A British multinational seeks to overthrow a vicious dictator in central Africa. It hires a band of (largely aged) mercenaries in London and sends them in to save the virtuous but ... See full summary »
Andrew V. McLaglen
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The character Bartlett (MacRoberts' former schoolmaster) is portrayed as an alcoholic whose drinking caused him many troubles. Sadly, this was actually the case for the actor playing him, Robert Newton. He became increasingly unemployable due to his drinking, was declared a bankrupt in absentia, and would die just 3 years after this film. The cause of death was announced as a heart attack but was widely believed to be alcohol-related causes. See more »
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 »
Desert Rats is a 'good old stiff upper lip' yarn with angry young man, Richard Burton, putting in a blinder. The film is set in WW2, North Africa and Rommel has swept across North Africa. The film is about Tobruk and how the German Army were held back. Burton leads ANZAC troops through the trenches of warfare. Good fighters those ANZAC's it appears and the film is a real tribute to them. This is reinforced by the movie being in black and white and quite informative.
The action is OK and I especially liked the black outfit Richard Burton dons for that gritty commando raid. There is also a top encounter between Burton and James Mason - Pacino and De Niro in Heat - but with Burton's angry young man act.
I would recommend it if only for Richard Burton.
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