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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Desert Fox and The Desert Rats - really a set!
Both these movies have James Mason playing the part of General Erwin Rommell. The Desert Rats is the story of Australian Infantry under the command of a British Officer (Richard Burton)who although out numbered and out gunned delay the advance of Rommell's Afrika Corps outside of Tobruk until the British Relief Column arrives. Almost like a sequel to The Desert Rats is...
Published on Nov. 19 2003 by S. Craig

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not enough action
This movie is misleadingly named. Although Rommel was indeed the commander of Germany's Afrika Corp in World War II, and there earned a reputation as a master tactician, that is not what this movie is about. Two-thirds of this movie's 88 minute length focuses on Rommel's minor role in a conspiracy to kill Hitler. The conspiracy failed, and Rommel eventually paid with...
Published on Dec 7 2003 by David C. Read


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Desert Fox and The Desert Rats - really a set!, Nov. 19 2003
By 
S. Craig (Canberra, ACT Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Desert Fox (DVD)
Both these movies have James Mason playing the part of General Erwin Rommell. The Desert Rats is the story of Australian Infantry under the command of a British Officer (Richard Burton)who although out numbered and out gunned delay the advance of Rommell's Afrika Corps outside of Tobruk until the British Relief Column arrives. Almost like a sequel to The Desert Rats is the story of The Desert Fox. This story is told through the eyes of an ex-British Officer who after the war tries to find out exactly how and why Rommell died under the Nazi Regime. The story reveals how an unwell Rommell, recently returned from the middle east campaign is invited to join the plot to kill Hitler. It shows Rommell's battle of conscience over his loyalty to an insane leader and his knowledge of the plot for that leader's assassination. Although he will not support the plot to kill Hitler, Rommell will not turn the conspirators in either - a decision that would cost him his life.
I strongly recommend the purchase of both these movies.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars English actor, James Mason, makes a great Rommel., July 23 2000
By 
M. A. Treu (Bordentown, NJ USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Desert Fox, the (VHS Tape)
Originally copyright by 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, in 1951, only six years after the end of World War Two, this black and white film gives a shallow overview of the last years of German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel: the Desert Fox.
Once you get past the opening rather stagey scenes, of British commandos raiding a German headquarters building in north Africa, hoping to kill the Desert Fox in his lair, the rest of the film is carried along guite well, by the great performance of James Mason, as Rommel. This performance is the only reason I rated this film as four stars, without Mason I would have been disapointed.
Other members of the cast do fine jobs too, notably Cedric Hardwicke and Leo G. Carroll. One can find good entertainment based on real events.
D-Day: the invasion of Normandy, is a highlight of this film. There are several minutes of what appears to be genuine newsreel footage of the storming of the beaches: the ships off shore, the guns, the planes, brave men falling. It's all very real at this point.
"The Desert Fox" was made in an era when the directors, producers, and the Hollywood Establishment in general, were less preachy, and less likely to distort the truth in order to promote a social agenda. That is a big plus for this film.
On the down side: the film starts off with several undisclosed advertisements for other videos, of like kind, by Fox. This is borderline dishonest, as consumers have paid for entertainment and expect it to be commercial free. At the very least, the ads should be disclosed, before anyone makes a purchaseing decision.
All in all, "The Desert Fox" is good entertainment and deserves a look.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not enough action, Dec 7 2003
By 
David C. Read (Keene, Texas) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Desert Fox (DVD)
This movie is misleadingly named. Although Rommel was indeed the commander of Germany's Afrika Corp in World War II, and there earned a reputation as a master tactician, that is not what this movie is about. Two-thirds of this movie's 88 minute length focuses on Rommel's minor role in a conspiracy to kill Hitler. The conspiracy failed, and Rommel eventually paid with his life for his involvement. (In truth, Rommel was lucky. The other conspirators were hanged on piano wire and died a painful death. Because he had been built up into a national hero, Rommel was given the opportunity to take poison, and the public was told he died of war wounds.
I'm afraid most viewers, jaded by modern F/X and action laden efforts like Saving Private Ryan, will be disappointed with this rather inexpensively made effort from 1951. There is very little action other than a commando raid during the first five minutes of the movie. The little remaining action is actual stock footage of the war, skillfully cut into the film. The movie is very talky, focusing on Rommel's relationship with his wife and son, Field Marshal Von Rundstedt, and Adolph Hitler.
I have to admit that when I watched an early scene that showed Rommel in North Africa, wearing a long black leather overcoat consulting with his officers, I said to myself "pure Hollywood! there is no way he would have been wearing that in the hot desert." Then I went to my library and consulted a book on Rommel, lavishly illustrated with photographs. Not only was Rommel wearing the black leather overcoat, he was dressed precisely as depicted in the movie. There is also a remarkable resemblance between Rommel and James Mason, who does an outstanding job portraying Rommel in the movie. The moviemakers got it right, and I was wrong.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Well done, March 13 2014
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This review is from: The Desert Fox (DVD)
The movie gives an accurate account of Rommel as well as can be done at the time the movie was made.
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2.0 out of 5 stars was not very exciting, Feb. 3 2014
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This review is from: The Desert Fox (DVD)
too dry for me. gave it away to my neighbour. dissappointed with it. was hoping the story line would keep me going - but not.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An old one but Good one, Nov. 9 2013
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This review is from: The Desert Fox (DVD)
A classic Great acting and interesting all the way through thought that mason did a great job as he usually does
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5.0 out of 5 stars James Mason is Rommel!, Oct. 15 2013
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Lava1964 (Cambridge, ON) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Desert Fox (DVD)
James Mason's performanace in The Desert Fox makes you believe he is Erwin Rommel. Much of the film is about Rommel's decision to participate in the assassination plot against Adolf Hitler. For military buffs, the film doesn't delve into what made Rommel such a great tank commander and strategist. Still the movie is quite compelling.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Desert Fox, July 23 2010
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This review is from: The Desert Fox (DVD)
This was a very good movie on the life of the Desert Fox while in Hitler's service, but I was slightly left hanging as to what exactly happened to him at the end.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Desert Fox, July 12 2009
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This review is from: The Desert Fox (DVD)
Far superior account of the plot to kill Hitler. DVD in good shape and met all expectations
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Proper Tribute To The Desert Fox, June 16 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Desert Fox (DVD)
Henry Hathaway's 1951 film on Erwin Rommel, NAZI Germany's most brilliant tactician whose indirect involvement in a failed plot to assassinate Hitler resulted in his untimely death.
The film is a character study and focuses more on Rommel's relationship with Hitler and the German High Command as opposed to his achievements as a military tactician. Because the nature of his death wasn't very well known at that time, the film focuses on Rommel's deteriorating relationship with Hitler and his eventual participation in the assassination plot. This is normal since, with the film being made only 6 years after the end of WWII, audiences would have been quite unreceptive to a film glorifying a German general's military exploits against allied forces.
All in all, James Mason delivers a brilliant performance as a man who is struggling with his conscience. Is his duty as a general to just obey Hitler or to protect Germany from destruction? What should he do when Hitler's megalomania is a greater threat to Germany than the Allies themselves? How can he be a good soldier and live with himself by committing treason: even if treason is the only logical alternative? Although the film isn't entirely accurate in its history, it succeeds in capturing all of the internal conflicts Rommel must have suffered in deciding what to do. The film is also accurate in portraying the impossible dilemma faced by Von Runstedt and others in the German High Command with Hitler's incessant meddling in military planning and execution. As the movie shows, by 1944 Hitler assumed direct control of virtually all military operations in the major theaters with disastrous results (i.e. insisting that most heavy guns and panzer divisions remain in Calais even when the D-Day invasion was well underway). This dilemma was dealt with humor in the movie when Von Runsted sarcastically tells Rommel about how corporals (i.e. Hitler) are such brilliant strategists and tacticians who clearly know far more about waging war than your run-of-the-mill Field Marshalls: "You know how rigid those corporals can be."
Altogether a great film that sheds light on the character of one of the greatest military tacticians of the 20th Century. A film not to be missed.
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The Desert Fox
The Desert Fox by Henry Hathaway (DVD - 2003)
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