A group of murderers, psychopaths and other offenders are sent on a mission during World War II to destroy a chateau which has become a hotbed for Nazi officers. Its location is so far behind enemy lines that few of the prisoners turned military men are expected to survive, so the twelve undesirables are shuffled off to war with the promise of pardons if they manage to make it out alive. It's a motley crew of characters featuring the likes of some of cinema's favorite tough guys -- many of them relative unknowns at the time: Charles Bronson, Donald Sutherland, Telly Savalas, Jim Brown and the always weird and wonderful John Cassavetes (who would have been 81 on December 9). They've been dubbed the Dirty Dozen, because of their less than savory bathing habits (the group refused to bathe in protest against their living conditions). Ernest Borgnine's Major General Worden commands the crew, alongside Lee Marvin's Major John Reisman and Robert Ryan's Colonel Everett Dasher Breed.
Marvin was known for playing war heroes and action baddies, and his experience as a Marine sniper during World War II (as well as his commanding screen presence) made him more than perfect for the part in 1967's 'The Dirty Dozen.' However, Marvin's character had to earn the Dozen's respect in Robert Aldrich's film, because he's had some disciplinary problems of his own. If he fails to complete the mission, he'll be booted out of the army. The crew of problematic prisoners isn't exactly happy to take orders from anyone, and that's where our scene takes place.