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>
Often when I see a fondly remembered war film from my childhood I am bitterly disappointed by it as an adult . Not so with TOBRUCK which I recently saw again a few months ago . The explosive action scenes hold up very well today as long as you don't compare them to SAVING PRIVATE RYAN or BLACK HAWK DOWN but this is a film from 40 years ago . Imagine how effective they must have been on its original release . And aren't they fairly graphic ? So much so that I noticed some of the violence had been edited for its afternoon showing on Scottish Television
One thing I hadn't noticed as a child is how complex the narrative is or smart the dialogue is . There's a couple of subplots one of which is a traitor in the group and of a couple of Nazi sympathisers with documents who want to contact the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in order to bring the Muslim world on to the side of Nazi Germany . Interstingly enough the Nazis were pro Muslim and had at least two Waffen SS divisions composed of Bosnian s and Albanians . In narrative terms the screenplay is not in any way crowded with these two subplots As for the dialogue it switches from comic relief as in:
" what you doing with your fingers in your ears ? "
" I can't stand the sight of blood "
"Close your eyes then "
" But I want to see what's going on "
through to the serious and philosophical:
" I've heard it said there's a bit of a Jew in all of us "
" Ja and there's a bit of the Nazi as well "
You could be very pedantic and state that the German tanks are in fact American tanks dating from the 1950s but every war film from this period suffers from this flaw and very few are as intelligent or complex as TOBRUCK
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?