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Overrun! (1970)

La lunga notte dei disertori - I 7 di Marsa Matruh (original title)
When the German Afrika Korps smashes through the allied lines in North Africa in 1942 during World War Two; a group of British soldiers are determined to get back to their own lines. ... See full summary »



(as Dean Craig),


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Complete credited cast:
Ivan Rassimov ...
Lieutenant Crossland
Monica Strebel ...
Ann Coran
Liam Mc Gregor
Marcella Michelangeli ...
Martha Vaughan
Aldo Bufi Landi ...
Captain Leighton (as Al Landy)
Giuseppe Castellano ...
Sergeant Kerr (as Thomas Kerr)
Jessy Maxwell ...
Joanna Sanders ...
'Liz' / Liz Jordan
Youssef Chaban ...
Jusuf (as Youssef Shaaban)
Paola Natale
Attilio Severini ...
(as Atticio Severini)


When the German Afrika Korps smashes through the allied lines in North Africa in 1942 during World War Two; a group of British soldiers are determined to get back to their own lines. Picking up more allied survivors along the way, their journey is fraught with danger and Germans at every turn. Written by minty1364

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

13 March 1970 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

East of Marsa Matruh  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Marsa Matruh of the film's title is a city in Egypt which is aka Mersa Matruh and was formerly known as Amunia. It is part of the Matruh Governorate and is situated along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: MARSA MARTRUH JUNE 21ST 1942 Under the command of General Erwin Rommel the armoured columns of the German Afrika Corps are racing towards Alexandria after breaking through the British lines at Tobruk. The British Eighth Army has been literally cut to pieces. Individually and in groups, these pieces are desperately trying to reunite into some sort of cohesive force able to rejoin the main body of troops in their pell mell retreat into Egypt. See more »

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User Reviews

Operation: Peticoat Meets Desert Commandos + Lawrence of Arabia Too
30 June 2006 | by (New York, USA) – See all my reviews

More Spaghetti War from the late 1960's courtesy of the Italians, who once again take on the Germans in the deserts of North Africa while dressed up like British soldiers and show once again that even though Mussilini was a fascist, the Italians were OK Joe's for the most part. They never seem British for a minute, something having to do with the body language, or perhaps all the hooked Caesar noses.

Anyway, this is basically a re-tread of DESERT COMMANDOS where a group of mismatched misfits have to cross the desert battling nature, the Germans, and each other's frayed nerves after a battle gone horribly wrong, with Ivan Rassimov chewing the scenery as a stubbornly dignified and by the book British officer who insists on being called "Captain, Sir" even after somebody has saved his neck. But chain of command be damned after the four survivors meet up with an early Italian genre film version of Charlie's Angels. These aren't just British nurses and a USO showgirl, they are high-class war fashion babes who's makeup and hair is perfect even after fighting with a Nazi for a machine gun, aren't afraid to shoot somebody, save the life of the son of the local Beduin warlord even though they are mere women, all have great legs, and put out during soulful chats by the campfire with guys who have huge, hooked noses. Sure, they screw up whatever military discipline the guys would have had on their own, but with eyes like those who would complain?

You just have to love stuff like this because it flies in the face of conventional wisdom about how war should be handled as a subject for films. The only reason to have this film set during WW2 is that the subject was red-hot in 1969: This could be a western or a crime thriller or even a gladiator movie, all you'd have to do is shift the reference points around a little bit and you could even work a giant killer shark into the mix. It's set in the desert during WW2 though, which means there will be a water rationing scene, a heroic sacrifice to save the others scene, a commander dressing down the subordinate scene, a Singing Drunk Nazis scene, the requisite War Is Hell sequence where some shockingly brutal yet ironic atrocity will be staged to demonstrate that fun is fun but War Is Hell, a friendly local LAWRENCE OF ARABIA reminding Beduin tribe who will fight the Nazi Panzer tanks on horseback with swords, and naturally everybody has plenty of cigarettes to smoke during the cigarette smoking scenes. I can just hear the dialog in my head -- "The tank's about to blow, Captain, Sir!" "Make sure you grab those cartons of Lucky's!!"

This movie is absurd, inappropriately amusing, seemingly ineptly dubbed into English on purpose for comedy effect, sexist to the point where the showgirl even puts on a little show for the soldier boy who catches her eye, and at the end there is a huge, violent, complex battle scene involving what appear to be exactly the same surplus tanks (invariably American & British, since we blew up all the Panzer tanks winning the war and all), trucks + extras from BATTLE OF EL ALAMEIN, BATTLE IN THE DESERT, DESERT COMMANDOS, HELL COMMANDOS, KILL ROMMEL, just plain COMMANDOS, and THE WAR DEVILS, probably others I can't think of right now. If you say that's a bad thing you are in a minority around here, I look upon it as a testimony to the hardiness of WW2 era technology. Those things take a licking and they keep on ticking, and are right now probably carrying chemical weapons somewhere in Syria. We will see them again on CNN before the fall is out I wager.

This is exactly the kind of stuff that will annoy traditionalist war movie buffs. I am not a war movie buff, I like cult genre cinema, and prize the film in the way one would prize a kitsch cuckoo clock or a pair of salt n' pepper shakers shaped like Tiki Torches. Euro War potboilers are advanced forms of viewing however because the seeming target audience -- war movie buffs -- will make the grave mistake of taking it all seriously, because we have been taught that we are supposed to take war movies seriously, and that they should be made with a solemn attention to detail that rivals a History Channel re-enactment narrated by Morgan Freeman. Here is one that says No, you don't, and has the nerve to be fun.

7/10, but then again I am in on the joke.

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