Wednesday, February 24, 2016
TOBRUK lacks the scope of similar men-on-a-mission movies of the 1960s, such as THE GUNS OF NAVARONE and KELLY’S HEROES, but it still packs enough explosions and gun battles to keep a war buff happy. Set in North Africa during World War II (wonder how they missed running into the Rat Patrol out there), TOBRUK teams up a Canadian major with a group of German Jews working with the British Army.
The commandos led by Colonel Harker (Nigel Green) and the friendly Germans led by Captain Bergman (George Peppard) plan to trek 300 miles across the Sahara to blow up a Nazi fuel depot near Tobruk. To lead them, they recruit (against his will) Major Donald Craig (Rock Hudson), who knows the Sahara’s geography.
Arthur Hiller (THE IN-LAWS) directs the usual genre tropes—a minefield, a strafing, exploding tanks, a sandstorm, suspicion among the various nationalities. It’s all a big lark, but a loud and occasionally exciting one. The Rock is The Rock, but Peppard struggles with a German accent that would get him kicked off the HOGAN’S HEROES set. Leo Gordon, who is in the film, also penned the screenplay for producer Corman.