The Desert Rats

( 2 )

Overview

Robert Wise's World War II drama Desert Rats comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33:1. Closed-captioned English soundtracks are rendered in both Dolby Digital Stereo and Dolby Digital Mono, while French and Spanish soundtracks have been recorded in Dolby Digital Mono as well. English subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials are limited to the theatrical trailer. This is a solid release from 20th Century Fox that should satisfy genre ...
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Overview

Robert Wise's World War II drama Desert Rats comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33:1. Closed-captioned English soundtracks are rendered in both Dolby Digital Stereo and Dolby Digital Mono, while French and Spanish soundtracks have been recorded in Dolby Digital Mono as well. English subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials are limited to the theatrical trailer. This is a solid release from 20th Century Fox that should satisfy genre enthusiasts.
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Special Features

Interactive menus; Scene selection; Theatrical trailer; Full-frame format (aspect ratio 1.33:1); Audio: English stereo, English mono, French mono, Spanish mono; Subtitles: English
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
The Desert Rats has never had much of a reputation as a movie, mostly because it has always stood in the shadow of the preceding Fox film The Desert Fox. Additionally, it comes from a period in director Robert Wise's career in which, apart from unusual scripts such as The Day the Earth Stood Still, he is perceived as having been locked into conventional film subjects. However, without considering the preceding movie, The Desert Rats turns out to be a very respectable film -- Burton was fresh and unmannered in his acting in those early days, and he responded sympathetically to the well-written part of MacRoberts. Equally important to the film's success -- though overlooked by the critics -- Robert Newton turns in one of his last really solid lead performances, dominating the screen in most of his scenes despite the fact that he hardly ever uses his trademark booming voice; instead, he gives one of the more understated performances of his later career, and one of the most memorable as well. And then there's James Mason, reprising the role of Rommel from The Desert Fox. There are many well-acted scenes throughout the movie; most critics felt that the best scene is 61 minutes in when Burton and Mason's characters confront each other; however, critics ignored a quartet of brilliant scenes between Burton and Newton elsewhere in the movie, which are just as good and every bit as satisfying, particularly their final scene together 78 minutes in, which is also the dramatic pay-off of the picture. There are some structural problems with the movie, to be sure, including an over-reliance on a narrator to bridge extended passages of time, one or two scenes are too studio-bound, and some dramatic moments are inserted too abruptly into the action. But generally this is a satisfying film that even finds room for several exciting action sequences, including the initial German tank attack out of a sand storm on the British position, the British commando raid of a German ammo dump, and a shot of a British plane pursuing and strafing a German truck, seen from the point of view of the back of the truck. Chips Rafferty and several other supporting players also add an authentic Australian presence to the mix.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/21/2002
  • UPC: 024543041917
  • Original Release: 1953
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20th Century Fox
  • Region Code: 1
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:28:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 14,087

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Richard Burton Capt. MacRoberts
Robert Newton Bartlett
Robert Douglas General
James Mason Rommel
Torin Thatcher Barney
Chips Rafferty Smith
Charles "Bud" Tingwell Lt. Carstairs
Charles Davis Pete
Ben Wright Mick
James Lilburn Communications
John O'Malley Riley
Ray Harden Hugh
John Alderson Corporal
Richard Peel Rusty
Michael Pate Captain Currie
Frank Pulaski Maj. O'Rourke
Charles R. Keane Sgt. Donaldson
Pat O'Moore Jim
John Wengraf German Doctor
Arno Frey Kramm
Charles Fitzsimmons Fire Officer
Alfred Zeisler Von Helmholtz
Albert Taylor Jensen
Technical Credits
Robert Wise Director
Lucien Ballard Cinematographer
Leigh Harline Score Composer
Addison Hehr Art Director
Robert L. Jacks Producer
Ray Kellogg Special Effects
Barbara McLean Editor
Richard Murphy Screenwriter
Alfred Newman Score Composer
Lyle Wheeler Art Director
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Assault on Tobruk
2. Main Titles
3. The Plan of Defense
4. MacRoberts' New Command
5. Tammy and Blind Tom
6. Preparing for Rommel
7. The Coming Storm
8. Under Fire
9. An Open Position
10. An Officer's Job
11. MacRoberts' Promotion
12. Hit and Run
13. Calculated Risk
14. Bartlett's Request
15. The Raid
16. Rommel's Guest
17. Escape
18. The Key Position
19. The Ninth Day
20. The Right Decision
21. The Garrison's Choice
22. A Place in History
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Language Selection
      Languages: English Stereo
      Languages: English Mono
      Languages: French Mono
      Languages: Spanish Mono
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: None
      Subtitles: Forced English Subtitles (During German Language Sections)
   Scene Selection
   Trailers
      Theatrical Trailer
      Behind Enemy Lines
      Men of Honor
      Tigerland
      The Thin Red Line
      Between Heaven & Hell
      D-Day the Sixth of June
      The Sand Pebbles
      To the Shores of Tripoli
      A Yank in the RAF
      Fox War Classics
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Desert Rats

    Seeing this movie was a great way to re-connect to "old school" actors. Richard Burton's performance was inspiring. This was one of the first great war movies!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews