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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.

Director:

Writers:

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

Complete credited cast:
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Col. Klaus von Stauffenberg
Desmond Young ...
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:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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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

The 27 November 1951 edition of the 'Hollywood Reporter' stated that allegedly on the direct orders of studio mogul Harry M. Warner, the Warner Brothers exhibition theatre chain has "cancelled all bookings and even terminated some runs on 'The Desert Fox'". See more »

Goofs

In a scene between Von Runstedt and Rommel, a man seen through the window in the background does not move at all, showing that it is a painted backdrop. See more »

Quotes

Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: His astrologers have informed him that this is only a feint, that the real invasion is yet to come, north of Calais. The Fifteenth Army is sitting on those cold beaches up there, waiting for an invasion that is already taking place, is an excellent example of war by horoscope.
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Connections

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

The Army Air Corps Song
(uncredited)
Music by Robert Crawford
Heard during the scenes of D-Day and the ensuing battles
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

On some inaccuracies and trivia...

While a highly rewatchable war movie, with a corker of a performance from James Mason, this motion picture does have its inaccuracies--beginning with its memorable opening. In truth, British commandos did not sneak or charge in, outfitted in nightfighting fatigues; they simply walked in, disguised in Axis uniforms with fake ids. Though the covert mission proved a fiasco, Rommel, in true chivalrous tradition, had these would-be assassins buried with full military honors. However, cinematically-speaking, it's a gripping moment, and it's considered the first true pre-credit movie sequence, a trick one would see quite often in later movies, such as the Bond films and others.

The movie focuses largely on the Field Marshall's involvement with the attempted assassination of Hitler, but just how much (or how little) Rommel was involved is still arguable. Curiously, James Mason once mentioned how he was up for the part of Rommel and was competing with another Fox contract-player, Gary Merrill (best known as Bette Davis's love interest in ALL ABOUT EVE). Mason was impressed by how well Merrill marched and strutted, doing bits of military-like physical action that didn't come easily to the urbane Mason. Even though Mason ultimately won the part over Merrill, he self-critically felt he didn't fully do the role justice (though many, including myself, wouldn't agree with him). Perhaps the studio opted for Mason to bring out a sympathetic quality, because viewers do tend to forget the numbers of Allies who died directly because of the main character! Rommel was a great general for his energetic and ingenious tactics, not for (possibly) wanting Hitler killed.

Don't get me wrong; this movie is still a joy.




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