Published on September 24th, 2007 | by Chris3
Raid on Rommel (1971)
In the eternal words of the almighty Beavis.... "Fire. FIRE!"
1971's Raid on Rommel has plenty of it. And gunfire, and explosions. Unfortunately the sound effects folks used the same clips. Over and over again. Which makes for a fairly monotonous exercise.
The plan is for Captain Foster (Richard Burton) of the British 5th Commando unit to get himself captured and from there stage a raid to take out the shore gun emplacements at Tobruk, in North Africa round about 1943. Well, of course it doesn't go as planned, and he winds up escorting a group made up of medics and objectors, along with an Italian general's squeeze into the fight.
Just what was the purpose of having Vivi (Danielle De Metz) in this anyway, except as a brief moment of comic relief and something better to look at than Capt. Schroeder (Karl-Otto Alberty) and desert sand?! Who knows.
Well, along the way they get sidetracked into burning down an Afrika Corps. fuel depot to immobilize the two Panzer divisions they find along the way. That little exercise alone takes way too long in screen time.
Then there's the final battle. What is with the editing here? I lost count of how many times we saw the same clip of the same three or four guys rappelling down the side of the cannon bunker. At least ten. Here is the most monotonous bit of sound you'll come across. Endless identical explosions and ricochets. Argh.
Oh, and then there's a couple of strange moments when a member of the team gets shot, and there's some sort of freeze frame with an odd sound... Eh? And how can we forget the audio overlay of one of Hitler's speeches as they storm the bunker. What is that?
Really, I remember watching this a lot, a long time ago on good old WGN and company back in the day on Sundays at noon, and for some reason don't recall it being this, well, awful. Burton's performance is just dull, sort of reminds me of a less tongue-in-cheek version of McGoohan's No. 6 in The Prisoner. At least No. 6 was somewhat funny. And the rest? Well, apart from a rare glimpse at John Colicos acting outside of a Cylon basestar there's not much else to say.
I will give Wolfgang Preiss kudos for his acting in the part of Rommel, though. Even though, yet again, we seem to be somewhat celebrating him, as the Doctor and the General have a nice civilized discussion about stamp collecting, and he seems to take a genuine interest in the men in the hospital tent....
Ah well. Couple all of the above with a soundtrack that is just overly pomp-and-circumstance and you've got Raid on Rommel. Worth a gander if nothing else is on, but I wouldn't go out of my way to find it.
Raid on Rommel (Widescreen Edition)
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Richard Burton stars as British officer Captain Foster in this WWII action spectacular. Foster is a man with a mission - he wants to strike a blow against the Nazis in North Africa - so he dresses up as a German officer, frees an ill-matched group of prisoners-of-war, and leads them in an assault on the stronghold base of the renowned Field Marshall Rommel, blowing up fuel dumps and generally waging havoc along the way...
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Manufacturer: Good Times Video
Original Release Date:
- Richard Burton
- John Colicos
- Clinton Greyn
- Wolfgang Preiss
- Danielle De Metz
Summary: Worth a gander if nothing else is on, but I wouldn't go out of my way to find it.