The Desert Fox The Story of Rommel (1951) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: This biopic follows Rommel's career after the Afrika Korps, including his work on the defenses of Fortress Europe as well as his part in the assassination attempt on Hitler, and his subsequent suicide. Written by Alfred Jingle Runtime: 88 min Release Date: 17 Oct 1951
It wasn't simply the way Mason captured the screen with a class that few if any actors could handle today. Sometimes, it only takes one scene to make a movie great. The scene between Rommel and Hitler Mason and Adler is that scene. You forget that these are actors and immerse yourself in the moment as Rommel becomes the one man who dares confront Hitler about his battle plans. He refuses to back down to the most evil man of our time and it makes this movie one of the best WWII movies ever made.The makers of Pearl Harbor should take note: When you have the people like Rommel and Hitler <more>
Or Roosevelt and Yamamoto as your characters, you don't need to invent a silly story line. History is the best story teller of all. This movie is about history.
Catching Up with the Fox --- 56 Years Later! (by vitaleralphlouis)
The promotional materials for this movie in 1951 as well as now might give the impression the movie glorifies the enemy commander in World War II and goes against the brave Americans who served in Europe a few years earlier. This was why some theaters in 1951 including my own neighborhood theater, the SILVER refused to show it. Take a harder look and you'll find the story concentrates on General Rommell and other Germans who conspired to eradicate Adolf Hitler, failed, and paid with their lives. It also takes a hard look at Hitler's awful judgment in military decisions nearing the <more>
end of the war.DESERT FOX was made by Hollywood's top talent. Written by Nunnally Johnson the finest screenplay writer of the era and directed by the always excellent Henry Hathaway, 20th Century-Fox not only gave this their finest, but followed it a year later with the Robert Wise directed DESERT RATS which told of the incredibly effective English and Australian units that held Rommell in check and prevented him from capturing either Cairo or the Suez Canal.This was a patriotic Hollywood staffed with real men of character, many of whom were World War II heroes in private life. It stands in sharp contrast to the girlie-men linguine-spine cowards in Hollywood today. Now we have PEARL HARBOR --- which "justified" the Japanese attack --- and Steven Spielberg's god-awful SAVING PRIVATE RYAN --- which took the heroic true story of the Sullivan Brothers and turned their great deeds into spineless liberal mush. Similarly, the SILVER, which declined to show an alleged anti-American film in 1951 is now under American Film Institute ownership and can be relied on to play every anti-American movie that comes on the market, while regularly downplaying or ignoring pro-American classics.Both DESERT FOX and DESERT RATS are recent DVD releases. Good movies, deserving your attention.
Filmed just a few years after WWII, the film is almost entirely free of the goose-stepping sillies many of the war films contained. An interesting footnote: One of Rommel's lines is "Victory has a hundred fathers;defeat is an orphan." This quote is usually attributed to JFK assuming responsibility for the Bay of Pigs fiasco.Most of JFK's stuff was written by others, but its appearance over a decade earlier makes one wonder who the true author was. Rommel?, the screenwriter? Does anyone know? If so' please share the info. Thanks
Holds up well with time (by swanningaround)
It is now 55 years since this film was made. It presents a realistic view of the main characters and even portrays Hitler in a human light, joking about Goerings weight and being prepared to exchange small talk with soldiers, such as Von Stauffenberg, who was about to attempt to kill him. It is often a fault of later war movies that they demonise the Germans, and glorify the British.The film starts with the famous Keyes postumous VC raid, which is often presented as a "boy's own" adventure by the army, but was really a foul-up, as they attacked the wrong building! The film is <more>
also in black and white, which makes it easy to interchange actual war footage with the action, especially the battles of El Alamein and Overlord. The film has the feel of a documentary, with the main characters reminiscing. James Mason definitely looks the part in the role playing Rommel.The whole film shows the respect that both sides of the conflict had for Rommel. It is interesting that Churchill has so much respect for him. Probably excusing the fact that Rommel was beating him in the earlier stages of the war.For historical buffs, I can definitely recommend this film.
A surprising realistic movie for 1951 (by scaifegibson)
I tuned into this movie half way through. I was immediately surprised by what seemed to me to be realistic portrayal of the German military leaders. I am of course taking in to account the fact that this movie was made in 1951 - a time when the history of WW2 was very fresh in the minds of everyone and when movies aimed at large audiences were not noted for portraying characters with any nuance. Movies then were stories about bad guys and good guys with a lot of heavily exaggerated romance thrown in for good measure. But this movie seems to be exceptional for the period. The leading role of <more>
Rommel is played excellently by James Mason. But most of the supporting actors are also convincing in their roles. Perhaps only Luther Adler's interpretation of Hitler seems a bit off the mark. He seems much too 'responsive' in the way he reacts to the people around him. From the many film clips of the real Hitler we see someone who is consumed by his own self image. Such a person who is fulfilled with a sense of grandiosity does not respond to his entourage. People around him are functional - he needs them and uses them. But he does not 'respond' to them as a normal human being. Take a look for instance at Donald Trump, the current US president. Trump is hugely narcissistic and completely consumed by a sense of grandiosity which leaves no room for normal interaction with the people who surround him. I suspect that Hitler was very similar in this respect. But despite this, it was a great movie. It deserves an A+ rating - at least a nine out of ten!
A great, well-acted film, ruined somewhat by endless stock footage (by Hancock_the_Superb)
As a character drama, "The Desert Fox" is a superb film; well-written, intelligent dialogue, likeable and well-developed characters, and no ridiculous, hammy "foreign accents" by the film's mostly British and American actors except for maybe Luther Adler as Hitler ; I would've given this flick a nine, or maybe even a ten, if it hadn't been for the stock footage. I know this wasn't meant to be a battle-heavy picture, but the continual use of stock footage to supplement for action esp. the three and a half minute long stretch of D-Day footage is grating. I <more>
had to take off at least a star for that. Otherwise, this is a great film; well-acted, well-written, and realistic. Mason is good if not terribly exciting as Field Marshall Erwin Rommel, my second-favorite military hero in history after Winfield Scott Hancock, from whom I got my screen name , and the supporting cast is superb as well, standouts being Leo G. Carrol as the somewhat cynical and humanistic yet rigidly loyal Field Marshall Von Rundstedt, and Luther Adler, who in what is essentially a cameo portrays Adolf Hitler perfectly - a man who is evil by most everyone's standards and flamboyant, with his exaggerated hand movements, eccentric military tactics, and his sudden fits of temper his dialogue scene with Rommel before he decides to join the plot against Hitler for good - but also a human side - he listens to his subordinates though doesn't always agree with them , and he even gets to crack a joke about Herman Goering "When you are fat you do not move so fast" - both Hitler and Goering had appealing senses of humor, though Goering was obviously the more public joker. You can sense, even in Adler's minimal screen time, how Hitler got to be so powerful. I give this film eight stars for reasons stated above.
THE DESERT FOX – 1951 James Mason is really top flight in this film about the WW Two German commander, Erwin Rommel. A very watchable film considering how little actual combat scenes are in the production.Most of the film deals with his growing dislike of Hitler and his mob. It suggests that Rommel was involved in the plot to kill Hitler. From what I've read on the subject, there seems to be little solid proof either way. The failure of the assassination, lead to the death of several thousand of those involved. Rommel was forced to commit suicide in order to save his family.Mason keeps <more>
this one rolling with help from Cedric Hardwicke and a great bit by Luther Adler as Adolf Hitler. Veteran director Henry True Grit Hathaway handles the story with a nice even pace.It is really about time that someone made a film about his World War one battles that won him the Blue Max. Or something on his dash to the coast in the Battle of France as well as his early battles with the Afrika Korps.Having said that, don't let that stop you from watching this one. It is a film well worth the time investment.