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Desert Patrol (1958)

Sea of Sand (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, War | 8 December 1961 (USA)
Sent to destroy a Nazi petrol dump in the North African desert, a British commando team unexpectedly discovers a large Nazi tank unit, and must inform headquarters in time.

Director:

Guy Green

Writers:

Robert Westerby (screenplay), Sean Fielding (original story)
Reviews
Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Attenborough ... Brody
John Gregson ... Capt. Williams
Michael Craig ... Capt. Cotton
Vincent Ball Vincent Ball ... Sgt. Nesbitt
Percy Herbert ... White
Barry Foster ... Cpl. Matheson
George Murcell ... Cpl. Simms
Andrew Faulds ... Sgt. Parker
Ray McAnally ... Sgt. Hardy
Harold Goodwin ... Road Watch
Tony Thawnton Tony Thawnton ... Capt. Tom
Wolf Frees ... German Sergeant
George Mikell George Mikell ... German Officer
Edit

Storyline

A small British Army team is sent to destroy a German petrol dump as part of the preparation for a major attack in the North African campaign. While they are there, they spot a large number of tanks and realize that Army intelligence must be informed or some Tommies are going to be in for a nasty surprise. The Germans are equally determined that they should not reach their base, and a tense chase across the desert is the result. Written by Mark Thompson <mrt@oasis.icl.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They fought the kind of war that wasn't in the book...aware that one false move meant instant disaster - and death! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

8 December 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Desert Patrol See more »

Filming Locations:

Tripolitania, Libya See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

So unnerved by their activities, the Italian soldiers began to call the L.R.D.G. the "Pattaglia Fantasma" or "Ghost Patrol". See more »

Goofs

The rear bulkhead on the cab of truck 1 is from a Chevrolet. See more »

Connections

Featured in Remembering John Gregson (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Greensleeves
(uncredited)
Traditional
Heard on radio
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the Best WWII Movies You'll Never See
26 June 2013 | by rodszaszSee all my reviews

This movie seemed to be played a lot on late night CBC film when I was growing up. I watched it about 3 times as a lad and then found it in Japanese video store (Japanese have some of the best selections of old Western movies). It did not disappoint after all those years. It still carried a very hard thrill and had suspense in spades.

The story revolves around one of the first Long Range Desert Reconnaissance (LRDG) groups to attempt a trip to travel hundreds of miles behind German lines in North Africa and blow up a crucial petrol dump. In reality most LRDG groups were really sent out to gather intel, but that does not stop the believability of this story of daring Brits putting up the grit and getting whittled down, one lorry after another by relentless Germans pursuit.

They loose their lorries one by one... to the desert and to enemy action. Petrol and water run down as the suspense ramps up. Towards the end they are on foot in the desert as the last lorry runs out of water -- holed by a Jerry bullet in a previous firefight. With time running out and the Germans closing, they cannot carry their wounded... the wounded soldier insists on being left behind and the scene is powerful: after their good-byes the lone wounded soldier is set up under a camouflage tarp with a heavy machine gun and the rest of the water (left as a parting token of appreciation for his expected sacrifice). He dies hard, but gains the group time whilst they make their way across the desert in a last attempt to make British Lines.

Attenborough is young, and cocky. This is before he got into directing. There is fine mid-50s British talent here and the smattering of the regional accents, West Country, inners London, Lancashire, Upper-class, and one lone Australian, is very refreshing and very reminiscent of the British army that went to war in WWII.

I love this movie. Maybe it is because of the effect it had on me as a kid... I do not know. But you shall not be disappointed. You may also learn more about British Special Operations since they were the people who invented it in its modern sense.

Enjoy.


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