September 1942 - With Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps on the march through Egypt, a British special forces unit, composed of German Jews who serve with the British despite the mutual resentment between both, kidnap a Canadian officer who is an expert topographer and who is held prisoner by the Vichy French in Algeria. The officer, Donald Craig, must negotiate a company of British and German-Jewish commandos through 800 miles of the Sahara to aide a pending amphibious landing against Tobruk's massive fuel storage base - a mission that sees one impediment after another, and which discovers an undetected German armored force ready to win the battle of Egypt.Written by
Michael Daly <firstname.lastname@example.org>
That subgenre being the war movie about a small group of specialist soldiers - "commandos" - who pull off a daring raid, with lots of drama and personality conflicts - these days they're called "special operators." And it's the sort of war picture they sure don't make any more. Pity, in a way. In this screenplay it's the Long Range Desert Group, based on a legendary North Africa force, plus a bunch of German Jews out to confound the Nazis and use their contribution as leverage to achieve nationhood in Palestine -no, Israel!, as George Peppard brusquely corrects Rock Hudson. Which is what gives this movie a very interesting historical dimensions, bringing in as it does, along with Rommel and the Desert War, or course, the meddling of the Grand Mufti, Arab affinities for Nazism, and the struggle for Israel as the Holocaust goes on in Europe. Note the movie was made in '67 - Six-Day War anyone? The premise of the commandos masquerading as Afrika Korps I found a bit much, though. Also much mirth garnered by the use of all-American trucks and tanks (a lot of them post- WWII) for German, Italian, British - I noticed the California National Guard got a big credit at the end. The Grumman Goose was a cute touch, too. At least they got most of the guns right - but the P-40 was good, the right type for the time and place. Also a nice touch to have Rock Hudson play as a Canadian, not an American. And get a load of Dean Stockwell. And there was some pretty good camera work and some clever crane and dolly shots, too. For all its flaws and preposterous elements, and for being a bit of a period piece, it is a most entertaining picture, and lots of stuff blows up.
13 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this