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The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel (1951)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, War | 17 October 1951 (USA)
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2:20 | Trailer

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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:
...
...
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

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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie utilized real black-and-white archival combat footage from the British documentary Desert Victory (1943). See more »

Goofs

The opening scene states that a British submarine inserted a commando unit behind enemy lines; however what is shown is clearly an American Fleet Type submarine which did not operate in the Mediterranean. See more »

Quotes

[a British officer steps from the back of his tralier to address the officers before him]
British officer: Gentlemen, the following order from General Auchinleck, is to all commanders and chiefs-of-staff of the Middle East Forces.
[reads]
British officer: "There exists a real danger that our friend Rommel is becoming a kind of magician or bogeyman to our troops, who are talking far too much about him. He is by no means a superman, although he is undoubtedly very energetic and able. Even if he were a superman, it would still be ...
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Connections

Referenced in London Entertains (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

The Caisson Song
(uncredited)
Music by Edmund L. Gruber
Heard during the scenes of D-Day and the ensuing battles
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

On some inaccuracies and trivia...
4 June 2003 | by (Northridge, Ca) – See all my reviews

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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