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The Desert Rats (1953)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 20 May 1953 (USA)
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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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Lt. Harry Carstairs (as Charles Tingwell)
Charles Davis ...
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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! See more »

Genres:

Action | Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

20 May 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les rats du désert  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,320,000 (estimated)
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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 was among the last films produced by 20th Century Fox in the standard academy format. Only four months later they would begin releasing films in their CinemaScope format, starting with "The Robe" (1953) which also starred Richard Burton. See more »

Goofs

During the raid on the German camp there is a sign on a building reading "Hauptquartiers". Although the English word "Headquarters" might suggest a plural s, in German there doesn't exist such a form. The correct word would be "Hauptquartier" and the plural "Hauptquartiere" See more »

Quotes

Tom Bartlett: You don't know much about real fear, Tammy. Maybe it comes with age or the bottle. You don't know what it is to be a coward... really a coward. To know it, yet to hope one day something will happen to prove that you're not, yet half the time not really believing that either.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Modern Problems (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Greensleeves
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played on the harmonica
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Excellent look at British and ANZAC troops
2 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I haven't seen this gem in almost 20 years and AMC presented it today. An excellent look at the British war effort against the Germans and Italians in North Africa. Except for the minor mistakes of weaponry (American made Thompsons in the hands of Germans, Colt M1917 water-cooled MGs for German MGs, etc) this was a realistic and rousing tale of the North African campaign. Of course Hollywood liberties were taken, it is a movie, not a documentary. The interplay between Richard Burton and Robert Newton was excellent, with Newton's performance the proper balance for Burton's sometimes hysterical scene-chewing. That is is based loosely on real events and in many cases ANZAC and British troops did hold back Rommel's attacks many times only enhances the story. Kudos to the makers and an excellent addition to any war movie collection.


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