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Sergeant Joe Gunn and his tank crew pick up five British soldiers, a Frenchman and a Sudanese man with an Italian prisoner crossing the Libyan Desert to rejoin their command after the fall of Tobruk. They and the Germans are greatly in need of water. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film's opening prologue states: "In June, 1942, a small detachment of American tanks with American crews, joined the British Eighth Army in North Africa to get experience in desert warfare under actual battle conditions. History as proved that they learned their lesson well - - ." See more »
One of the machine guns shown is an M1917A1 Browning belt fed, water cooled machine gun. The gun has an eight pint cooling system that is recycled via hose to a reservoir. In this film there is no hose or reservoir visible; even though the gun is fired at length. See more »
"In June, 1942, a small detachment of American tanks with American crews, joined the British Eighth Army in North Africa to get experience in desert warfare under actual battle conditions...History has proved that they learned their lesson well - -" See more »
This Zoltan Korda-John Howard Lawson World War II curio is at times a superb war film, with fine pace, excellent location photography and some excellent, unflashy acting. It is a story in the tradition of The Lost Patrol, as experienced U.S. Sgt. Humphrey Bogart, in a tank, helps a motley crew of soldiers, mostly British, in search of either their unit, safety or water, whichever comes first. They wind up at a desert fort and are eventually attacked by a German regiment that is also desperate and thirsty, and some exciting action scenes of fighting and exhausted men are the result.
Bogart is his usual charismatic self in the lead, and the supporting cast is nearly as good, especially Bruce Bennett and J. Carrol Naish; the former is quiet and dignified, as was his custom, the latter typically flamboyant, but this time his florid acting is appropriate. Overall I like this movie a lot. Like all the best war films, it focuses on seemingly small things, such as well that has gone dry (or has it?), the glaring sun, the little stories of home life,--for once not corny. There is a black African solider who is treated as an equal, and well-acted by Rex Ingram. Now and again, though, the movie turns preachy, as a certain internationalist tendentiousness creeps in, which, even if one finds its agreeable, detracts somewhat from the exciting story and makes it at times feel like a tract on the need for cooperation among nations.
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