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The Desert Fox
The Desert Fox
Actors: James Mason, Cedric Hardwicke, Jessica Tandy, Luther Adler, Everett Sloane
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Kids & Family, Military & War
NR     2003     1hr 28min

James Mason delivers a strong performance in this fascinating portrait of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. In the early 1940's, Rommel's juggernaut Afrika Korps dominated North Africa. But as the tide turned and he came to the ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: James Mason, Cedric Hardwicke, Jessica Tandy, Luther Adler, Everett Sloane
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Kids & Family, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Classics, Kids & Family, Military & War
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Format: DVD - Black and White,Full Screen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 05/20/2003
Original Release Date: 10/17/1951
Theatrical Release Date: 10/17/1951
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 28min
Screens: Black and White,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish

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Member Movie Reviews

Reviewed on 12/2/2010...
really good movie about Rommel. History buffs should be especially interested. Very well done.

Movie Reviews

English actor, James Mason, makes a great Rommel.
M. A. Treu | Bordentown, NJ USA | 07/23/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"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."
DVD features a nice transfer of a great film
Darren Harrison | Washington D.C. | 04/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I recently saw an advance review copy of the DVD "The Desert Fox" and I was surprised at the nice quality of the transfer of what is an exceptional movie. Based on the exploits of the famed German general Erwin Rommel the DVD has a crisp clean transfer. Included on this disc is the original theatrical trailer which remarkably, considering it's age, is also reproduced here in relatively good condition.
Considering it's low price this addition to the Fox War Classics catalog is easy to recommend."
Not enough action
David C. Read | Glendale, CA USA | 12/08/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)

"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."