An explosive inside look at The Dirty Dozen, the star-studded war film that broke the rules, shocked the critics, thrilled audiences, and became an all-time classic.
The year was 1967. A cinematic blockbuster exploded across American popular culture. The Dirty Dozen didn’t just reinvent the “men on a mission” war story, it blew the genre to pieces. Like its ragtag team of misfits, it defied authority, mocked the military, and still managed to deliver action, adventure, and no-holds-barred Nazi-killing. It also received four Oscar nominations, launched the careers of many Hollywood legends, and inspired generations of filmmakers like Sam Peckinpah, Quentin Tarantino, and James Gunn.
Based on exclusive interviews with the surviving cast and crew, friends and families of the stars, and other Hollywood insiders, Killin' Generals: The Making of The Dirty Dozen, the Most Iconic WW II Movie of All Time (Citadel Press, 2023) is a riveting must-read for film buffs, military fans, and anyone who loves a down-and-dirty adventure tale. Detailed, insightful, and gossipy, Epstein’s homage spotlights the movie’s endless barrage of cinematic gold.
During a time when America was reeling from turmoil, Hollywood held an indelible mirror up to a changing society. Films like Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, Cool Hand Luke, and In the Heat of the Night would define the era. But it was a gritty, violent, darkly comic World War II movie called The Dirty Dozen that would really strike a chord with audiences—and become the year’s biggest box office success. Heading up the all-star cast were Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, John Cassavettes, Charles Bronson, Donald Sutherland, Jim Brown, Robert Ryan, Clint Walker, and at his most terrifying best, Telly Savalas, propelling many of them to stardom.
Dwayne Epstein is the author of several young adult biographies, covering such celebrity personalities as Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, Hilary Swank, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and Denzel Washington for Lucent Books' People in the News series. Epstein also contributed to Bill Krohn's bestselling books Hitchcock at Work and Joe Dante and the Gremlins of Hollywood. His biography Lee Marvin: Point Blank was a New York Times bestseller.
Daniel Moran earned his B.A. and M.A. in English from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. in History from Drew University. The author of Creating Flannery O’Connor: Her Critics, Her Publishers, Her Readers, he teaches research and writing at Rutgers and co-hosts the podcast Fifteen-Minute Film Fanatics, found at https://fifteenminutefilm.podb... and on Twitter @15MinFilm.
Daniel Moran earned his B.A. and M.A. in English from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. in History from Drew University. The author of Creating Flannery O’Connor: Her Critics, Her Publishers, Her Readers, he teaches research and writing at Rutgers and co-hosts the podcast Fifteen Minute Film Fanatics.