MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 2,234 this week

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

 -  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 210 users  
Reviews: 13 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

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 37 titles
created 23 Nov 2011
 
a list of 5472 titles
created 03 Dec 2011
 
a list of 330 titles
created 22 Oct 2012
 
list image
a list of 49 titles
created 4 months ago
 
a list of 32 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... 

Action | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

In, 1942 a commando (Jason Connery) is assigned to protect Winston Churchill when it is learned that the Nazis are plotting to kidnap him.

Director: Sergio Martino
Stars: Jason Connery, Francesco Quinn, Jinny Steffan
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 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 | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The true story of Carlson's Raiders and their World War II attack on Makin Island.

Director: Ray Enright
Stars: Randolph Scott, Alan Curtis, Noah Beery Jr.
Spitfire (1942)
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

By the late 1920's aircraft designer R.J. Mitchell feels he has achieved all he wants with his revolutionary mono-planes winning trophy after trophy. But a holiday in Germany shortly after ... See full summary »

Director: Leslie Howard
Stars: Leslie Howard, David Niven, Rosamund John
Minesweeper (1943)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A naval officer who had deserted several years earlier is drawn back to the Navy when World War II begins. He re-enlists under an assumed name, and is assigned to a minesweeper, where he ... See full summary »

Director: William Berke
Stars: Richard Arlen, Jean Parker, Russell Hayden
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  

World War 2 - a British commando squad is tasked with attacking the "secret" German airfield from which German fighters have been attacking bombers which are trying to stop German tanks from reinforcing the D Day defences.

Director: Camillo Bazzoni
Stars: Aldo Ray, Tano Cimarosa, Ugo Fangareggi
Action | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Director: Umberto Lenzi
Stars: Richard Harrison, Wandisa Guida, Ugo Sasso
Terror Out of the Sky (TV Movie 1978)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

This TV sequel to "The Savage Bees" features more rampaging insects. This time a marching band and a school bus get in the path of the bees.

Director: Lee H. Katzin
Stars: Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Dan Haggerty, Tovah Feldshuh
Going Home (1971)
Certificate: GP Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

After serving a prison term for killing his wife, a man is paroled and returns to his home town. He tries to re-establish his relationship with his now-grown son, who was a child when the ... See full summary »

Director: Herbert B. Leonard
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Brenda Vaccaro, Jan-Michael Vincent
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  
Director: Alberto Mariscal
Stars: Hugo Stiglitz, Milton Rodríguez, Rafael Baledón
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

A Mexican gang headed by vicious Pedro terrorizes the land between New Mexico and Arizona. Jeff a youth whose father has been killed by Pedro seeks revenge.

Director: Tanio Boccia
Stars: Kirk Morris, Larry Ward, Sergio Ciani
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Young American girl tries to solve the murders of two Americans in the Caribbean.

Director: Marshall Stone
Stars: Troy Donahue, Andrea Dromm, Albert Dekker
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:
?