Customer Reviews


27 Reviews
5 star:
 (20)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another classic performance from Mason
This merits 4.5 stars. A very well made portrayal of Rommel.
Briefly covering his initial genius as a battlefield commander, and later when the war had turned, his gradual dissaffection with Hitler.

From what I have read it is not entirely accurate, but it gives a good impression of the man, and in the leading role James Mason is, as always, magnificent...
Published on 3 July 2006 by S J Buck

versus
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If I may remind you, sir, here in the field, these men are yours, not his.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Out of 20th Century Fox, The Desert Fox is directed by Henry Hathaway and adapted for the screen by Nunnally Johnson (also producing) from the biography of Erwin Rommel written by Brigadier Desmond Young. It stars James Mason as Rommel who in turn is supported by Cedric Hardwicke, Jessica Tandy, Luther Adler, Everett...
Published on 23 Jan. 2011 by Spike Owen


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another classic performance from Mason, 3 July 2006
By 
S J Buck (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Desert Fox [DVD] (DVD)
This merits 4.5 stars. A very well made portrayal of Rommel.
Briefly covering his initial genius as a battlefield commander, and later when the war had turned, his gradual dissaffection with Hitler.

From what I have read it is not entirely accurate, but it gives a good impression of the man, and in the leading role James Mason is, as always, magnificent. He makes no attempt to do a fake German accent, and it would be unneccessary. At the end Mason (who knows whether this is true or not) shows Rommel to be a dignified and courageous man. Particularly good in a supporting role is Leo G Carroll as Field Marshall Rundstedt who's own disanchantment is a turning point in the film.

The film was made only 6 years after the end of WW2, but it is a fact that even Churchill praised Rommell. Whether this would have happened if he had remained completely loyal to Hitler is open to debate. Nevertheless this remains an engrossing film.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If I may remind you, sir, here in the field, these men are yours, not his., 23 Jan. 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Desert Fox [DVD] (DVD)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Out of 20th Century Fox, The Desert Fox is directed by Henry Hathaway and adapted for the screen by Nunnally Johnson (also producing) from the biography of Erwin Rommel written by Brigadier Desmond Young. It stars James Mason as Rommel who in turn is supported by Cedric Hardwicke, Jessica Tandy, Luther Adler, Everett Sloane, Leo Carroll, George Macready & Richard Boone.

Possibly the first mainstream film to boldly humanise a German military leader, The Desert Fox is propelled by a mesmerising performance by Mason and backed up by Johnson's literate script. It condenses Young's biography into just an hour and half of film, but in that relatively short running time the makers have done enough to give decent insight into a man who the opposition had much respect for. The plot basically takes us on Rommel's journey from victories in North Africa, where he is loyally followed by the Afrika Korps, to his defeat at El Alamein (infuriating Hitler by disregarding orders), to French coastal defences, his role in the failed attempt to assassinate Hitler and his subsequent death by military command. Shot in a sort of semi-documentary style by Hathaway, with stock war footage flitting in and out of the film, it's credit to Hathaway that the direction is pacey and doesn't get bogged down by the necessary long passages of dialogue exchanges. The support cast all do fine work, with Adler's cameo as the Fuhrer particularly memorable, while the overriding satisfaction comes from finally seeing a Hollywood production capable of an even handed and sympathetic portrait of a opposition leader.

Good adult cinema. 7/10
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 20th Century Fox Wartime Classic., 12 April 2014
By 
TIV (rhyl, north wales) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Desert Fox [DVD] (DVD)
In all of the war films I have watched, this is, undoubtedly, my favourite. Well directed, acted( memorable performance from James Mason, giving an excellent portrayal of Erwin Rommel, and Luther Adler as Hitler.) James Mason is another of my favourite British actors. Well worth watching! Deserves 5 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great old story, 6 April 2014
By 
W. G. F. Palmer (wales uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Desert Fox [DVD] [1951] (DVD)
Well worth watching, I really enjoyed seeing it again value for money quick delivery a good cast great old actors.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film about Patton's opposite number, 4 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Desert Fox [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Even posed against each other, it is said General Patton always had respect for Rommel; even though he was his enemy.
James Mason does a sterling work of portraying one of the best German commander's they had (he actually cares for his troops, even went up against Hitler) who ranks there up against the likes of Patton and Montgomery, an intelligent man with brilliant battle tactics on the wrong side of the war.
From start to finish, well acted, worth watching and very insightful.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sympathy For The Enemy?, 19 May 2009
By 
Paul M. Edwards "Edwards" (Boston, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Desert Fox [DVD] (DVD)
The Desert Fox

A sympathetic portrayal of a leading Nazi, made in the 1950's?

It would require a brave studio, a brilliant script and a serious leading actor.
Fortunately, this thoughtful, interesting biopic has them all.

The first time we see the main character, he is a good distance away, deliberately
so, in the North African desert. Is this not the beauty of great acting? Even with this
distance shot, it is immediately apparent, simply from stance. `That's Rommel'.
Not James Mason, you understand, but Rommel.

We follow the Field Marshall from battle to his home, from the office of his supreme leader to the shores of France. Finally, to his suicide - it's that or face trial by Hitler for treason. And he is sympathetically played. There are some interesting super imposition shots of the actors over genuine footage, and of course, sets, props costumes etc are all totally authentic. The film looks and sounds great.

Jessica Tandy is totally convincing as Mrs Rommel and the entire cast is high quality.

There are even some laughs.
Particularly considering when this film was made, it is human, occasionally charming and
a thoroughly enjoyable watch.

`No petrol at all?'

`Not a pint!'
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Desert Fox, 21 Feb. 2010
By 
Gillian Steer "mikegillthevillage" (Dorchester, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Desert Fox [DVD] (DVD)
This film is excellent, James Mason at his best as usual, it follows the events leading up to his untimely death. The story line is very good and keeps you watching all the way through.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 3 July 2014
This review is from: The Desert Fox [DVD] [1951] (DVD)
very good !!!!!!!!!! thank you
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Class, 19 Jun. 2014
By 
John Armitt (Stavanger, Norway) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is the story of one of the Second World War's most able generals - the German Irvin Rommel. James Mason gives a seminal performance in this totally engrossing movie. Well recommended if only for Mason's performance.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars A good film and an interesting biography of Rommel - although to my taste slightly too gentle and enthusiastic..., 20 Mar. 2014
By 
Maciej "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Desert Fox [DVD] [1951] (DVD)
I liked this 1951 war film telling the story of one of most legendary WWII great commanders - Field Marshal Erwin Rommel.

This film is in large part based on Rommel's biography written soon after war by a British officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Desmond Young, who actually briefly met Rommel during the war, after being taken prisoner by Germans in North Africa. Young never lost from sight that Rommel was an enemy of his country and even of "the whole civilisation", as he served the Nazi regime, but he nevertheless felt some respect for this mighty foe. He was also particularly intrigued by the mysterious (at least they were mysterious immediately after war) circumstances of Rommel's death. Combining interviews with German and British officers and soldiers with captured documentation and his own memories of Desert War he wrote an ultimately quite flattering biography of "Desert Fox", which became an instant bestseller - but also subject of controversy, as many deemed Young's vision as TOO flattering.

The general tone of this film follows the line of Desmond Young's book, showing Rommel as a soldier serving Germany rather than Nazism. He is shown as an extremely dangerous and cunning enemy, but one who avoids atrocities and cruelty. His fair treatment of allied war prisoners impressed Desmond Young already during war and this is stressed again both in book and in film. In that point Rommel was lucky that he didn't fight even one day on Eastern front, where neither Germans not Russians bothered to observe such niceties...

The film mostly sticks to the real history and clearly shows how much British government and especially Churchill appreciated Rommel's skills - going as far as targeting him for assasination (the very real operation "Flipper" on 17/18 November 1941). It also shows rather well Rommel's progressive disaffection with Hitler in 1943 and 1944. The last moments of Rommel's life are also portrayed very, very well indeed.

The one weaker thing is the way in which was shown Rommel's contacts with conspirators who planned to kill Hitler. Contrary to what we are shown in the film, there is absolutely no proof that Rommel at any moment agreed to join the conspiracy - in fact he refused to commit himself in one or other way and he certainly DIDN'T try to recruit von Rundstedt! On another hand he didn't inform the Gestapo about the existence of conspiracy and the fact that he was contacted - which was already an act of treason and if discovered in Nazi Germany that signified death...

The film also avoids to show that from 1939 to beginning of 1943 Rommel was in EXCELLENT terms with Hitler, which means he was still Fuhrer's pet at a time when trains were carrying millions of heads of human chattel to concentration camps - and many of those prisoners, including women and children, were in fact destined to be exterminated in gas chambers...

Nevertheless, all those points notwithstanding, Rommel WAS a great commander, feared but respected by allied oponents and he was ultimately destroyed by the very monster he so long and so well served - and for all that he certainly deserved to have at least one flattering biography written and at least one good film made about him. And this film is good, with James Mason portraying Rommel simply with perfection.

I liked this film and I will keep the DVD for future viewings. Enjoy!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Desert Fox [DVD] [1951]
The Desert Fox [DVD] [1951] by Henry Hathaway (DVD - 2012)
£4.38
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews