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Five Graves to Cairo (1943)

Approved | | Thriller, War | 12 July 1943 (USA)
During World War II, an undercover British soldier tries get word to the Allies that the Germans have tons of supplies buried in five excavations across Egypt.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Lt. Schwegler (as Peter Van Eyck)


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


Did a Woman Start the Rout of Rommel?


Thriller | War


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

12 July 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cinco tumbas al Cairo  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$855,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)


(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Twentieth Century-Fox loaned Anne Baxter to Paramount to play Mouche. See more »


When John Bramble is introduced to the Germans as Paul Davos, a calendar is behind him on the wall. It is a 1942 calendar but shows Saturday, July 4th in red as a holiday...which of course is not a holiday in Egypt. See more »


Mouche: Aren't there enough dead already?
Cpl. John J. Bramble: Oh, yes. There are a lot of dead, Mouche. In Tobruk I saw them piled up in the hundreds. In Sevastopol, they lay ten deep. They were blown to bits in the Repulse and the Prince of Wales. In Athens, they're dying of starvation, four hundred of them. For what, Mouche? So that somebody like you can hold up a tin cup to a victorious Lieutenant... begging for a pfennigs worth of pity? It's not one brother that matters, it's a million brothers. It's not just one ...
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Referenced in Shadows of Suspense (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

A nice propaganda movie
3 January 2002 | by 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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