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
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 »
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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