Captain Foster plans on raiding German-occupied Tobruk with hand-picked commandos, but a mix-up leaves him with a medical unit containing 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
German actor Wolfgang Preiss, who played Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, had made a career out of playing German soldiers, both enlisted men and officers, but this was the first time he had ever played Rommel. See more »
When the tank overturns in the fuel depot, a turret hatch is clearly visible as open. However, Richard Burton's character has to force open a jammed hatch in the turret. 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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