The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel

Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Biography, Drama, War
Director(s): Henry Hathaway
Production: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
Rotten Tomatoes:
88 min

The time is 1941,

a month before Pearl Harbor.

At eleven o'clock, on a November night,

a British submarine

surfaced in the Mediterranean

off the coast of Libya in North Africa,

behind the German lines.

- Are you sure the light carries that far?

- It should.

There they are.

- What's he saying?

- He says they're all set, sir.

Tell him we're coming in.

These were British commandos,

and the purpose of this carefully plotted raid

was the death of one man.

Cover me.

- It's no use. Go on.

- Get hold of my arm.

It's no use, I tell you. Get out of here.

Did we... Did we get him?

Are you serious, Englishman?

The following order from General Auchinleck

is to all commanders and

chiefs of staff of the Middle East forces.

"There exists a real danger

that our friend Rommel

is becoming a kind of magician

or bogeyman to our troops,

who are talking far too much about him. "

"He is by no means a superman,

although he is undoubtedly

very energetic and able. "

"Even if he were a superman,

it would still be highly undesirable

that our men should credit him

with supernatural powers. "

"I wish you to dispel by all possible means

the idea that Rommel represents something

more than an ordinary German general. "

"Ensure that this order

is put into immediate effect,

and impress upon all commanders

that, from a psychological point of view,

it is a matter of the highest importance. "

CJ Auchinleck, General,

Commander-in-Chief, MEF.

This is the North African desert

in June of 1942,

and these are British soldiers

taken prisoner the night before

by units of the German Afrika Korps.

Run, you fool! Run!

You, come on! Get out of there!

Get over with the other prisoners.

Who is the senior officer here?

- I am, I suppose.

- Come with me.

- Rank?

- Lieutenant colonel.

I want you to go with these two officers,

under a flag of truce,

and tell that battery to stop firing.

Tell them they're killing their own men.

- Sorry, I can't do that.

- I'm giving you an order.

Here, tie this on that rifle.

Listen, Major, I'm a prisoner of war.

You can't give me any such order.

- You know that as well as I do.

- I won't argue the point with you.

Either you do as I tell you

or we'll soon find a way to make you.

- Are you going or not?

- Major! Major!

What's the row?

- The field marshal said you're right.

- Field marshal?

So this, then, was Rommel.

Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel,

commander in chief of the enemy army,

and the most celebrated

German soldier since World War I.

Already a legend in the desert,

he was a fox who had chased his hunters

back and forth across North Africa

about as often as they had chased him,

and his tricks and turns

had made even the tommies chuckle,

which is scarcely the proper reflex

to the enemy in time of war.

In spite of which, he was still,

of course, my enemy.

The enemy not only of my country

and the army in which I served,

but of all life as I knew it.

Not only of democracy

as free men had fashioned it,

but of civilisation itself.

My name is Desmond Young.

At the time of my capture

I was a lieutenant colonel in the Indian Army.

This was my first and only sight

of the cool, hard professional soldier

whose scrupulous regard for the rules of

warfare had been exercised, in this instance,

so fortunately for myself.

Two years and four months later,

while the British and Americans were

still fighting their way across Europe,

Erwin Rommel was dead.

He was dead, the Nazis reported, of wounds

gallantly received on the field of honour.

But the Nazis were great liars,

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Nunnally Johnson

Nunnally Hunter Johnson was an American filmmaker who wrote, produced, and directed motion pictures. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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