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The Battle of El Alamein (1969)

La battaglia di El Alamein (original title)
PG | | Action, Drama, History | 1971 (USA)
World war two drama about the 1942 North Africa battle at El Alamein between the Allies and the Axis forces.

Director:

Giorgio Ferroni (as Calvin Jackson Padget)

Writers:

Remigio Del Grosso (screenplay), Ernesto Gastaldi (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frederick Stafford ... Lt. Giorgio Borri
George Hilton ... Lt. Graham
Michael Rennie ... Gen. Bernard Law Montgomery
Marco Guglielmi Marco Guglielmi ... Capt. Hubert
Ettore Manni ... Italian Captain
Gérard Herter ... Gen. Schwartz
Ugo Adinolfi Ugo Adinolfi
Giuseppe Addobbati ... Gen. Georg Stumme
Ira von Fürstenberg ... Marta (as Ira Furstenberg)
Sal Borgese ... Kapow (as Salvatore Borgese)
Manlio Busoni Manlio Busoni
Giuseppe Castellano ... Truck Driver
Mario Chiocchio Mario Chiocchio
Massimo Righi ... Italian Soldier (as Max Dean)
Giulio Donnini Giulio Donnini
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Storyline

June 1942 El Alamein: Rommel swept towards the River Nile. The fall Egypt and the all important Suez Canal seems inevitable. Italian and German scouts race towards Alexandria. Mussolini has given explicit orders that Italy's forces were to reach the city first. Written by LiamDaAussie93

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Montgomery's Iron Back 8th Army ... Rommel's Crack Africa Korps ... they met head on and tore the earth apart !

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Battle of El Alamein See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening prologue states: "June 1942. As [Gen. Erwin Rommel] swept toward the Nile, the fall of Egypt and the capture of the Suez Canal seemed inevitable. Italian and German advance units raced toward Alexandria. [Benito Mussolini] had given explicit orders: The Italians must arrive first!" See more »

Goofs

The British were using M113 personnel carriers. The M113 personnel carrier was not introduced until some 20 years after the Battle of El Alamein. See more »

Quotes

Gen. Bernard Law Montgomery: [addressing his staff officers] I'm taking over command of the Eighth Army. I had best tell you immediately what I think; they'll be no more retreating. I want all the plans for pulling back prepared by my predecessor to be burned. I want all non-operative vehicles returned to the rear lines. No one will be moving out of here. We're staying on, dead or alive, until Rommel surrenders. That's all for the moment.
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Connections

Edited into The War Devils (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprising grand-scale, big-budget, and rarely boring Italian war film
26 June 2003 | by AylmerSee all my reviews

Italy, along with much of the rest of the world, was into producing lots of cheapo war movies (mostly WW2) during the late-60's. The trend died out with the disillusionment caused by the Vietnam war, as did the popularity of these "gung-ho" war films.

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.


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