June, 1942. The British Army, retreating ahead of victorious Rommel, leaves a lone survivor on the Egyptian border--Corporal John Bramble, who finds refuge at a remote desert hotel...soon to be German HQ. To survive, Bramble assumes an identity which proves perilous. The new guest of honor is none other than Rommel, hinting of his secret strategy, code-named 'five graves.' And the fate of the British in Egypt depends on whether a humble corporal can penetrate the secret...Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ingrid Bergman was the first choice for the part of Mouche. The "Hollywood Reporter" in November 1942 reported that producer David O. Selznick approved the borrowing of Bergman by Paramount for this movie. By the late 1940s Selznick's company, Selznick International Pictures, was making very few movies and became a talent agency, making its money by loaning out its contract stars to other studios. Bergman, though, did not end up being in this picture. See more »
In different shots, the pepper and salt shakers on the table in front of Rommel change positions, inexplicably, as he taunts his captives with his plan. See more »
This film has one of the most arresting opening sequences ever made. A WW II tank seems to be aimlessly wandering across the desert. In fact, the crew is all dead but the accelerator is stuck. With a top-notch cast Billy Wilder spins a tale that takes off from that point. The German general (von Stroheim in one of his most telling roles) has been there before - as an archaeologist preparing for the desert campaign long before the war had begun. The notion that archaeologists make good spies (or, in this case, generals) seems to be a common misconception.
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