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Desert Rats, The (TCF 1953, Richard Burton, James Mason)



In The Desert Rats British commando captain Richard Burton takes charge of a hopelessly outnumbered but stubbornly defiant Australian division in their heroic stand against Field Marshal Rommel in North Africa. Their new leader wastes no time in alienating his men, but the Australians prove themselves both plucky and amusing. Another sweeping evocation of the North Africa campaign (an undeniably photogenic setting), with James Mason’s Rommel once again lurking over the next dune.

Following The Desert Fox (1951), Fox Studios quickly assembled The Desert Rats to capitalize on the success of the earlier film. It made almost as much money as The Desert Fox, largely due to the re-appearance of James Mason as Rommel.

production details
UK – USA | Twentieth Century Fox | 88 minutes | 1953

Director: Robert Wise
Script: Richard Murphy,

Robert Newton as Tom Bartlett
Richard Burton as Captain Tammy MacRoberts
James Mason as Field Marshal Erwin von Rommel
Robert Douglas as General
Chips Rafferty as Sgt ‘Blue’ Smith
Charles Tingwell as Lt Harry Carstairs
Torin Thatcher as Col Barney White