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Five Graves to Cairo (1943)

Approved  |   |  Thriller, War  |  4 May 1943 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,175 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 23 critic

During World War 2, an undercover British soldier tries get word to the Allies that the Germans have tons of supplies buried in 5 excavations across Egypt.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »
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Originally made with a German soundtrack for screening in occupied Germany and Austria, this film was the first documentary to show what the Allies found when they liberated the Nazi ... See full summary »

Director: Billy Wilder
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Cpl. John J. Bramble / Paul Davos
...
Mouche
...
Farid
...
...
Lt. Schwegler (as Peter Van Eyck)
Fortunio Bonanova ...
Gen. Sebastiano
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Storyline

June, 1942. The British Army, retreating ahead of victorious Rommel, leaves a lone survivor on the Egyptian border--Corporal John Bramble, who finds refuge at a remote desert hotel...soon to be German HQ. To survive, Bramble assumes an identity which proves perilous. The new guest of honor is none other than Rommel, hinting of his secret strategy, code-named 'five graves.' And the fate of the British in Egypt depends on whether a humble corporal can penetrate the secret... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rommel | egypt | waiter | hotel | desert | See All (36) »

Taglines:

Did a Woman Start the Rout of Rommel?

Genres:

Thriller | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

4 May 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cinco tumbas al Cairo  »

Box Office

Budget:

$855,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Erich von Stroheim playing Field Marshall Erwin Rommel dictatorially insisted on garnishing his own military uniform and he got permission from the Paramount studio to design this costume as well as his hair & makeup. He studied photographs of Rommel and then made requests for specific equipment, clothing and props. These included authentic German field glasses, a whisk, and a 35mm Leica camera with actual film. These items were all fully functional, in working order and of the correct provenance. Stroheim maintained that his performance could be affected as an actor would know if the items he were wearing or using were not authentic. Director Billy Wilder queried him about the real film in the camera which wouldn't be seen by viewers with von Stroheim replying, "An audience always senses whether a prop is genuine or false." Rommel dressed casually and wore loose-fitting uniforms yet von Stroheim demanded that he wear "a uniform as it is supposed to be worn." Von Stroheim believed that Rommel never took off his cap in the desert sun and so did not have sunburn face make-up above his eyes. See more »

Goofs

When Bramble walks/runs into the town his shadow is behind him, then in front, then again behind him. See more »

Quotes

Field Marshal Rommel: [to the officers seated at the breakfast table] Rice pudding in Egypt - you never know if it's raisins - or flies!
See more »

Connections

Version of Hotel Imperial (1927) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A nice propaganda movie
3 January 2002 | by (paris) – See all my reviews

Shot in 1943, this movie gives you what you deserve : some sort of propaganda. But at that time, how many movies could afford to be so unrespectful ? Even if the allies are good and the axis forces evil, they are not depicted as a cliché. For example, Rommel, who was certainly the only "healthy" German general, is full of spirit, always has a good word and is well educated. Erich von Stroheim gives a nice shape to this character. In the meantime, Mouche, the little French maid, is tortured between Pétain and the image of allies. She remembers that "French soldiers were left behind by English ones in Dunkerque and captured or killed". What a stupifying sentence in 1943. But Billy Wilder is cunny enough to say what he had to say owing to his humour. And the screenplay is so clever that for anybody interested in the period (and even if you're not), this movie is worth seeing.

"We shall take that big fat cigar out of Mr. Churchill's mouth and make him say Heil." Erwin Rommel in Five graves to Cairo !


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