World war two drama about the 1942 North Africa battle at El Alamein between the Allies and the Axis forces.World war two drama about the 1942 North Africa battle at El Alamein between the Allies and the Axis forces.World war two drama about the 1942 North Africa battle at El Alamein between the Allies and the Axis forces.
Battle of El Alamein isn't such a film. It's probably the most objective and anti-war film made since ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT. While the battle sequences are big and exciting, there's nothing glamorous about fighting this kind of war. The soldiers are all shown as equally miserable, barely eeking out an existence in a network of trenches on the sunbaked deserts of North Africa. While it primarily focuses on the heroics of an Italian division (the real-life Italian army was best known as one of the most poorly-led and low-morale armies at the time), the film doesn't get too preachy and while it villifies no one, only showing how some generals (especially the fictional Schwartz) inevitably swung the battle in their enemy's favor due to their impatience and misguided ideals.
THE BATTLE OF EL ALAMEIN also does a great job of blending fictional characters with nonfictional ones (like Rommel, Montgomery, Von Thoma, and Stumme) in a nonfictional setting. While the battle itself is abridged and perhaps over-simplified to focus on the Italian division, that's perhaps best for the sake of narrative, character development, and making the emotional impact as strong as possible.
Stylistically, the film is done fairly well in late-60's style, with plenty of zoom-lens technique, close-ups, etc. It does drag in spots but only due to the predictability because we KNOW that the axis is gonna lose, but it does a good job keeping the suspense high by showing the Italians taking heavy losses in every engagement. We never know which characters are gonna make it through and which ones aren't.
Despite it's flaws, I doubt a better, larger, or more compelling depiction of the battle of El Alamein shall ever be made.
- Jun 26, 2003