Chandler’s Trailers: “The Devil’s Brigade” (1968)

0000devils      The true story of the formation and initial campaigns of the U.S. Army First Special Forces is given “The Dirty Dozen” treatment in triplicate in Andrew V. McLaglen’s “The Devil’s Brigade”; the kind of film in which it appears that victory over Nazi Germany was achieved, not by superior firepower or stratagems, but by having far more colorful characters within the ranks than the enemy. Important details of the transformation of both men and material are not glossed over but simply ignored, beginning with  an early episode depicting the training camp as a dessicated ghostly shell suddenly made respectable by an order to the unit’s conveniently resident scrounger to “start hustling”, as if that were an adequate shortcut to practical metamorphosis. More problematic is the question of the men, separated equally between a disciplined, seasoned group of Canadian soldiers and the American contingent which seems to be the scrapings of every available jail cell and barroom floor; a rather unnatural standard for formulating a mythic fighting force, but an virtual guarantee for the inclusion of prankish hijinks and crude antagonism among the ranks which is supposed to fill the vacuum left by the absence of more substantial material with what emerges as an action movie version of low service comedy.

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About chandlerswainreviews

I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king, not necessarily in that order. My first major movie memory was being at the drive-in at about 1 1/2 yrs. old seeing "Sayonara" so I suppose an interest in film was inevitable. (For those scoring at home- good for you- I wasn't driving that evening, so no need to alert authorities.)Writer, critic and confessed spoiler of women, as I have a tendency to forget to put them back in the refrigerator. My apologies.
This entry was posted in books, Canada, Film, Film Reviews, History, Italy, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, war movies, William Holden, writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Chandler’s Trailers: “The Devil’s Brigade” (1968)

  1. beetleypete says:

    Basically, fast-forward to the battle scene. That’s it, more or less.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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