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Raid on Rommel (1971)

GP  -  Drama | War  -  12 February 1971 (USA)
5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 1,159 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 4 critic

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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Title: Raid on Rommel (1971)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Foster
...
MacKenzie
Clinton Greyn ...
Major Tarkington
...
Danielle De Metz ...
Vivi (as Danielle de Metz)
Karl-Otto Alberty ...
Schroeder (as Karl Otto Alberty)
Christopher Cary ...
Conscientious Objector
John Orchard ...
Garth
...
Reilly
...
Brown
Ben Wright ...
Admiral
Michael Sevareid ...
Wembley
Chris Anders ...
Tank Sergeant
Edit

Storyline

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 succeed with their mission. On the way they pick up and drug the mistress of an Italian general, blow up the entire fuel supply for the Afrika Korps, and swap philatelic gossip with Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He took on Rommel... the Sahara... and a unit of untrained men to blow the Desert Fox to hell...

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

12 February 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le cinquième commando  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Average Shot Length (ASL) = ~4.9 seconds. Median Shot Length 4 seconds. See more »

Goofs

During the movie Rommel is referred to as "Field Marshal"; he was not given that rank until after he had been reassigned to defend against the the invasion in Western Europe. See more »

Quotes

Maj. Hugh Tarkington: You know Rommel?
Capt. Heinz Schroeder: Yes. He loves the Sahara. We all do. By "we", I mean the professional military.
Maj. Hugh Tarkington: I'm not a military man, captain. War holds no romance for me. The side effects are repulsive.
Capt. Heinz Schroeder: Here there are no side effects. No women, no children, no towns to get in the way, just men, my doctor.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Gamera vs. Guiron (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rushed and Poorly Produced WWII Fare
3 July 2001 | by (St. Davids, Pennsylvania, USA) – See all my reviews

It's simply too bad that this movie was ever made. Okay, "Raid on Rommel" isn't the worst WII movie ever produced. Browse through some of my other reviews, and you'll soon learn that. The sad thing is, any middle-aged American man is liable to pick this one up off of the DVD rack at Suncoast like I did a few years ago and be shocked by how such a promising-looking movie turned into such a big letdown.

Made in 1971, "Raid on Rommel" was originally planned as a made-for-TV special to make some more money off of the special effects sequences in "Tobruk", far too many of which were incorporated into this film. The far-fetched plot revolves around a British commando unit who have to sneak behind the German lines and blow up the shore batteries at Tobruk, allowing the British Navy to sail into the harbor unmolested and begin an attack. There's a lot more going to complicate matters, including the presence of a conscientous objector (Christopher Cary), an Italian prostitute (Danielle de Metz), Field Marshall Rommel (Wolfgang Preiss), and a zealous Nazi Captain (Karl Otto-Alberty). Non of these supporting characters are developed in the least, which is quite unfortunate - especially considering that the latter two are among the best "Nazi" character-actors to have ever graced the screen.

Long on action and short on intelligence or flair, "Raid on Rommel" proves to be one immense bore from start to finish. The action sequences revolve almost completely around footage lifted from "Tobruk". This is probably because "Raid on Rommel" was shot on a shoestring budget. This shows up in that even actors from our film are substituted for by actors from "Tobruk" (there's a sequence where Burton's character is taking on a German tank, and whenever there is a cut to the "Tobruk" footage, it becomes jarringly obvious that the actor in the other shots is George Peppard rather than Richard Burton). Whole scenes, plot points and character traits seemed to lifted from "Tobruk", too, which was a real shame.

Another deadly flaw in the film's execution is the poor choice of casting Richard Burton in the lead. I've never been a fan of Burton. His work in "Where Eagles Dare" was entertaining and fun, but nothing to stand up and applaud for. Here, he doesn't even put an effort into making his role convincing. He sleepwalks through most of his scenes; there are a few points where he calls characters by other characters' names or by the actor's name.

Even on DVD, the non-English sections of the film (and there are several of them) are not supported by subtitles, making it almost impossible to tell what is going on between the characters. There are key discussions between Rommel and Captain Schroeder which lead up to the climax, and I could only understand snippets of these scenes thanks to a semester of college-level German.

I had always considered Henry Hathaway a great director; after all, he was the brains behind the John Wayne classic "True Grit", one of my favorite westerns. The rest of the crew had experience limited to other low-grade movies or fairly strong TV series. At best, "Raid on Rommel" plays like an extended episode of "The Rat Patrol" and just cannot be taken seriously as a feature film. See "Tobruk" instead.

4/10


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