When we talk about any war film in the 1960s,The Dirty Dozencomes first on the list! The Filming Locations is worth talking about because the film purely talks about World War 2! American Best-selling author E. M. Nathanson wrote the screenplay of The Dirty Dozen. The war drama got adopted from the 1st Demolition Section of the Regimental Headquarters, called the Filthy Thirteen. The WWII units that have specialized in the airborne division have inspired the making of this film.
Robert Aldrich directed this war film, and it became a big success at the box office! The film was an instantaneous hit after it was released in 1967. Distributed by MGM, this action-thriller won the Academy Award in 1968 for Best Sound Editing. The Award gathering doesn’t end there! The American Film Institute put this action-drama at number 65 on their top 100 list.
The plot of The Dirty Dozen is similar to its title. It focuses on the salvation of twelve convicted prisoners. Why dirty? Because the 12 get a chance to redeem their crime, but they don’t forget what their real self is. It is more than just a war film filled with violence and heroism. The Dirty Dozen is much more than that! There are heroes and villains, but the protagonists are the twelve convicts who act as anti-heroes.
The convicts are sentenced to death or life imprisonment. One day they get an opportunity to escape that horror. Major John Reisman trains them to be like commandos. He gives them one last chance to avoid the life of a prisoner by participating in a critical operation -> D-Day Invasion. Let’s focus on the filming locations of The Dirty Dozen!
The Filming Locations of The Dirty Dozen was in the United Kingdom. Most of the scenes got taken in Hertfordshire. Either they were in Hertfordshire or close to the city. The prison in the war flick has a good role in the success. Known as the Marston-Tyne Military, its location isin one of the lowkey residences of the town. Back then, it was the Ashridge House. Now the same place has been taken over by a school named Ashridge Business School. In this prison, Major John Reisman chose his soldiers who were capable enough to become a commando. It is when he recruited the twelve convicts, giving them a second life.
The beginning scene was once a huge Tudor Manor House. It used to be the home of Elizabeth I. The area got developed, amazingly and today, it is known as the Victorian Gothic Complex. Its location is near the village of Little Gaddesden. That village is six miles north of Hertfordshire. The farmland of the enclosing Ashridge Estate is a popular location. The large countryside estate has got used by many super hit films like Harry Potter and Stardust. There is a fan-favorite scene where Major Pinkley annoys Colonel Breed. He is inspecting the troops at an army airbase. That is in Hendon Aerodrome, which is fifteen miles north of London.
The Red Force Division 1 Headquarters is in the Devon Village, Hertfordshire. In that scene, The Dirty Dozen capture the commanding officers. One of the scenes shows the Aldbury village, with lots of greenery. That is two miles west of Little Gaddesden. The main goal from the start- French Chateau, which is a set (50 ft high) situated on the MGM Borehamwood backlot.
The Twelve Convicted criminals get chosen by the Major to become commandos and escape the life of a prisoner. But the twist is that they are jumping on a suicide mission! Well, they care less. They don’t even think about doing anything heroic, like saving lives. It means that The Dirty Dozen is still the dirty twelve! But hell rains upon them once they get into the battlefield. Then they go to their past and think of what they were before.
These 12 crooks are US Soldiers who are specialized to become commandos. There were few light moments where the convicts share some comical moments. Their happiness stays for less time. After all, it was World War Two. The Germans dropped grenades and gallons of gasoline on them after which, they died. The development of genuine affection for the characters (criminals) is what makes this War Film a must-watch!