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Five Graves to Cairo (1943)

Approved | | Thriller, War | 12 July 1943 (USA)
1:16 | Clip
During World War II, an undercover British soldier tries to get word to the Allies that the Germans have tons of supplies buried in five excavations across Egypt.


Billy Wilder


Charles Brackett (screenplay), Billy Wilder (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Franchot Tone ... Cpl. John J. Bramble / Paul Davos
Anne Baxter ... Mouche
Akim Tamiroff ... Farid
Erich von Stroheim ... Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
Peter van Eyck ... Lt. Schwegler (as Peter Van Eyck)
Fortunio Bonanova ... Gen. Sebastiano


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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Did a Woman Start the Rout of Rommel?


Thriller | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The desert scenes were filmed in sand dunes near Yuma, AZ. Shooting also took place at California's Salton Sea area and at Camp Young in Indio (Riverside County), where the battle scenes were staged, with the assistance of US Army troops. See more »


The maps used by the Germans are English maps, not German, though why not in German? Egypt in German is Agypten (umlaut A), not five letters. See more »


Field Marshal Rommel: [to Mouche] I don't like women in the morning. Go away!
See more »


Featured in Simone Simon, la rebelle (2012) See more »

User Reviews

7 May 2016 | by AAdaSCSee all my reviews

It's WW2 and British corporal Franchot Tone (Bramble) is unconscious inside a runaway tank somewhere in the Sahara. He stumbles across a bombed hotel where he is met by the owner Akim Tamiroff (Farid) and the chambermaid Anne Baxter (Mouche). Minutes later, German troops arrive under the leadership of Peter van Eyck (Lt. Schwegler) who takes over the hotel to accommodate his troops and a special guest yet to arrive – none other than the main man Erich von Stroheim (Field Marshal Rommel). Tone is in trouble at this point – what to do? Anne Baxter doesn't particularly like him and threatens to betray him to the new guests. He has to do something bold.

I enjoyed this film. It has a different setting to most war films and it doesn't involve any battles apart from the flag-waving nonsense at the end, which, unfortunately, knocks a point off this film as it goes on for too long. The actors do well, especially von Stroheim and Baxter, although her name in this film isn't very complimentary! Both these actors give their characters a depth that brings them to life. The comedy characters of Tamiroff and Italian General Fortunio Bonanova are OK for what they need to do although Tamiroff can be slightly annoying and Fortunio Bonanova is as unrealistic as his name. It doesn't matter too much as we get a film that keeps the viewer watching with tense scenes and an interesting storyline that ends on an emotional note.

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English | German

Release Date:

12 July 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cinco tumbas al Cairo See more »

Filming Locations:

Yuma, Arizona, USA See more »


Box Office


$855,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)


Black and White (archive footage)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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