- Although Aldrich had tried to purchase the rights to E.M. Nathanson's novel, The Dirty Dozen, while it was still in outline form, it was MGM that successfully acquired the property in May 1963. The book became a bestseller upon its publication in 1965.
- The French chateau, that appears in the film was constructed especially for the production by art director Bill Hutchinson and his crew of 85. One of the largest sets ever built, it stood 240 feet across and 50 high. Gardeners surrounded the building with 5400 square yards of heather, 400 ferns, 450 shrubs, 30 spruce trees and 6 full-grown weeping willows.
- Construction of the faux chateau proved *too* good. The script called for it to be blown up, but the construction was so solid that 70 tons of explosives would have been needed to achieve the effect! Instead, a section was rebuilt from cork and plastic.
- 'Wayne, John' was the first selected to portray Major. John Reisman, but instead went on to star and direct another war film The Green Berets. Then later Lee Marvin was chosen for the part.
- During the "Last Supper" scene, Maggot (Telly Salvalas) is in the Judas position of the Da'Vinci painting, before betraying the team during their mission.
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