The Devil's Brigade

1968

Action / Drama / War

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 60%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 68%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 5373

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
January 03, 2022 at 07:13 AM

Cast

Dick Simmons as Gen. Bixby
Andrew Prine as Pvt. Theodore Ransom
Luke Askew as Pvt. Hubert Hixon
Alix Talton as Miss Arnold
720p.BLU
1.19 GB
1280*544
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 12 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer 8 / 10

Quite good and actually based on a real fighting unit.

I was surprised to learn that "The Devil's Brigade" is actually based on a true story and it's not some "Dirty Dozen" knockoff. During WWII, there really was a special forces unit made up of American and Canadian soldiers and this film is a slightly fictionalized version of their formation and successes.

The film begins with the Colonel (William Holden) being given command of a new special forces unit. When he arrives at the camp, it's derelict--a mess. Well, when the soldiers arrive, they are no better--a group of misfits dumped on his from various American units. In contrast, the Canadian soldiers who soon arrive are among the elite--and they couldn't seem any more different. Can Holden somehow make these very disparate groups of men a working and effective combat team? To help him are the Majors (Cliff Robertson and Vince Edwards), but their task seems impossible.

While there are some comparisons to "The Dirty Dozen", "The Devil's Brigade" is far less exciting and enjoyable--probably because truth is often less entertaining than fantasy--and "The Dirty Dozen" is pure fantasy. Regardless, the film is well made and enjoyable and a nice testament to the men who risked their lives with the unit.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 8 / 10

The Fighting Devils

When The Devil's Brigade first came out it got panned by a lot of critics in that it was too similar to The Dirty Dozen. Never mind that it was based on some real figures, the consensus was that The Devil's Brigade was a poor imitation of The Dirty Dozen. Personally I think it was a better film.

I'm sure that the characters and incidents were given a lot of poetic license, but that was to make it entertaining. And entertaining it is. But it's also inspiring, especially in the last battle sequence, taking that hill by going up the hard way.

When Bill Holden was cast as real life Lieutenant Colonel Robert Frederick, Mrs. Frederick was interviewed and said while she admired Mr. Holden's talent, she thought her husband was more the Gregory Peck type. Nevertheless Holden does a fine job as a man who shoots down Lord Louis Mountbatten's idea of a combined American/Canadian special force and then gets command of it. He's also a staff officer who had not seen combat and he was trying to prove something to himself.

As good as Holden is, the best performance in this film has to be that of Cliff Robertson as Canadian Major Alan Crown. Robertson's an Ulster Irishman in the film and his acting and accent are impeccable. He's got something to prove as well, he and many of his Canadians left Europe at Dunkirk. Robertson himself was off his Oscar winning performance in Charly and The Devil's Brigade was a good follow up for him.

The Canadians selected for this unit are the pick of the lot, while the Americans emptied their stockades of all the refuse. Holden encourages competition among them and a really terrific sequence involving a bar brawl with some obnoxious lumberjacks welds a camaraderie among former feudees.

Standing out in the cast are Claude Akins as a particularly rambunctious American recruit and Jack Watson as the Canadian sergeant. They bond particularly close, some might even infer some homosexuality here, but Watson's death scene and Akins's reactions are particularly poignant.

The Devil's Brigade also came out during the Viet-nam War and war films were not well received at that time, at least until Patton came out. Seen now though, The Devil's Brigade is a fine tribute to the Canadians and Americans who made up the First Special Service Force.

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca 7 / 10

Entertaining war picture in the inimitable 1960s style

THE DEVIL'S BRIGADE is another men-on-a-mission war film to follow in the wake of THE DIRTY DOZEN. This is along very much the same lines, albeit with a much bigger cast, and once again it concerns an officer training up a platoon of men for a suicide mission. This time around, the orders are to capture a bunch of Germans and later take a mountain occupied by German forces in Italy.

It's obvious from the outset that this is a highly entertaining picture just from the level of talent involved. The familiar faces are endless and the pacing never flags despite the lengthy running time. The first half of the movie is taken up with training but it doesn't feel slow, thanks to the conflict arising from the Canadian troops and the dregs of the American jails forced to join forces with them. Later, when the action hits it does so impressively, mixing quietly taut peril and suspense sequences with all out battle warfare.

William Holden headlines the cast as the ultra-tough lieutenant colonel while Cliff Robertson and Vince Edwards play the two opposing majors under him. Elsewhere we get good character parts from the actors playing the privates such as Claude Akins, Richard Jaeckel, and Richard Dawson, and a scene-stealing turn from Jack Watson as the tough Scotsman Corporal Peacock. THE DEVIL'S BRIGADE is an entertaining war flick in that inimitable 1960s style.

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