MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 26,613 this week

Desert Commandos (1967)
"Attentato ai tre grandi" (original title)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama, War  |  1976 (USA)
4.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 4.9/10 from 228 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 2 critic

German commandos are dropped behind enemy lines in the Sahara Desert tasked with getting to Casablanca in an assassination attempt on allied leaders.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 48 titles
created 13 Nov 2011
 
a list of 1196 titles
created 30 Sep 2012
 
a list of 32 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 43 titles
created 5 months ago
 
a list of 406 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Desert Commandos" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Desert Commandos (1967)

Desert Commandos (1967) on IMDb 4.9/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Desert Commandos.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A German Captain and American Captain help each other survive the North African desert during WWII. They meet again a year later during combat operations in France.

Director: Bitto Albertini
Stars: Guy Madison, Venantino Venantini, Anthony Steel
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

The British Commandos send Bob Owen (Lyle Talbot) to Norway to prepare for a raid. His mission also includes freeing General Heden (Paul Baratoff) who is being held by the Nazis. His aides ... See full summary »

Director: Spencer Gordon Bennet
Stars: Lyle Talbot, June Duprez, Victor Varconi
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A Marine stationed in the Philippines loses a hand in an accident and is discharged from the Corps. When the Japanese invade the Philippines, he is called back into service to rescue a ... See full summary »

Director: George Montgomery
Stars: George Montgomery, Charito Luna, Mario Barri
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An American tank crew fights its way into Germany in World War II.

Director: Lewis Seiler
Stars: Steve Cochran, Philip Carey, Mari Aldon
War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.2/10 X  

After the fall of the Philippines in World War II, the Japanese discover that Gen. MacArthur ordered millions of dollars in silver dumped in Manila Bay in order that it not fall into enemy ... See full summary »

Director: Rolf Bayer
Stars: Jim Brown, Richard Jaeckel, Timothy Brown
Carter's Army (TV Movie 1970)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A redneck officer is put in charge of a squad of black troops charged with taking an important bridge from the Nazis.

Director: George McCowan
Stars: Stephen Boyd, Robert Hooks, Susan Oliver
The Love Pill (1972)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  

A man discovers a candy can also be used as an aphrodisiac--and a contraceptive.

Director: Ken Turner
Stars: Henry Woolf, Toni Sinclair, David Pugh
Aerial Gunner (1943)
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Old rivals are pitted against each other in basic training and fight for the same woman.

Director: William H. Pine
Stars: Richard Arlen, Chester Morris, Jimmy Lydon
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Milan produce vendor, whom moonlights as a pimp, faces off against a ruthless and greedy French gangster whom wants to unite the organized crime ring of Italy.

Director: Umberto Lenzi
Stars: Antonio Sabato, Philippe Leroy, Antonio Casagrande
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Director: Umberto Lenzi
Stars: Roger Browne, Carlo Hinterman, José Greci
Iron Angel (1964)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  
Director: Ken Kennedy
Stars: Jim Davis, Don 'Red' Barry, Margo Woode
All Out (1968)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Director: Umberto Lenzi
Stars: John Ireland, Mark Damon, Mónica Randall
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Capt. Fritz Schöller
Horst Frank ...
Lt. Roland Wolf
Jeanne Valérie ...
Faddja Hassen
Carlo Hinterman ...
Sgt. Erich Huber (as Carlo Hintermann)
Howard Ross ...
Willy Mainz
Franco Fantasia ...
Major Dalio
Hardy Reichelt ...
Cpl. Hans Ludwig
Fabienne Dali ...
Simone
Tom Felleghy ...
Colonel Ross
John Stacy ...
Sir Bryan
Giovanni Ivan Scratuglia ...
(as Ivan Scratuglia)
Gianni Rizzo ...
Perrier
Edit

Storyline

German commandos are dropped behind enemy lines in the Sahara Desert tasked with getting to Casablanca in an assassination attempt on allied leaders.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Desert Commandos  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Excellent Italian War Thriller With a Twist
20 February 2006 | by (New York, USA) – See all my reviews

I've recently become enamored with the Italian Euro War genre, a very obscure part of Italian cult cinema from 1967 to about 1970 when the financial success of films like THE DIRTY DOZEN, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, THE GREAT ESCAPE and THE GUNS OF NAVARONE caught the attention of Italian producers who sensed that the glory years of the Spaghetti Western (1964 - 1968) were winding down. The cinema is an industry just like any other and there was a need to find new things to make movies about.

So between 1967 (right on the heels of THE DIRTY DOZEN) and 1971 about 50 - 75 of these war potboilers were made; A concise list of all candidates from the classic period would be helpful to see how the trend changed from experimental & rather daring efforts like DESERT COMMANDOS to jumbled garbage like Joe D'amato's HEROES IN HELL (1973). Upon closer inspection the best known examples (FIVE FOR HELL, BATTLE OF EL ALAMEIN, "Eagles Over London") emerge as Spaghetti Westerns re-defined to depict battle carnage rather than dusty shootouts between Pistoleros & Gringos. The majority of them are rather bland & un-involving (CHURCHILL'S LEOPARDS, THE RANGERS) some unexpectedly moving in a way that transcends their nature as B-grade genre films (SALT IN THE WOUND/THE LIBERATORS) and others are just plain weird enough to be remarkable (COMMANDOS, HELL IN NORMANDY) simply by having been made at all.

There are also sub-routines to plot structure and settings that became the formulas by which stories would be spun out of a vacuum -- none of them are really based on actual events (BATTLE OF EL ALAMEIN being the big exception, and perhaps the most satisfying on a traditional basis as a "war movie") and usually involved small unit military operations to keep budgets under control. The two main categories were Desert Epics such as this one, set in Northern Africa and making good use of the desert conditions as plot devices, and then the French Villa Commando Raid Missions, where elite special ops squads would be sent to infiltrate command facilities or weapons labs (usually housed in large French villas in the middle of the woods) to avert certain doom for their armies at Normandy -- universally depicted by edited-in newsreel footage of WW2 destruction, usually tastefully tinted in some sort of Robert Indiana like neon pop art method, and with the Spanish countryside subbing for France.

This is of course an example of the Desert Epic crossed with the Commando Raid genres and emerges as one of the more potent efforts, with convincing location photography filmed in Morocco, excellent performances by the ensemble cast of genre actors (Horst Frank from THE GRAND DUEL and good old Franco Fantasia from MURDER MANSION being the most recognizable faces), noble attention to period detail and a script that allows for some genuine conflict within the group to build as the obstacles against them mount. And true to form the Italians even work a gorgeous, exotic woman or five into the mix (including a Peplum-inspired Belly Dancing Scene), with a crackerjack twist ending that manages to tweak a good War Is Hell moment out of thin air.

The War Is Hell moment is of course always going to be the payoff when looking at these films, since because of their subject matter they cannot simply be entertainments -- something the Italians themselves seemed aware of even when stumbling around the issue at times. Usually these moments are imposed on the story by showing atrocities like German massacres of civilians (CHURCHILL'S LEOPARDS) or the execution of the movie's leading lady (FIVE FOR HELL). By contrast, DESERT COMMANDOS actually has two or three War Is Hell moments but they are so cleverly worked into the structure of the plot that you don't notice. The film is also rather daring in that it's "heroes" are clearly the German commandos -- who's leaders were trying to conquer the world, remember -- and if they accomplish their mission (assassinating Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin at a summit meeting in Casablanca) they will win the war. By getting us to sympathize with and root for the plucky, resourceful and seemingly rational & honorable German commandos, Umberto Lenzi sets up the viewer for a shock that would not have been nearly as potent as if these were allied commandos going after der Shickelgruber.

What is interesting is that the shock comes after the movie is over when you realize what you may have been hoping for, rather than it being spelled out by some heavy-handed revelation. The whole movie has a sort of existentialist agenda to it that examines what it might have been like to try and cross the desert for sure, but also what it must have been like to be a German officer & realize that not only was your side doomed to defeat, but would be judged to be on the wrong side of history when all of the bodies are counted. From that perspective the entire movie is a War Is Hell moment, or rather a series of them broken up by the formula scenes involving tanks, gunfights, narrow escapes, heroic sacrifices, bold speeches about the nature of humanity and a request for us to consider the German army like our own army -- as a collection of men, each with their own strengths & weaknesses. DESERT COMMANDOS was way ahead of it's time and there may be a lesson in here for those of us who have perhaps forgotten what war is really all about, which is breaking things and killing people. Being ruthless and unapologetic may seem cruel or barbaric, but it can often result in the only thing good about war, which is it's ending.

8/10: Look for this on cheapo box set called "50 ACTION CLASSICS" and on a double movie DVD you can sometime find at the dollar stores. You'll watch it more than once.


15 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Desert Commandos (1967) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?