The Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission

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The Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission
DirtyDozenDeadlyMission.jpg
UK DVD cover
Directed by Lee H. Katzin
Produced by Mel Swope
Written by Mark Rodgers
Starring Telly Savalas
Ernest Borgnine
Bo Svenson
Wolf Kahler
Vince Van Patten
Randall "Tex" Cobb
Music by John Cacavas
Distributed by MGM/UA Television
Release dates March 1, 1987
Running time 94 min.
Country  United States
Language English

The Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission is a 1987 made-for-TV film and is the second sequel to the original The Dirty Dozen. It features an all-new 'dirty dozen,' this time under the leadership of Major Wright (Telly Savalas), playing a different role than in the 1967 film.

Learning of a Nazi plot to attack Washington, D.C. with a deadly nerve gas, Major Wright leads twelve convicts on a suicide mission deep into occupied France to destroy the secret factory where the poison is made.

Plot[edit]

The film opens with Major Wright fighting alongside Italian partisans in a town near Turin. While the partisans battle the occupying German soldiers in the streets, Major Wright enters a bordello in search of Benito Mussolini. However, after shooting up a closet only to find a dead German officer, Wright is informed by one of the women that 'Il Duce' had already left town. Disappointed, Major Wright opens the window to the sound of the victorious partisans and lifts a glass of brandy to "Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Spencer Churchill."

Back in England, Major Wright is summoned to the U.S. Army Headquarters by General Worden (Ernest Borgnine), and is informed that the Germans appear to have the capability to send long-range missiles filled with deadly nerve gas to America. General Worden then orders Major Wright to "find another dirty dozen" and take them deep into occupied France to the monastery at Saint-Michel, where six captured scientists are being forced by the Nazis under the direction of the SS Colonel Krieger (Wolf Kahler) to produce the deadly gas, and destroy the containers of nerve gas and rescue the scientists.

Joseph Stern - sentenced to death by hanging for drunkenly (Stern claims he wasn't drunk) killing an Englishmen in a bar; Stern is a Jewish refugee from Germany with a history of petty theft and gun smuggling. Joe Stern also isn't his real name, but his real name isn't important as "everyone who had it is probably dead."

Eric 'Swede' Wallan - sentenced to death by hanging; killed two British citizens who tried to rob him by crushing their skulls with his bare hands.

Ernesto Ferucci - sentenced to 20 years of hard labor; Ferucci is a 52-year old forger, as Wright calls him, "a one-man black market."

Ronnie and David Webber - both sentenced to 30 years of hard labor; the Webber brothers are ex-race car drivers turned 'auto thieves and killers.'

Maurice Fontenac - sentenced to death by hanging; raped and murdered a WAC; a Frenchmen whose ability to speak fluent French makes him indispensable to Major Wright and the mission despite his volatile and psychotic personality.

Martinez - sentenced to 50 years imprisonment; a bank robber and explosives expert.

The remaining five of the dozen are Francis Kelly, Ballews, Sturdivant, Chacon and Spencer, who, with the exception of Kelly, receive little-to-no screen time. A 13th member, Hallet, is recruited, but only 12 are to go on the mission. The choice of who goes back to prison is made easy when Hallet panics during a training exercise at the live ammunition course and is fatally wounded.

Training

This time around the dozen only have one week of training, and with the help of Sergeant Holt, Major Wright begins whipping his men into shape.

Meanwhile, in France, Colonel Krieger captures French Resistance leader Paul Verlaine and his British contact, who had parachuted in with news of the forthcoming mission. After Krieger has the two men executed, Pierre Claudel, a scientist at the monastery loyal to Vichy and the Nazis, identifies Verlaine as the man who has been seen at the monastery conversing with lead scientist, George Flamands. A suspicious Krieger orders increased security at the monastery.

Back in England, General Worden appears at the training site and reveals the intelligence leak and increased security to Major Wright, and informs him that the dozen will now enter France by sea instead of air, as all flights into that section of France were being heavily monitored.

As their training comes to an end, Major Wright throws a party for his men, giving them one last night of debauchery before embarking on their suicide mission.

The Mission

Upon coming ashore, the dirty dozen march to their rendezvous point in the French forest, where they meet their contact, Marie Verlaine, the daughter of Paul Verlaine, and her fellow resistance fighters. Marie informs Major Wright that the scientists' families have been brought to the monastery, thus complicating the rescue portion of the mission.

To avoid Krieger's patrols and checkpoints, Major Wright decides that they should travel by river, and the dozen attacks a German patrol boat, successfully taking control of the boat with only one casualty, Sturdivant. From here, the dozen travel down the river, eventually making their way to a Resistance farmhouse, where the men are allowed to rest, while Major Wright and Fontenac go to the monastery dressed as monks to meet with Flamands and inform him of their plans.

Later that night, Wright and Fontenac re-enter the monastery to trigger the attack from the inside, while the others infiltrate the monastery compound. Wright and Fontenac are followed by the SS sergeant from the gate after the sergeant became suspicious when Fontenac called him by his rank. After being confronted, the major shoots the sergeant and the gunfire starts the attack proper.

While the dozen battle the German troops in the monastery's courtyard, Major Wright destroys the communications center, Stern makes his way into the basement and Fontenac opens the back door allowing Marie, Swede, Martinez and the Resistance men in with the explosives. Wright then heads back out into the courtyard, where, he, Sergeant Holt, the Webber brothers, and Kelly secure the area as Marie and Martinez set the incendiary fuses, accidentally igniting the chemicals, which eventually causes an explosion.

As the multiple groups meet up, Ferucci is wounded in the shoulder. The group then proceeds to the scientists' living quarters, where they find not only the scientists and their wives, but their children as well. The group is also notified that Flamands and his wife have been taken to a Wagner recital at a villa as guests of a German general. Major Wright decides to take everyone with them, and that he and Stern must head to the villa to rescue the Flamands. The scientists and their families are boarded into a truck and head to the spot where a British plane is to pick everyone up. Major Wright sends this truck on a back road while sending two decoy trucks driven by Martinez, Ballews and the Webber brothers on the main roads.

Major Wright and Stern, posing as German officers, enter the villa and remove Flamands and his wife despite being confronted by Pierre Claudel (who was quickly subdued by George Flamands), and in a German staff car head to the rendezvous point.

German patrols stop the two decoy trucks and destroy them, killing the drivers. Realizing they have been tricked, Krieger and his men race to the area where the plane has landed and begin firing upon it, as the scientists and their families are being loaded. Fontenac is wounded, and after telling Major Wright that it "doesn't look like I'll make it home," sacrifices himself by manning a machine gun and drawing the fire of the approaching patrols, giving the plane enough time to be boarded and take-off despite coming under heavy fire. The weary soldiers, and the scientists and their families all breathe heavy sighs of relief as the plane embarks on its trip back to England.

Besides Major Wright and Sergeant Holt, the surviving members of the 'dirty dozen' include Joe Stern, Eric 'Swede' Wallan, Ernesto Ferucci and Francis Kelly, who earn their freedom.

Cast[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • There are many similarities between The Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission and The Dirty Dozen, including the presence of the sergeant (in this case, Holt) on the mission;, a dumb, but big-hearted GI who killed someone with their bare hands, and is challenged by the major, but quickly disarmed during training; a big party with female company just before the mission; and numerous instances of similar dialogue.
  • The only Dirty Dozen movie that doesn't have an African-American as one of the Dirty Dozen.

External links[edit]