MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 22,857 this week

The Desert Rats (1953)

 -  Action | Adventure | Drama  -  20 May 1953 (USA)
6.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 3,125 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.

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Related News

Irish Actor Davis Dies
| WENN
Desert Rats Star Tingwell Dies
| WENN

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 27 titles
created 23 Oct 2010
 
a list of 49 titles
created 25 Sep 2012
 
a list of 40 titles
created 05 Jun 2013
 
a list of 38 titles
created 12 Jun 2013
 
a list of 37 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Desert Rats" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Desert Rats (1953)

The Desert Rats (1953) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Desert Rats.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

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 »

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: Richard Burton, Roger Moore, Richard Harris
War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An American colonel who has never been in combat is assigned to create a special forces unit from Canadian Army troops and a ragtag group of U.S. Army misfits.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: William Holden, Cliff Robertson, Vince Edwards
Action | Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An American POW leads a group of mainly British prisoners to escape from the Germans in WWII.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Trevor Howard, Raffaella Carrà
Two People (1973)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Peter Fonda, Lindsay Wagner, Estelle Parsons
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

With no law within 200 miles horse rancher Jeremy Rodak runs his spread with an iron hand and deals with rustlers even more ruthlessly.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: James Cagney, Don Dubbins, Stephen McNally
Certificate: Passed Action | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a shady-looking stranger rides into town to join his old friend it is assumed he is a hired gun. But as the new man comes to realise the unlawful nature of his buddy's business and the... See full summary »

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Barbara Bel Geddes, Robert Preston
Certificate: M Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

As the Allied armies close in, the Nazis decide to blow up the last Rhine bridge, trapping their own men on the wrong side. But will it happen?

Director: John Guillermin
Stars: George Segal, Robert Vaughn, Ben Gazzara
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Jerry Ryan is wandering aimlessly around New York, having given up his law career in Nebraska when his wife asked for a divorce. He meets up with Gittel Mosca, an impoverished dancer from ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Shirley MacLaine, Edmon Ryan
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The World War II story of the British Navy's effort to defeat Nazi Germany's most powerful warship.

Director: Lewis Gilbert
Stars: Kenneth More, Dana Wynter, Carl Möhner
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Concentration camp survivor Victoria Kowelska finds herself involved in mystery, greed, and murder when she assumes the identity of a dead friend in order to gain passage to America.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Richard Basehart, Valentina Cortese, William Lundigan
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A remake of Richard Connell's famous short story, "The Most Dangerous Game," about a madman who hunts human prey on his personal island habitat.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: John Loder, Audrey Long, Edgar Barrier
Three Secrets (1950)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A five-year-old boy is the sole survivor of a devastating plane crash in the mountains of California. When the newspapers reveal the boy was adopted and that the crash occurred on his ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Eleanor Parker, Patricia Neal, Ruth Roman
Edit

Cast

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

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 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

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

When the captured MacRoberts requests a doctor the German soldiers calls for the "Oberarzt". An "Oberarzt" only can be found in civilian hospitals. The military rank would be "Oberstarzt" referring to a military surgeon in the rank of a Colonel. Otherwise he could have meant "Oberstabsarzt" which would have been a Major then. 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

The Campbells Are Coming
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played on the bagpipes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One of the most realistic and best of the fifties war movies with excellent direction by Robert Wise
20 November 2007 | by See all my reviews

1941 Lybian desert, North Africa. German forces are pushing through to Suez, the key to the Middle East , only Tobruk is still holding out, there's a considerable unit there. With the British in full retreat, nothing stood in Rommel's way but the tiny garrison of Empire troops cut off in the fortress won of Tobruk.Meantime, Germans dropping leaflets captioning : Surrender! German forces have surrounded Tobruk, it is useless to try to escape. Single soldiers waving handkerchiefs will not be fired upon. Aussies..do not sacrifice yourselves needlessly. Lay down your arms. Surrender! . The picture is the story of Tobruk and the men who made up its garrison, of the fight they made against the pick of Hitler's troops and of the nickname they won with blood and bore with pride: ¨The Deser Rats¨. British headquarter Cairo's ordered to take up defensive positions for two months ,reunited the officers(Robert Douglas, Torin Thatcher, among others) deal the Tobruk 's defense : the positions are the following, the first line of defense ,using the old Italian perimeter, the second line by Colonel White's supporting artillery and the inner fortification. The British plan of defense is based chiefly on the belief of a Bilzkrieg by Rommel(a splendid James Mason reprise his role from ¨The Desert fox¨). The general proposes to let Rommel's tanks come through here unopposed, leaving the tanks to proceed up this avenue alone. Colonel White will have moved artillery to line both sides of the avenue.Meanwhile the soldiers are already digging positions for the captured Italian field-pieces. So, the longer we hold our fire, the deeper Rommel's tanks will advance into this box and the easier they will be to destroy. The General assigns to McRoberts, an infantry captain with battle experience, twice decorated, he must put into the line.The crusty captain( a stiff but sensitive acting by Richard Burton) takes a charge of an Australian division formed by valiant soldiers and a kind-hearted schoolmaster alcoholic(sensible performance by Robert Newton steal the show as drunk turned reluctant soldier) fighting a desperate rearguard action against overwhelming German forces.

This reconstruction of a phase in the battle of Tobruk(deeds also filmed by Arthur Hiller in ¨Tobruk¨ with Rock Hudson) is correctly based on true events, though excessive importance for the Aussies. The actual deeds are based on series of engagements between British and Axis forces over Libyan port. Occupied by Italy 1911, Tobruk was taken by Britain in Operation Battleaxe 1941.It was captured by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel June 1942 after the retreat of the main British force to Egypt, and this precipitated General Sir Claude Auchinleck's replacement by General Bernard Montgomery as British commander. Montgomery recovered it after the second of Battle of El Alamein and it remained in British hands for the rest of the war.


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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Bad Aussie accents newlifemedia
Day for night shot bobo-29
Discuss The Desert Rats (1953) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page