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Desert Victory (1943)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 135 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 2 critic

The Allied campaign to drive Germany and Italy from North Africa is analysed, with the major portion of the film examining the battles at El Alamein, including a re-enactment.

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Title: Desert Victory (1943)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Harold Alexander ...
Himself (archive footage) (as General Alexander)
...
Himself (archive footage) (as Mr. Churchill)
...
Himself (archive footage) (as Hitler)
Bernard L. Montgomery ...
Himself (archive footage) (as General Montgomery)
Erwin Rommel ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Rommel)
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Storyline

This documentary recounts the famous World War II battle of El Alamein, considered one of the key turning points in the war against the Nazis. The film uses actual footage taken during the battle, including film captured from the Nazis, to explain the battle tactics and their execution. It also pays tribute to the men and women on the home front who, in their work in the factories and in their lives in general, made victory possible. Written by garykmcd

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The Blazing-Blitzing Truth! See more »

Genres:

Documentary | War

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Release Date:

13 April 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Victoire du désert  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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This documentary is one of the most successful wartime documentaries made about the Second World War. See more »

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User Reviews

 
DESERT VICTORY (Roy Boulting and David MacDonald, 1943) ***
2 January 2014 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This is another example of a film – or, in its case, a documentary – which was much lauded by critics once upon a time but which, when viewed today, does not come across as particularly outstanding (if eliciting occasional excitement throughout from the mainly dimly-lit barrage of various types of artillery). I mean this criticism towards it exclusively as a cinematic product, of course, since the events depicted – the Allies' defeat of Field Marshall Erwin Rommel's previously invincible North Africa campaign in 1942 – constitute one of the most decisive turning points of WWII. The fact that it was all captured live by respected British film people (albeit uncredited!) is all the more remarkable when considering that several cameramen were killed, wounded or imprisoned by the enemy during its shooting, as the opening text duly informs us; interestingly, then, the scenes showing Rommel himself and, briefly, Adolf Hitler was 'supplied' via confiscated footage in possession of German P.O.W.s! Many such 'classic' efforts were released during the course of the 6 year-long (1939-45) global conflict by notable British and American film directors, a good number of which I own and have watched in the past, while a few more will be included among my initial spate of 2014 viewings.

For the record, the print I watched of DESERT VICTORY had a 10-minute newsreel – FILM BULLETIN NO. 45: U.S. ATTACKS IN THE ALEUTIANS – appended to it, revolving around battles in the Pacific that were also officially 'reported' by John Huston. Incidentally, the latter competed with the film under review for Best Documentary Feature at the Oscars, but the British effort emerged victorious; besides, co-director Boulting made BURMA VICTORY (1946) in a similar vein.


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