Captain Foster plans on raiding German-occupied Tobruk with hand- picked commandos, but a mixup leaves him with a medical unit led by a Quaker conscientious objector. Despite all odds they ... See full summary »
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Richard T. Heffron
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September 1942 - With Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps on the march through Egypt, a British special forces unit, composed of German Jews who serve with the British despite the mutual resentment between both, kidnap a Canadian officer who is an expert topographer and who is held prisoner by the Vichy French in Algeria. The officer, Donald Craig, must negotiate a company of British and German-Jewish commandos through 800 miles of the Sahara to aide a pending amphibious landing against Tobruk's massive fuel storage base - a mission that sees one impediment after another, and which discovers an undetected German armored force ready to win the battle of Egypt. Written by
Michael Daly <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tobruk is a superior men-on-a-mission movie with lavish production values and a good set-up even if it has little resemblance to history (there was a Second World War and the Nazis were the bad guys, but that's probably about the only thing you won't need to take with a pinch of salt), with Canuck Rock Hudson sprung from a Vichy French prison ship in Algiers by George Peppard's German Jews fighting for the Allies. Seems he's the only one who can guide them on a raid on the German fuel dumps at Tobruk along with a raiding party disguised as Afrika Corps troops transporting British prisoners of war led by Nigel Green's casually anti-Semitic British colonel. Neither the British nor the Jews particularly trust each other because of that nasty business in Palestine, with Hudson pretty much taking the William Holden role from Bridge on the River Kwai here as a reluctant buffer between them while at a remove from their obsessions. Naturally, there's a traitor in their midst and enemy patrols, minefields and their own airplanes to be avoided, with a Nazi-sympathising Irish spy and his daughter thrown in to complicate matters further and add a bit of half-hearted female interest amid all the testosterone. Obligatory war movie regulars Norman Rossington, Percy Herbert and Jack Watson are present and correct in the ranks (Sam Kydd and Gordon Jackson were presumably busy that month on another war movie) and there's a memorable score by Bronislau Kaper. It's impressively directed by Arthur Hiller with a well-crafted script by Leo V. Gordon that keeps things moving and throws in the odd good spin on some of the clichés en route to a finale that should please all lovers of very big explosions, while Russell Harlan's Techniscope cinematography looks good in the widescreen German DVD.
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