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By "Reviewer"


For seven months Australiar and other allied troops defend- ed a dusty, war-battered villagt against the might of the crach Afrika Korps, led by Rommel the "Desert Fox."

Supplied spasmodically by ships which fought; off the Nazi navy and air force on the "milk run" from Alexan- dria, the Rats of Tobruk won their world fame, just as the British cavalry did at Bala- clava in its immortal "Charge of the Light Brigade."

Their epic* was a natura] choice for a film, particular^ in view of the reception given "Desert Fox," the life of Rom- mel and* his troops. s

; ^UÖIKAI.IAJN servicemen who helped hold Tobruk during the seven

' thafis a by!|ordy Germans and Italians set an example of courage

"The Desert Rats," while faithfully portraying the siege, does not claim to be historically


The authör of the script, ' Richard > Murphy, based his

story on what could have hap- pened in 1941, at Tobruk, to a section of the "Desert Rats."

Sticklers for detail might find a few incongruities, a few in- accuracies in dress and equip- ment, and a few lapses in what

purports to be real Australian phraseology, but, taking it all in all, it is the best film, yet made ol Australian troops, and à grand "tribute to the men who

held Tobruk.

Australian servicemen who have seen the film on the Mainland praise its authen- ticity, which is understand-

able when, it is realised many . ' of the scenes are ' straight [

"cuts" from official war docu-> mentarles.

iii one way the film is a "face-saver" for 20th Century Pox, whose previous desert film, "The Desert Fox," was the sub- ject of much bitter criticism in England and America.

James Mason's portrayal, of Rommel is more true to life than, that> he gave in the title role of "The Desert Pox/':.

The picture has a coherent and credible story, excellently staged battle scenes, and some good acting from Australians

Chips Rafferty and Charles j Tingwell, and Robert Newton, j Richard Burton, and James |


One of the battle highlights of the film is the raid on the German ammunition dump, but this is almost equalled by a scene in which German tank's wheel into a trap.

To sum up, the film is inter- esting, at times gripping - asa

! very¡ well handled. J