Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1960s Devil’s Brigade, The (1968)

Devil’s Brigade, The (1968)

During World War II, a special fighting unit is formed that combines a crack Canadian Army unit and a conglomeration of US Army misfits who had previously served time in military jails.

After an initial period of conflict between the two groups, their enmity turns to respect and friendship, and the unit is sent to Italy to attempt a dangerous mission that is considered impossible to carry out.

William Holden plays Lt. Col. Frederick, who derives the plan for combining Canadian and American troops into an assault force to attack the Germans in Norway. Frederick has to deal with two contingents of troops: a proud, professional Canadian unit under the command of career soldier Major Crown (Cliff Robertson) and an American unit comprised of misfits and criminals, led by crass Major Bricker (Vince Edwards).

They are deployed, instead, to Italy, where they must capture a strategic hilltop from which Nazi artillery pounds the Allied advance.

The “Devil’s Brigade” actually existed during WWII. Its formal military designation was the First Special Service Force (FSSF) – alternatively known as the “Black Devils”. The joint American-Canadian unit was comprised of three regiments of two battalions and specialised in cold-weather, mountain-warfare missions. The FSSF served in the Italian campaign, before finishing its service in Southern France in 1944.

The FSSF is considered to be the predecessor to the US Army Special Forces (the “Green Berets”).

Lt. Col. Robert T. Frederick
William Holden
Maj. Alan Crown
Cliff Robertson
Maj. Cliff Bricker
Vince Edwards
Pvt. Theodore Ransom
Andrew Prine
Sgt. Pat O’Neill
Jeremy Slate
Pvt. Rocky Rockman
Claude Akins
Cpl. Peacock
Jack Watson
Pvt. Omar Greco
Richard Jaeckel
Pvt. Bronc Guthrie
Bill Fletcher
Pvt. Hugh MacDonald
Richard Dawson
Pvt. Al Manella
Tom Troupe
Pvt. Hubert Hixon
Luke Askew
Pvt. Henri Laurent
Jean-Paul Vignon
Capt. Cardwell
Tom Stern
Capt. Rose
Harry Carey Jr.

Director
Andrew V. McLaglen

Video