The success of 1967’s The Dirty Dozen launched an entire cottage industry of imitations, but none were so successful—or one-uppingly filthy—as Andre de Toth’s Play Dirty.
A snide, dandyish, crisply-ascoted BP contractor (Michael Caine) attached to the British Army in North Africa is teamed, against his will, to a weary-to-death shamed ex-Captain, Leech (Nigel Davenport), together charged with leading an crew of gangsters, dope-peddlers, rapists and sodomites on a behind-enemy-lines suicide mission to blow up Rommel’s fuel supply. De Toth’s vital last film shows a rare under-the-hood engagement with the nuts-and-bolts of fighting a war, with grueling process-oriented sequences of cliff-scaling, battlefield surgery, disarming mines and a punishing, sand-in-the-teeth spectacle of man facing the elements, all towards a spectacularly bitter conclusion.
Director: André De Toth. 118 min. 1969. 35mm.
Part of the series Overdue, programmed by Nick Pinkerton and Nicolas Rapold.
Also screening this night at 6 pm: The Indian Fighter.
Ticket Price: $12, Film Club Member: $8.
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