The Desert Fox
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This 1951 classic has British actor James Mason in the lead, and flanked, by Cedric Hardwicke (Dr Karl Strolin, mayor of Stuttgart), Jessica Tandy (Frau Lucie Rommel), Leo G Carroll (Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt) who all give fine performances. Cameo appearances come from Rommel biographer Desmond Young, who plays himself, as a captured British officer in North Africa at the start of the film's action, and footage of US Generals, Dwight Eisenhower and George Patton (waving at tank crews).
The film traces Rommel's growing disenchantment with Hitler (Luther Adler) and the encroachment of the Nazi police state on the life of its citizens - revealed in guarded conversations between Rommel and his friend Mayor Strolin, (the latter also giving a gestapo spy the slip) and Rommel and von Rundstedt.
This disillusionment is clearly seen in the two separate conversations between Rommel and Dr Strolin -the first in a hospital ward where Rommel is clearly more up-beat and later in Rommel's study, where the conversation is more strained and indeed aggressive between the two old friends.
The destruction of the Rommel family unit is a poignant moment as Rommel goes to his death (via self induced poison) to safeguard the lives of his wife and son. The Fuhrer honours the fallen hero of the Reich with a state funeral after he 'had succumbed to war injuries' -fulfilling his 'bargain' that if Rommel went quietly nothing would happen to his family.Read more ›
The Blue Max (1966/Color/150 minutes/Widescreen)
George Peppard stars as an overly ambitious German pilot who wants nothing more than to win his country's highest medal during World War I. Ursula Andress, James Mason and some thrilling flying scenes co-star. Special features are limited to trailers for other Fox war movies.
The Desert Fox (1951/B&W/88 minutes/Fullscreen)
James Mason stars as German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in a film that is primarily focused on Rommel's involvement in the plot to kill Hitler. Special features are limited to trailers for other Fox war movies.
Immortal Sergeant (1943/B&W/90 minutes/Fullscreen)
Henry Fonda stars as a somewhat reluctant corporal who must lead a lost, wounded and starving British patrol back to their base in North Africa. Special features are limited to trailers for other Fox war movies.
Sink the Bismarck (1960/B&W/97 minutes/Widescreen)
Fact-based story of the hunt for the German battleship Bismarck. Stars Kenneth More and Dana Wynter. Special features are limited to a "Movietone" newsclip about the Bismarck and trailers for other Fox war movies.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
AAA++++ Superior service , fast and as promised by seller. Recommended highly to anyone buying DVD's. Great old school movie with real values and leaves you feeling good!.. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Naval Spook
Very interesting picture on Rommel and the treatment he received from high command.Published 1 month ago by SJHOP
Rommel...with an ENGLISH ACCENT! YOU forget this flaw being his OVERWHELMING PERFORMANCE!Published 1 month ago by howard sinuk
The Desert Fox was released in 1951. James Mason does a fine portrayal in his performance as the German general. George Nader has a bit part as a commando. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Great film. I bought it once before, but I misplaced it. Great performance by James Mason. And I really appreciate the history of it.Published 3 months ago by Susan M. Duarte
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