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The Desert Rats (1953)

 -  Action | Adventure | Drama  -  20 May 1953 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 3,105 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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In light of postwar revelations that Field Marshal Erwin Rommel had been complicit in the attempt to kill Adolf Hitler, there emerged a reassessment of him as a dashing and gallant officer, and this is how James Mason played him in "The Desert Fox"--in contrast to the portrayal of Rommel by Erich von Stroheim in Paramount's Five Graves to Cairo (1943), which was Billy Wilder's first film as a director. After "The Desert Fox" came out, criticism came from veterans who had strong opinions about Rommel based on their experience of his actions during the war. In making "The Desert Rats" two years later, in reaction to this criticism, Fox brought back Mason in a cameo, and he plays Rommel more villainously than he has in "The Desert Fox", though not as much as von Stroheim. See more »

Goofs

When Rommel (James Mason) is informed about the upcoming sandstorm he shouts "benutzen!". He clearly wants to say "Use it!", so in German he would just have said "nutzen!" See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Follows The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel (1951) 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

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User Reviews

 
One of my favorites!
29 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was the first movies I was ever allowed to stay up and watch on the old Saturday Night At The Movies show on NBC so it has always had a fond place in my heart. Although some might dismiss it as clichéd, it is a tight, well told story that some of today's films might do well to emulate. The realism, ambivalence, and irony of today's war films is definitely missing but one should remember that this was the "good" war. While the other reviewers may criticize its historical accuracy, as someone who grew up hearing war stories from American and Canadian WWI and WWII veterans, it does capture the feeling of a period without going overboard on heroics or far-fetched plot twists.


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