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A small British army team is sent to destroy a German petrol dump as part of the preparation for a major attack in the North African campaign. Whilst they are there they spot a large number of tanks and realise that army intelligence must be informed or some Tommies are going to be in for a nasty surprise. The Germans are equally determined that they should not reach their base, and a tense chase across the desert is the result. Written by
Mark Thompson <email@example.com>
The film's opening prologue and dedication states: "In October 1942, whilst the Eighth Army prepared for its onslaught upon the enemy at El Alamein, the Long Range Desert Group [L.R.D.G.] operating hundreds of miles behind the enemy lines, was harassing Rommel's communications and supply depots. This group of picked volunteers was cut off from the main army by the vast sand seas of the desert. Their methods were unorthodox, but the results they achieved were out of all proportion to the small number of men involved. It is to these officers and men of the L.R.D.G. that this story is dedicated." See more »
An underrated, well-acted, British war genre movie
Sea of Sand ( Desert Patrol ) is seldom mentioned in the context of great British war movies but deserves to be since it is an underrated and well acted example of the genre ( and, incidentally, one of my favourite films ). The movie at one and the same time, conforms to the familiar aspects of the genre but also manages to put a 'spin' on them since the subject matter - the experiences of the volunteer Long-Range Desert Squadron who operated independently far behind enemy lines - allows for characters who are more than familiar war-movie stereotypes.
The cast are uniformally excellent, especially veteran character player Percy Herbert whose death scene is extremely moving. Clashes of class, rank and experience are familiar elements from other films of the genre but are here rendered a little more interesting and unpredictable. Director Guy Green never made his mark but on the evidence of Sea of Sand had plenty of talent and was good at getting the most out of his actors. Simple heroics are eschewed - though heroism is at the core of the film's denouement and anyone who derives pleasure from seeing British acting staples like Michael Craig, John Gregson, Richard Attenborough and Percy Herbert have a treat in store.
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