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North Africa, World War II. Captain Douglas (Michael Caine) is the British army leader who receives orders to lead a band of mercenaries into the desert; their mission is to knock out the enemy fuel reserve. The inexperienced, and rather laid back captain contends with a veteran Colonel (Nigel Green) regarding his plans for the mission but when Douglas heads off, it may not just be the Nazis he and his team have to worry about as his own side seems to be against him too. The mission soon becomes more about survival and the desert heat as well as the enemy gunfire may prove to be too much.


The opening credits here are full of dancing dirt and grain with the usual aged haziness. Coming out of the credits there’s still a fair bit of dirt popping about but the clarity of the image is very much improved. Everyone’s sand covered clothes and the dust covered vehicles look great in the hot sun. Interior scenes reduce in quality a little with edges seeming a bit softer but its only a slight reduction as detail and textures are really quite impressive at times.

The handful of night based scenes are also handled very well with very little issue. Sharpness and light sources remain well presented under moonlight (or fire filled explosions) and the image still manages to keep a clean bright look. Edges are good and sharp throughout, which counters the age of the film's looks and the warm primary colours mixed with the naturally tanned skin tones gives the film a fresher look than I would imagine the film would have had on previous DVD releases.


The mono track is of course very limited in comparison to modern audio presentations but its music, vs sound effects vs dialogue balancing is absolutely fine with the initial rattling Jeep mixed with a wireless radio sounding stable and clear as we travel through the desert. The recording of the dialogue has that older thinner sound it but still remains clear through, only really suffering in a busy market when its countering surrounding chatter and grumbling engines but this is usually only within short travelling segments and is never a problem with and key dialogue scenes. The audio track here is pretty much sufficient for purpose and the film retains its age without that being an issue.


This War Collection entry holds no extras.


Play Dirty is a focused well told tale of warfare on a personal level that doesn't necessarily make anyone involved look all that good. Caine plays a strong lead who’s easy to follow through this tangled web of problems and the while his character's tone is sometimes light and cocky to begin with the film ends with a pretty devastating blow. The discs itself is extras free but has a good video and audio presentation, with the only thing against it being the film’s age (but even that doesn't hold the visuals too much).

 Play Dirty
 Play Dirty
 Play Dirty
 Play Dirty
 Play Dirty
 Play Dirty