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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
Actor Richard Burton plays Captain Alex Foster in this North African World War II movie. Burton had previously appeared in two other Second World War movies set in North Africa prior to this film. Burton played Captain Leith in Bitter Victory (1957), fourteen years earlier and Captain 'Tammy' MacRoberts in The Desert Rats (1953), eighteen years earlier. See more »
In the battle on the hill over the guns at Tobruk, Captain Foster (Burton) drops a mortar shell down a tube, pauses to give an order, then drops another shell into the tube. If you watch and listen there is neither the sound of a tube firing between the 2 shells being dropped into the tube, nor the visual puff from the end of the barrel which is fully visible during the entire sequence. Needless to say dropping a second round on top of a previously unfired one would ruin the gunners whole day. See more »
Looking at the criticisms of poor Richard Burton for taking a role in Raid on Rommel makes me want to put a word in for him. Acting was a craft as well as an art to him, it's how he made his living. I'm sure he got a good pay day out of Raid on Rommel. I think he also wanted to try the action genre as well. He made a much better choice with Where Eagles Dare though.
It's a poorly conceived story from start to finish. Someone in Allied Headquarters in London had the brilliant idea of freeing a bunch of captive commandos in North Africa and send them on a mission to Tobruk to spike some harbor guns. Same idea as in Guns of Navarone. So Burton gets the job.
But upon executing the escape he discovers he has freed a bunch of medical personnel and hardly enough commandos. Never mind he uses what he has.
His mission is to blow up those guns, but on discovering a fuel depot for Rommel he makes a little side trip to blow it up. Hello, but I think he was compromising the mission he was sent on. Wouldn't it have made a lot more sense to do the job you're assigned to and then when you got out you tell headquarters and they do another mission? That makes more sense to me.
The fuel depot sequences and the finale with the guns at Tobruk harbor are taken from the Rock Hudson film a few years earlier. Burton gives a rather pedestrian performance as does the rest of the cast.
By the way as if our heroes didn't have enough on their hands they're also transporting the mistress of an Italian general. That man wasn't going to sacrifice any of the comforts of the homefront. They keep her all doped up and at one point, one of the commandos decides to sacrifice for king and country and give his all for the mission.
Just who was the dope who thought her up?
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