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Desert Mice (1959)

WW2 British entertainment troupe bring comedy and chaos to North Africa.


Michael Relph


David Climie (original screenplay by)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alfred Marks ... Poskett
Sidney James ... Bert
Dora Bryan ... Gay
Dick Bentley ... Gavin
Reginald Beckwith Reginald Beckwith ... Fred
Irene Handl ... Miss Patch
Kenneth Fortescue Kenneth Fortescue ... Peter
Patricia Bredin Patricia Bredin ... Susan
Liz Fraser ... Edie
Joan Benham ... Una
Marius Goring ... German Major
Anthony Bushell ... Plunkett
George Rose ... Popados
Alan Tilvern Alan Tilvern ... German Captain
Philo Hauser Philo Hauser ... Franz


WW2 British entertainment troupe bring comedy and chaos to North Africa.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | War


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Release Date:

December 1959 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Some small part actors are dubbed by Donald Pleasence. See more »


During the shelling of the French town, smoke from the explosions goes behind the matte painting of the tops of the background buildings, leaving them apparently suspended in mid-air. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: During World War II, ENSA brought entertainment to our troops in every theatre of war under conditions that were usually difficult, and often dangerous.

Those who brought this entertainment included international stars, great actors, top-ranking comedians, glamorous figures of the screen . . .

. . . and others!

But to them all - the long, and the short, and the terrible - this film is affectionately dedicated.

FRANCE 1940 WAR See more »


Featured in Talkies: Liz Fraser Presents... Desert Mice (2016) See more »


Home Is Where the Heart Is
Music by Philip Green
Lyrics by Tommie Connor
See more »

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User Reviews

Slight British WW2 comedy
31 August 2016 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

DESERT MICE is something of a disappointing British comedy given the pedigree of talent involved. It's a film about ENSA - the Entertainments National Service Association - who were basically entertainers who went around the army and gave the troops something to think about other than the threat of imminent death and destruction. The setting for this film is France and latterly North Africa, as a small group of entertainers become involved with a stuffy major who doesn't want them anywhere near his men.

This film is going to be of instant appeal thanks to the appearance of the likes of Sid James and Dora Bryan in leading roles, but it's fair to say that the actors don't have a great deal to work with here. The comedy is laboured and genteel, like something out of the 1940s, rather than the then-modern likes of the burgeoning CARRY ON series. Much of the jokes come at the expense of Alfred Marks as the stuffy major, but his is a one-note performance that starts feeling repetitive after he has about five minutes of screen time.

There are elements to enjoy here, including a fast pace and big cast, and even the plot - in which the entertainers end up foiling a genuine German plot spearheaded by Marius Goring - is mildly enjoyable. But the emphasis is on "mildly", because ultimately this is a forgettable and extremely slight production. Watch out for the lovely Liz Fraser, whose figure is showed off to the maximum, a hard-working Reginald Beckwith as the magician, and the funny Irene Handl.

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