25 user 13 critic

Raid on Rommel (1971)

GP | | Drama, War | 12 February 1971 (USA)
In 1942 Libya, a German-speaking British Intelligence officer uses former British POWs, some dressed in German uniforms, to fulfill a secret sabotage mission inside German-captured Tobruk.


Henry Hathaway


Richard M. Bluel (as Richard Bluel)




Complete credited cast:
Richard Burton ... Foster
John Colicos ... MacKenzie
Clinton Greyn Clinton Greyn ... Major Tarkington
Wolfgang Preiss ... Rommel
Danielle De Metz ... Vivi (as Danielle de Metz)
Karl-Otto Alberty ... Schroeder (as Karl Otto Alberty)
Christopher Cary ... Conscientious Objector
John Orchard ... Garth
Brook Williams Brook Williams ... Reilly
Greg Mullavey ... Brown
Ben Wright ... Admiral
Michael Sevareid Michael Sevareid ... Wembley
Chris Anders Chris Anders ... Tank Sergeant


Captain Foster plans on raiding German-occupied Tobruk with hand-picked commandos, but a mix-up leaves him with a medical unit containing a Quaker conscientious objector. Despite all odds they succeed with their mission. On the way they pick up and drug the mistress of an Italian general, blow up the entire fuel supply for the Afrika Korps, and swap philatelic gossip with Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. Written by Col_Hessler

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He took on Rommel... the Sahara... and a unit of untrained men to blow the Desert Fox to hell...


Drama | War


GP | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Richard Burton kept detailed diaries of the Mexican shoot, calling it "the most eccentric I've been in since The Night of the Iguana (1964)". Many of the anecdotes he records feature the confrontational personality of director Henry Hathaway: Burton claims that Hathaway shouted "Get your goddamn hair cut and get rid of those goddamn side-boards" to a complete stranger, thinking he was an actor (the man was a tourist). See more »


The amphibious Grumman Goose isn't such an odd choice of aircraft considering it came from the port city of Tobruk. See more »


Maj. Hugh Tarkington: You know Rommel?
Capt. Heinz Schroeder: Yes. He loves the Sahara. We all do. By "we", I mean the professional military.
Maj. Hugh Tarkington: I'm not a military man, captain. War holds no romance for me. The side effects are repulsive.
Capt. Heinz Schroeder: Here there are no side effects. No women, no children, no towns to get in the way, just men, my doctor.
See more »


Edited from A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1958) See more »

User Reviews

Hathaway adapted to the modern times
23 February 2007 | by tfs-admon02See all my reviews

Richard Burton stars this film in which he is the British Captain Foster, who rescues some British doctors and some few soldiers from e convoy in which the Germans carried them to Tobruk. Captain Foster divide these British men so that some of them feign to be German and the others are the sick ones. So, leaving the German soldiers in the desert, they go to Tobruk, where they destroy the fuel deposits and then the canons so that the British Army can arrive at Tobruk port. Although the plot can sound nice and entertaining, Hathaway does not develop their characters (for example, the Italian prostitute is only decorative) and the Germans are very easy to be cheated. The director tries to adapt to the modern times, using many zooms and, perhaps, from the content point of view, in the character of Richard Burton, who is really an antihero: Captain Foster is a Maquiavellian man, who does not respect the Geneva conventions'rules, attacking a sanitary German convoy and using prisoners of war to get his aim. There two curiosities about this movie that I would like to remark: the first one is the use of war images from Tobruk by Arthur Hiller, which was also produced by Universal; the second one is that the filming location was in San Felipe, in Baja California Norte (Mexico) in spite of Africa. These facts show us that this film was B war movie in budget and in quality.

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English | German | Italian

Release Date:

12 February 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Raid on Rommel See more »

Filming Locations:

Sonoran Desert, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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