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The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel (1951)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, War | 17 October 1951 (USA)
The story of the final years of the respected World War II German general, Erwin Rommel.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (biography) (as Brigadier Desmond Young M.C.)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Dr. Karl Strolin
...
...
...
...
...
Gen. Fritz Bayerlein
...
Capt. Hermann Aldinger
...
Desmond Young ...
Himself, Lt. Col. Desmond Young
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Storyline

This biopic follows Rommel's career after the Afrika Korps, including his work on the defenses of Fortress Europe as well as his part in the assassination attempt on Hitler, and his subsequent suicide. Written by Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The vast African desert is aflame with the startling story the world has only guessed at ... never known until now ! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 October 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Desert Fox  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Movie debut (uncredited) of British actor John Alderson who plays a German corporal. See more »

Goofs

When Rommel is on his walking tour of the "Atlantic Wall" there is a scene where he and his entourage are walking in front of a gun emplacement fronted with a slope covered with stone blocks. The faintly visible straight shadows indicate, however, that they are walking in front of a painted backdrop. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Karl Strolin: How do you know this room isn't wired?
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: Wired? Why should it be wired?
Dr. Karl Strolin: Does Himmler have to have a reason for wiring a room?
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: No, I don't suppose he does. But I don't think you have to worry about this one. Why?
Dr. Karl Strolin: [Places a chair in front of Rommel, and sits down facing him squarely] Because I want to talk to you without being overheard.
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Desert Rats (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Anchors Aweigh
(uncredited)
Music by Charles A. Zimmerman
Heard during the scenes of D-Day and the ensuing battles
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Rommel Story
28 August 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Though The Desert Fox is good as far as it goes and James Mason is perfectly cast as Erwin Rommel, one would hope that a fuller biographical study might be done on the screen.

Erwin Rommel was one of a group of like minded military leaders in various countries who after World War I, rose to the top of their country's military establishment because they saw the value of the tank in any future war. Some of those people would be Charles DeGaulle in France, Dwight Eisenhower and George Patton in America, Marshal Tukachevksy in the Soviet Union and Rommel in Germany.

In 1942 Hitler as he was constantly doing sent Rommel in to bail out the Italians who up to that point had been running the desert campaign in North Africa. With less men and supplies, his tactical ability bedeviled the Allied command until The Second Battle of El Alamein.

The film starts with Rommel as desert warfare genius and then when he does become ill and is invalided out of North Africa, the Allies regain the initiative and beat his famed Afrika Korps. Rommel is then sent to Western Europe to supervise the defenses on the Atlantic.

There comes a point when Rommel does realize that his Fuehrer is destroying his country and becomes involved in the plot to kill him and overthrow the government. That is what most of the film deals with.

James Mason is a stalwart Rommel a perfect conception of the man they called The Desert Fox. In this mostly male film, Jessica Tandy has little to do but be loyal and supportive as Frau Rommel.

Luther Adler who among other parts he played in his long distinguished career was David Ben-Gurion. He goes the whole opposite way in his portrayal of a ranting and malevolent Adolph Hitler. How a man who took his Jewish heritage as seriously as Luther Adler did, prepare for the role of Hitler is beyond my scope. But then again, there were few actors as good as he.

Though Mason does a fine job given what limited material he had to work from, archives have been opened and we know a whole lot more about Erwin Rommel. Time for another biographical study.


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