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The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel (1951)

Approved  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  17 October 1951 (USA)
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Reviews: 57 user | 27 critic

The story of the final years of the respected World War II German general, Erwin Rommel.



(screenplay), (biography) (as Brigadier Desmond Young M.C.)
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The story of the final seven months in the life of German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel.

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


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 | Add Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 October 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Desert Fox  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)


(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This movie's main filming location was at Borrego Springs, San Diego County, California. See more »


Colonel Count von Stauffenberg, who planted the bomb that almost killed Hitler, is shown with an eye patch over his right eye. In fact he has lost his left eye. See more »


Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: I'm told you once referred to me as a clown. A clown of Hitler's circus.
Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: Oh, did I?
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: If so, I think you should know that I've been a great deal more explicit about you, many times.
Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: Oh, that's quite all right, Field Marshal. I find it almost impossible to keep my mind on anything harsh said about me.
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: Did you say it?
Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: Whoever said it, you've given them ample reason to regret such a foolish remark.
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: Thank you, Field Marshal.
Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: Not at all.
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: Is there anything else?
Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: I don't believe so, at the moment.
See more »


Followed by The Desert Rats (1953) See more »


Anchors Aweigh
Music by Charles A. Zimmerman
Heard during the scenes of D-Day and the ensuing battles
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A sensational James Mason as the most popular German general
27 September 2006 | by See all my reviews

The film is a Rommel biography written by Lt.Colonel Desmond Young and screenwriter Nunnally Johnson . It's based on true events and real characters . In WWII Field Marshal Erwin Rommel won reputation as Germany's most popular General but he played an important part in the invasions of central Europe and France . At the same time he was regarded by many Allied officers as a master of desert warfare and as a fair-minded professional . Erwin Rommel (James Mason) really achieved fame as the commander of the German Afrika Korps , operating against the British in North Africa and he captured Tobruk ,the key to the British defenses . Quick to see advantage and profit from it , he ran rings round the British for almost two years before being stopped at Alamein and then driven out of Africa by General Marshal Montgomery . Later on , Rommel was given command of Army in northern Italy to prevent an Italian defection and to counter an Allied invasion of Southern Europe . In 1944 he was transferred to command of an army group in northern France.On two occasions,Rommel and Von Rundstedt (Leo G.Carroll) saw Hitler and attempted to convince him that he should end the war while considerable German forces still existed.The pale and shaken Fuehrer met their frankness with angry diatribes.After the Allied invasion of Normandy (June 6,1944) , Rommel was severely injured when his automobile was strafed by a British plane,and he was sent home to Ulm to recover along with his wife Frau Lucie Marie (Jessica Tandy) , his personal assistant Capt.Hermamn (Richard Boone) and military son. By this time , he had become increasingly disillusioned not only by Hitler's unrealistic military leadership but also by the worldwide reaction to Nazi atrocities . He opposed the project assassination attempt on Hitler's life on the ground that this action would only create martyr . Rommel never took an active role in the July Plot executed by Colonel Klaus Von Stauffenberg (Edward Franz) , although the conspirators wanted him as Chief of state after the elimination of Hitler.However the plot failure ,one of the conspirators , before he died in agony on a meat hook , blurted out Rommel's name to his tormentors and his doom was sealed , offered the choice of a court-martial or reprisals against his his family or suicide.

In the film appears famous Nazi characters who are well interpreted by awesome actors , as Hitler featured by Luther Adler gives an excellent performance (but doesn't reach to Bruno Ganz in ¨The downfall¨) , Edward Franz as a magnificent Von Stauffenberg , Leo G. Carroll as Von Rundstedt , Everett Sloane (Gen. Wilhelm Burgdorf) , George Mc Ready (Gen.Fritz Bayerlein) , John Hoyt (Gen.Keitel) and of course Rommel's James Mason who displays a first-rate interpretation and he'll repeat role in ¨The Desert Rats¨ (1953) by Robert Wise . The motion picture was professionally directed by Henry Hathaway . Rating : Good , above average and well worth watching .

17 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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