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The Desert Rats (1953)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  20 May 1953 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 3,258 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 12 critic

Richard Burton plays a Scottish Army officer put in charge of a disparate band of ANZAC troops on the perimeter of Tobruk with the German Army doing their best to dislodge them.

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Title: The Desert Rats (1953)

The Desert Rats (1953) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Robert Douglas ...
Torin Thatcher ...
Chips Rafferty ...
Charles 'Bud' Tingwell ...
Lt. Harry Carstairs (as Charles Tingwell)
Charles Davis ...
Ben Wright ...
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Storyline

Rommel has the British in retreat on his way to the Suez Canal. All that stands in his way is Tobruk, held by a vastly out numbered force of Australian troops. Richard Burton leads these troops on daring raids against Rommel, keeping him off balance as they earn the nickname 'The Desert Rats'. Written by Derek Picken <dpicken@email.msn.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They crawled their way across the blazing sands of Africa... to turn disaster into victory!

Genres:

Action | Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

20 May 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les rats du désert  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film's title actually refers to the British 7th Armoured Division who were "The Desert Rats" in North Africa and not the Australian 9th Division who were part of the siege at Tobruk and were known as "The Rats of Tobruk", not the Desert Rats. See more »

Goofs

When the British aircraft are attacking German trucks carrying the prisoners, the planes shown in the distant shot are not the same planes as in the closeup. The planes in the closeup shot have black and white stripes painted on their wings, at the root and parallel to the fuselage. Such stripes were not used for identification until D-Day (they were called "invasion stripes" at the time) and then only in Europe. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: 1941 LIBYAN DESERT NORTH AFRICA See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Dick Van Dyke Show: Remember the Alimony (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Waltzing Matilda
(1895) (uncredited)
Original music by Christina Macpherson (1895)
(Based on the Scottish tune "Craigielee", music by James Barr, with words by Robert Tannahill)
Revised music by Marie Cowan (1903)
Lyrics by A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson (1895)
Played during the opening credits and often in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Very Realistic War Movie
19 February 2005 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In 1941, during the World War II, Field Marshal Erwin von Rommel (James Mason) tries to conquer the city of Tobruk in Libya and the British battalion defends this location to avoid Rommel to reach the Suez Canal. The young, but experienced British Capt. 'Tammy' MacRoberts (Richard Burton) leads a limited number of inexperienced Australian troops in the defense of Tobruk, and uses raids during the night against Rommel forces to keep the balance between the strong German army and the reduced British-Australian forces, and MacRoberts' troops are called "The Desert Rats". "The Desert Rats" is a very realistic war movie, presenting strategies, battles, action scenes and a great duel between James Mason and Richard Burton. I am not sure whether Robert Wise used footage of some real battle scenes along the film, since the realism in the black and white photography is amazing and sometimes it looks like a documentary. There are also excellent lines between Richard Burton and James Mason, and Richard Burton and Robert Newton, in the role of the former teacher of MacRoberts. "The Desert Rats" is a highly recommended movie. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Ratos do Deserto" ("Desert Rats")


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