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The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel (1951)

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The story of the final years of the respected World War II German general, Erwin Rommel.

Director:

Henry Hathaway

Writers:

Nunnally Johnson (screenplay), Desmond Young (biography) (as Brigadier Desmond Young M.C.)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Mason ... Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel
Cedric Hardwicke ... Dr. Karl Strolin
Jessica Tandy ... Frau Lucie Marie Rommel
Luther Adler ... Adolf Hitler
Everett Sloane ... Gen. Wilhelm Burgdorf
Leo G. Carroll ... Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt
George Macready ... Gen. Fritz Bayerlein
Richard Boone ... Capt. Hermann Aldinger
Eduard Franz ... Col. Klaus von Stauffenberg
Desmond Young Desmond Young ... Lt. Col. Desmond Young
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Storyline

This biopic follows Rommel's career after the Afrika Korps, including his work on the defenses of Fortress Europe as well as his part in the assassination attempt on Hitler, and his subsequent suicide. Written by Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The vast African desert is aflame with the startling story the world has only guessed at ... never known until now ! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 October 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Desert Fox See more »

Filming Locations:

Yuma, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although he wears the shoulder insignia of a field marshal, von Rundstedt's collar insignia are of an officer below general rank - note the different collars of Rommel and other German generals. This is historically accurate - it was a strange affectation of von Rundstedt. See more »

Goofs

Before the July 20 assassination attempt, Hitler is in the meeting room and asks where Goering is and he's told that Goering is on his way. However, Goering was not in attendance at the conference that day. See more »

Quotes

Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: I'm told you once referred to me as a clown. A clown of Hitler's circus.
Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: Oh, did I?
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: If so, I think you should know that I've been a great deal more explicit about you, many times.
Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: Oh, that's quite all right, Field Marshal. I find it almost impossible to keep my mind on anything harsh said about me.
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: Did you say it?
Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: Whoever said it, you've given them ample reason to regret such a foolish remark.
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: Thank you, Field Marshal.
Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: Not at all.
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: Is there anything else?
Field Marshal Gerd von Runstedt: I don't believe so, at the moment.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Desert Foxes (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Anchors Aweigh
(uncredited)
Music by Charles A. Zimmerman
Heard during the scenes of D-Day and the ensuing battles
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A sensational James Mason as the most popular German general
27 September 2006 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

The film is a Rommel biography written by Lt.Colonel Desmond Young and screenwriter Nunnally Johnson . It's based on true events and real characters . In WWII Field Marshal Erwin Rommel won reputation as Germany's most popular General but he played an important part in the invasions of central Europe and France . At the same time he was regarded by many Allied officers as a master of desert warfare and as a fair-minded professional . Erwin Rommel (James Mason) really achieved fame as the commander of the German Afrika Korps , operating against the British in North Africa and he captured Tobruk ,the key to the British defenses . Quick to see advantage and profit from it , he ran rings round the British for almost two years before being stopped at Alamein and then driven out of Africa by General Marshal Montgomery . Later on , Rommel was given command of Army in northern Italy to prevent an Italian defection and to counter an Allied invasion of Southern Europe . In 1944 he was transferred to command of an army group in northern France.On two occasions,Rommel and Von Rundstedt (Leo G.Carroll) saw Hitler and attempted to convince him that he should end the war while considerable German forces still existed.The pale and shaken Fuehrer met their frankness with angry diatribes.After the Allied invasion of Normandy (June 6,1944) , Rommel was severely injured when his automobile was strafed by a British plane,and he was sent home to Ulm to recover along with his wife Frau Lucie Marie (Jessica Tandy) , his personal assistant Capt.Hermamn (Richard Boone) and military son. By this time , he had become increasingly disillusioned not only by Hitler's unrealistic military leadership but also by the worldwide reaction to Nazi atrocities . He opposed the project assassination attempt on Hitler's life on the ground that this action would only create martyr . Rommel never took an active role in the July Plot executed by Colonel Klaus Von Stauffenberg (Edward Franz) , although the conspirators wanted him as Chief of state after the elimination of Hitler.However the plot failure ,one of the conspirators , before he died in agony on a meat hook , blurted out Rommel's name to his tormentors and his doom was sealed , offered the choice of a court-martial or reprisals against his his family or suicide.

In the film appears famous Nazi characters who are well interpreted by awesome actors , as Hitler featured by Luther Adler gives an excellent performance (but doesn't reach to Bruno Ganz in ¨The downfall¨) , Edward Franz as a magnificent Von Stauffenberg , Leo G. Carroll as Von Rundstedt , Everett Sloane (Gen. Wilhelm Burgdorf) , George Mc Ready (Gen.Fritz Bayerlein) , John Hoyt (Gen.Keitel) and of course Rommel's James Mason who displays a first-rate interpretation and he'll repeat role in ¨The Desert Rats¨ (1953) by Robert Wise . The motion picture was professionally directed by Henry Hathaway . Rating : Good , above average and well worth watching .


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