Filming the Dirty Dozen

Read the forum code of contact

Member for

15 years 11 months

Posts: 361

I recently scanned the photos below, which my dad took during the filming of ‘The Dirty Dozen’ in 1966 and thought they might be of interest to forum members.

The scene being shot is where the Dozen are taking part in a military exercise in England in order to prove their suitability for their planned mission. They are part of the blue force, wearing blue armbands, driving in a troop carrier through a village when they emerge onto the village green and come across part of the red force. They immediately reverse back into the side road, swap their blue armbands for red ones and then carry on to take the red force by surprise.

The village green was in the picturesque village of Aldbury in Buckinghamshire, while the side road was Pickford Road in the (much less picturesque) village of Markyate in Hertfordshire (where the training camp scenes were also filmed). I think the Pickford Road location was chosen because my grandparents’ shop provided a suitable backdrop, being something of a 1940s time capsule inside and out, so it needed little set-dressing to make it look as it would have done a quarter of a century previously.

I was housebound with measles at the time, so I missed the excitement, but my dad managed to get along there with his camera. This first shot is of the Dozen in their troop carrier. Charles Bronson is seated by the door and Telly Savalas is at the wheel.

http://imageshack.us/a/img843/8499/st76.jpg

Clint Walker posing for the locals between takes.

http://imageshack.us/a/img843/1803/xr0m.jpg

Four of the cast, including singer-turned-actor Trini Lopez in the middle and American football-player-turned-actor Jim Brown.

http://imageshack.us/a/img826/3313/sc6e.jpg

And finally a crude TV screen shot, from the film, of my grandparents’ shop, with the troop carrier just disappearing out of shot.

http://imageshack.us/a/img826/3933/b8aw.jpg

Original post

Member for

24 years 2 months

Posts: 16,832

Thanks for posting those, they are fascinating, a good addition to the earlier thread about Hendon's appearance in the same movie.

Was the shop 'dressed' for the filming or is that as it was back then?

Moggy

Member for

15 years 11 months

Posts: 361

As far as I remember, the Capstan and Lyons Tea adverts were permanent, as was all the paint-work, but I think most of the other window adverts must have been dressing.

Member for

13 years 11 months

Posts: 4,996

Great pictures !

Member for

20 years 6 months

Posts: 7,015

WOW terrific. Thanks :)

Member for

1 year 10 months

Posts: 1

Happened to come across your post in this forum.  I lived in what was the ground floor of your grand parents shop in 1985-87.  It was my first property!  I can't download the the photos though, but would be fascinated to see them.

Member for

3 months 3 weeks

Posts: 1

Wow, these photos from the filming of 'The Dirty Dozen' in 1966 are truly fascinating! It's amazing to see behind-the-scenes moments and iconic cast members like Charles Bronson and Telly Savalas. The village green in Aldbury and Pickford Road in Markyate provided such authentic settings. Thank you for sharing this glimpse into cinematic history!

If you're interested in watching 'The Dirty Dozen', you can check it out at https://www.amazon.com/Dirty-Dozen-Lee-Marvin/dp/B00004RF9H rice purity test. Enjoy the film!