MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 30,152 this week

The Desert Rats (1953)

Approved  |   |  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 3,357 users  
Reviews: 26 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

ON DISC

Related News

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

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 42 titles
created 11 May 2011
 
a list of 32 titles
created 27 Mar 2013
 
a list of 48 titles
created 05 Jan 2014
 
a list of 44 titles
created 28 Jan 2014
 
a list of 37 titles
created 10 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... 

Certificate: GP Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Captain Foster plans on raiding German-occupied Tobruk with hand- picked commandos, but a mix-up leaves him with a medical unit containing a Quaker conscientious objector. Despite all odds ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Richard Burton, John Colicos, Clinton Greyn
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A group of US Navy weathermen taking measurements in the Gobi desert in World War II are forced to seek the help of Mongol nomads to regain their ship while under attack from the Japanese ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Richard Widmark, Don Taylor, Max Showalter
Dunkirk (1958)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two stories in one - an easygoing British Corporal in France finds himself responsible for the lives of his men when their officer is killed. He has to get them back to Britain somehow. ... See full summary »

Director: Leslie Norman
Stars: John Mills, Richard Attenborough, Robert Urquhart
Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Insurance detective Steve Hastings is sent by his company to investigate the disappearance of a fellow agent. His first lead is the agent's fetching sister, Victoria, whom he trails to ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: William Lundigan, Jacqueline White, Ricardo Cortez
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
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
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
War | Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A U.S. sub commander, obsessed with sinking a certain Japanese ship, butts heads with his first officer and crew.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Clark Gable, Burt Lancaster, Jack Warden
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A small town newspaperman's investigation into a local bookie operation turns up a web of organized crime.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: John Forsythe, Joan Camden, Harold J. Kennedy
Tobruk (1967)
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A Canadian POW major is rescued by a special British military unit made up of Germans to help lead an attack on a major Nazi fuel depot in Tobruk, Libya.

Director: Arthur Hiller
Stars: Rock Hudson, George Peppard, Nigel Green
The Cruel Sea (1953)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The World War II adventures of a British convoy escort ship and its officers.

Director: Charles Frend
Stars: Jack Hawkins, Donald Sinden, John Stratton
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Enviromentalist Anne Richards goes to Washington D. C. to fight for getting legislation passed to save the last remaining sanctuary of the almost-extinct California Condor. She enlists the ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Victor Mature, Patricia Neal, Edmund Gwenn
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

During the last commando raid by Australian soldiers on a German base, the defenders are using Vickers machine guns when in reality they should be using MG34s. See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Edited into All This and World War II (1976) 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.


16 of 18 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
Nobody Does It Better (Carly singing) jkholman
Discuss The Desert Rats (1953) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page