Dayton's Devils (1968)

101 mins | Adventure | 2 October 1968

Director:

Jack Shea

Writer:

Fred De Gorter

Producer:

Robert Stabler

Cinematographer:

Brick Marquard

Editor:

Fred W. Berger

Production Designer:

F. Paul Sylos
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HISTORY

Principal photography began 4 Dec 1967, according to a 15 Dec 1967 DV production chart. Dayton’s Devils marked the screen debuts of singer Lainie Kazan and Barry Sadler, a former member of the U.S. Army Green Berets who achieved fame as a singer-songwriter. A news item in the 29 Dec 1967 DV noted that star Leslie Nielsen had recently completed his role.
       The 2 Jul 1968 DV reported that an exhibitor screening was held in Chicago, IL, hosted by Richard S. Ellman, vice-president of distributor Commonwealth United Entertainment, Inc. The film debuted at the Astor Theatre in New York City on 2 Oct 1968. Openings followed in Los Angeles, CA, on 11 Feb 1969. While the 9 Oct 1968 Var considered the picture to be an above-average “programmer,” the 3 Oct 1968 NYT described it “amateurish” and “unnecessarily convoluted.” ... More Less

Principal photography began 4 Dec 1967, according to a 15 Dec 1967 DV production chart. Dayton’s Devils marked the screen debuts of singer Lainie Kazan and Barry Sadler, a former member of the U.S. Army Green Berets who achieved fame as a singer-songwriter. A news item in the 29 Dec 1967 DV noted that star Leslie Nielsen had recently completed his role.
       The 2 Jul 1968 DV reported that an exhibitor screening was held in Chicago, IL, hosted by Richard S. Ellman, vice-president of distributor Commonwealth United Entertainment, Inc. The film debuted at the Astor Theatre in New York City on 2 Oct 1968. Openings followed in Los Angeles, CA, on 11 Feb 1969. While the 9 Oct 1968 Var considered the picture to be an above-average “programmer,” the 3 Oct 1968 NYT described it “amateurish” and “unnecessarily convoluted.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
15 Dec 1967
p. 10
Daily Variety
29 Dec 1967
p. 2
Daily Variety
2 Jul 1968
p. 2
Los Angeles Times
5 Dec 1967
Section E, 24
Los Angeles Times
8 Dec 1967
Section D, p. 22
Los Angeles Times
11 Feb 1969
Section D, p. 14
New York Times
2 Oct 1968
p. 34
New York Times
3 Oct 1968
p. 56
Variety
2 Oct 1968
p. 30
Variety
9 Oct 1968
p. 26
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Asst dir
WRITER
Story & scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
SONGS
"Sunny," written by Bobby Hebb, sung by Lainie Kazan.
PERFORMER
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
2 October 1968
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 2 October 1968
Los Angeles opening: 11 February 1969
Production Date:
began 4 December 1967
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Eastmancolor
Duration(in mins):
101
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

After masterminding a plan to rob Palomar Air Force Base of a $2.5 million payroll, former U. S. Air Force Col. Frank Dayton assembles a group of adventurers at the Mexican villa of his friend Max Eckhart. As Dayton forces his band of misfits (including artist turned forger Claude Sadi and psychopathic murderer Barney Barry) to undergo extensive physical and technical training, he meets opposition from two of his men--Mike Page and Sonny Merton--but nevertheless succeeds in shaping the group into a crack military-like unit. They are then smuggled to the Santa Barbara coast on a Mexican fishing boat. Equipped with forged identity cards and stolen Air Force uniforms, the men commandeer two military vehicles and enter the base under the pretext of being a special committee investigating finance and payroll mismanagement. After destroying the base's communications and making off with the payroll, they use their truck to block their pursuers and then make their getaway in a station wagon driven by Dayton's girl friend, Leda, a nightclub singer with a shady past. Upon reaching the beach, they unearth buried scuba-diving equipment and swim out with the money to the waiting Mexican fishing boat. But the greedy captain of the boat turns on them in the hope of getting all the money for himself. In the ensuing free-for-all, both the captain and Dayton are killed; a stray bullet causes a fire in the engine room; and soon the boat is aflame. Attracted by the fire, a Navy patrol boat races to the scene as the remnants of "Dayton's Devils" stand helplessly by, laughing hysterically as the loot goes up in ... +


After masterminding a plan to rob Palomar Air Force Base of a $2.5 million payroll, former U. S. Air Force Col. Frank Dayton assembles a group of adventurers at the Mexican villa of his friend Max Eckhart. As Dayton forces his band of misfits (including artist turned forger Claude Sadi and psychopathic murderer Barney Barry) to undergo extensive physical and technical training, he meets opposition from two of his men--Mike Page and Sonny Merton--but nevertheless succeeds in shaping the group into a crack military-like unit. They are then smuggled to the Santa Barbara coast on a Mexican fishing boat. Equipped with forged identity cards and stolen Air Force uniforms, the men commandeer two military vehicles and enter the base under the pretext of being a special committee investigating finance and payroll mismanagement. After destroying the base's communications and making off with the payroll, they use their truck to block their pursuers and then make their getaway in a station wagon driven by Dayton's girl friend, Leda, a nightclub singer with a shady past. Upon reaching the beach, they unearth buried scuba-diving equipment and swim out with the money to the waiting Mexican fishing boat. But the greedy captain of the boat turns on them in the hope of getting all the money for himself. In the ensuing free-for-all, both the captain and Dayton are killed; a stray bullet causes a fire in the engine room; and soon the boat is aflame. Attracted by the fire, a Navy patrol boat races to the scene as the remnants of "Dayton's Devils" stand helplessly by, laughing hysterically as the loot goes up in smoke. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.