pissed off Breed was after Pinkley pretended to be a general. The whole sequence where they come on base is such a production, and it’s absolutely clear that they all think they are humiliating Breed and his guys. Did they suddenly forget this? Why wouldn’t the obvious inference for an attack that immediately followed this be, “Breed sent these guys.”

It just seems like a clumsy attempt to set up the later “See, we had the Major all wrong” scene, unless I’m missing something. Was there a prior line that I’m not thinking of that makes it more plausible?
2. At the very start of the war games sequence, before the DD takes Breed’s headquarters, all the DD are in the same car. (Think back to the scene where the car rolls too far into the intersection and they have the wrong arm bands on.) Now, I may not be paying close enough attention (and remember, I’ve only seen the film 17 times), but what happens next I simply can’t follow. Maybe it was how the film was edited for TV.

Before I knew it, Charles Bronson was chatting with George Kennedy. George points out that the hill they’re watching will soon be shelled, so if Charlie is expecting his pals to come from that direction, they better hurry. That’s exactly the plan, you see, points out Charlie. Breed will never expect anyone to advance in that sector while it’s getting shelled.

I have a better plan, though, I think. If it was critical for the gang to be with Charles Bronson, at that time, at that location, perhaps they could have just remained with him. Why the hell did they split up and come by different routes?

Franco shows up later after stealing a car. Apparently everyone had a particular role in this mission, these roles were played out in different places, which then required everyone to regroup. I don’t know what was going on.

The mission after they blow up the Jeep and Posey pretends he’s hurt–that I can follow. But what the hell is going on prior to that? What is the sequence of events and everyone’s roles?
3. After Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson check into the chateau, as they are walking to their room, Marvin sees that they are being put into room 11 (or that they are NOT being put in room 11; I can’t remember now). The camera zooms dramatically to show the room number, and to show Lee Marvin’s expression. “Drat,” his face insinuates, “they’re putting us in the wrong room. This fouls up everything!”

Did I miss the scene where Lee Marvin called ahead and reserved a room with a view? Of course their mission demanded that they be overlooking the chateau exterior, but surely they had to know they might not be placed in an appropriate room. How they handled it seemed OK. It was just that reaction that seemed goofy. Am I missing something that set this up?


Basically, they mistrusted the Major more. Everything that had been done so far basically told them that the Major didn’t care if they lived or died, and that he would test them to reveal the secrets that the kept. And if they did that, they all went back to prison or got hung.



Well, you didn’t really miss anything, I’ve got the DVD, and I can’t think of anything that’s been cut from your description. I think it’s just to show some big elaborate plan.


I think you’re misreading the reaction shot. I think it was more “Hey, that’s the room we need” instead of being put in the wrong room. To show the viewers more than anything else. Also, it could be the fact that this thing was planned out so much, with the constant repitition of the plan by the men, that they were worried about not being in the room.