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The Desert Fox: The Story Of Rommel (1951)

by  |  October 12th, 2011  |  Action/Adventure  |  2 Comments

<img class="alignright size-full wp-image-18879" title="Fox 1" src="http://awesomebmovies.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Fox-1.jp

g” alt=”” width=”283″ height=”400″ />After World War 1, and the fall of the German Empire, a sort of weak republic took form in Germany called, ‘The Weimer Republic.’ Now ultimately this Republic collapsed for many reason and saw the rise of the Nazi totalitarian regime, that butchered literally millions, and eventually led to World War 2 and the fortunate collapse of the Nazi regime in Germany!

Of course this story has been told from both sides of the conflict, from the side of the Allies and their struggle to end the tyranny of the Axis powers, such as, Ambush Bay (1966), The Inglorious Bastards (1978), or heck even Saving Private Ryan (1998), to heck even the side of those good men and women in Germany who were either duped in to believing that serving the Nazi’s would be a good thing or who covertly fought against the Nazi’s, in such films as the fictionalized movie, Fatherland (1994) or even Valkyrie (2008)

Now you might be wondering why I am mentioning this, well being a big fan of Military history, and an even bigger fan of movies, I was glad to find an interesting piece in the movie, The Desert Fox: The Story Of Rommel (1951):

Written by: Nunnally Johnson (Phone Call For A Stranger) and Directed by: Henry Hathaway (Diplomatic Courier). Starring: James Mason (11 Harrowhouse), Cedric Hardwicke (The Gauntlet), Jessica Tandy (The Light In The Forrest), Leo G. Carroll (The Snows Of Kilimanjaro), John Hoyt (Loan Shark), and William Reynolds (The Cimarron Kid).

Told as a narrative from the research that was done by Lieutenant Colonel Desmond Young (who wrote the book that this movie is based off of.) This movie essentially tells the story of the downfall of a military legend…

What I mean by this is that during World War 2, Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel (Mason), is a soldier and field commander who fought to major victories, several battles in many countries in the Afrika Korps… So much so that eventually Nazi Germany had come in to control of large swaths of places in Africa, and the Middle East!

Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (James Mason)

Now these almost unchecked victories started to come an end in 1942, and as Rommel began to loose more and more ground, he kept on with the fight following the orders of his superiors, just like a good Soldier, until one day when he got orders from the Nazi HQ that Rommel and his forces were to hold out to the last man! (In the real world, I believe that the last stand of the Afrika Korps was some where in Egypt as it was in this movie.)

Well of course his Afrika Korp forces had been captured, all except for Rommel who had been in a hospital back in Germany, and was recuperating from an illness…

During this time is when Marshal Rommel had first begun to become aware of the possibility that there was a growing rebellion forming with in Germany… You see, while Marshal Rommel was still in the hospital he was visited by his wife, Frau Lucie Marie (Tandy) and a family friend by the name of Dr. Karl Strolin (Hardwicke)…

This meeting would ultimately be the first of others that would ultimately lead this famous military mastermind, and patriot of his nation, who led the Afrika Korps to prominence, and who attempted to serve his country by leading the forces that would ultimately fight against the Allies on D-Day during World War 2, to finally seeing beyond the patriotic shield of a soldier to what’s right, and doing the right thing despite the consequences!

Rommel being transported with his troops!

With that said, what I liked about this movie and what I do find makes this an awesome b movie is a couple of things…

1. Now I don’t agree with or condone what the Nazi’s did, but this particular movie is an interesting look at a soldier that is just trying to do what is right for his country, no matter what the cost!

2. The next thing that I thought that I would mention here is that while doing some research on this movie, is that this is likely the first movie to have an action sequence before the actual movie begins!

3. Another thing that I thought that you guys might find interesting is back when this movie was released, this movie came under some majorly harsh criticism due to the movie having been released less then a decade after the end of World War 2, and as a matter of fact on orders from the studio head at the time, ‘Harry M. Warner’ the chain of theaters that Warner Bros. owned at the time had canceled all showings of the movie!

With that said, if your a military history buff, then I do think that you might find this to be a rather fascinating movie!

 


Nathan Strack

About

I am a huge Horror/B-Movie/Grindhouse movie fan! Rather it be Writing/Acting/Directing or just watching one I love it all!

The Animated Shorts of UPA (1940s-1960s)
Bucktown (1975)
Assault On Precinct (1976)

Comments

  1. James Gross

    February 19th, 2012at 6:21 PM(#)

    I have watched The Desert Fox (The Story of Rommel) several times and enjoyed it each time. I see Rommel as a soldier first and German citizen. He believed in doing right even when it ultimately cost him his life.

  2. Nathan Strack Nathan Strack

    February 20th, 2012at 5:22 PM(#)

    Hey James,

    I have to agree, From the limited research I have been able to do on Erwin Rommel, he did seem to be an extremely honorable man, who as a soldier seemed to me to be more patriotic to Germany then to the Nazi Part itself… Unfortunately that seemed to be the lot in life for more then a few honorable German soldiers that had been caught up fighting for the wrong side (The Nazi side during WW2)

    – Nathan

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