HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Satanic Panic
Claudine
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
No Mercy
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Ladyworld
Rocketman
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
   
 
Newest Articles
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
   
 
  Play Dirty Blood And SandBuy this film here.
Year: 1969
Director: André De Toth
Stars: Michael Caine, Nigel Davenport, Nigel Green, Harry Andrews, Patrick Jordan, Daniel Pilon, Bernard Archard, Aly Ben Ayed, Enrique Ávila, Mohsen Ben Abdallah, Mohamed Kouka, Takis Emmanuel, Scott Miller, Michael Stevens, Vivian Pickles, Jeremy Child
Genre: War
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: The latest mission organised by Colonel Masters (Nigel Green) to sabotage the Nazi forces in North Africa has not gone well, leaving everyone involved except the wily Captain Leech (Nigel Davenport) dead, although as instructed he has brought back the young lieutenant - or rather his corpse, transported across country in a jeep. But in the face of the failure of his missions, Masters is convinced that his methods of basing them on the war mongering of the Ancient Greeks is the right one, and soon has pinpointed a fuel dump he wishes to blow up...

This leads to the recruiting of Michael Caine as Captain Douglas, a by the book sort who you just know will clash with the more maverick Leech, but that wasn't what bothered Caine when he got to star here, as he had signed on for a René Clement movie, a name that may be neglected today, but carried some artistic weight back then. The Frenchman left after an argument with the producer, and André De Toth was brought in to salvage the project, another big name and one perhaps more used to the depiction of two-fisted violence in his movies than Clement, which you would have thought more appropriate to a war film.

But Caine was equally unhappy that the script had undergone an inferior rewrite, which also rankled with the critics and some of the public, for one of those scribes was Melvyn Bragg whose name was a byword for middlebrow with them, and therefore enough reason to dismiss any production to which he was attached. Couple that to an arduous shoot in the deserts of Spain, and it seemed nobody had much good to say about Play Dirty, what with its title and premise bringing up echoes of The Dirty Dozen which had been a megahit a couple of years before, and leading many to compare the two and find this coming up wanting. But those naysayers could equally have compared this to a genuine British desert war classic in Ice Cold in Alex.

It would still have emerged the lesser of the two, but if you had no idea of the problems those who made it had, and the general reaction for that matter, what you had was not such a bad war adventure at all, with neat air of fashionable cynicism to accompany the regulation blowing things up good - real good. Caine and Davenport worked well together, creating a wary association between their characters that worked out very well for what could have been rather pat, and perhaps it was anyway, but contrasting the officer who thinks the conflict should be embarked upon with integrity alongside the officer who will do anything, no matter how underhand, to survive was a solid basis for such a movie.

There might not have been much else original about it, but it had a bracing air which translated into the hard edge De Toth offered the material, as he so often did. Leech is well aware that Masters' concepts are poorly thought out in the modern warfare of World War II, so puts his own spin on them to ensure he gets out alive and with personal gain if he's lucky. This time, Masters offers him two thousand pounds (in old money, natch) if he can make sure Douglas gets out of this alive, so even though we suspect Leech would have no qualms about killing those on his own side if it meant he endured it adds a little frisson to the unfolding drama. After assembling a patrol of criminals (you can see why The Dirty Dozen came up) they head out into the desert to blow up this fuel, but once the radio gets damaged what they don't know is the plans have changed, which puts their lives in yet more danger - from both sides. If Play Dirty wasn't up there with the staples of the genre which turned favourites, then it would do until one of those came along, trendy downbeat ending and all. Music by Michel Legrand.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1597 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: