Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Likely the only film produced by Gene Corman to be nominated for an Academy Award (for Special Effects; it lost to DR. DOOLITTLE), TOBRUK hit theaters in 1967 courtesy of Universal.

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.


Grant said...
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Grant said...

I haven't seen it in some time, but I remember being surprised at seeing Guy Stockwell as the main German, or at least the main Afrika Korp one.

One of the less famous parody movies that I know is one by Golan and Globus titled "A Man Called Sarge," which got a lot of mileage out of this kind of story (especially The Rat Patrol, I guess). I don't know if you've ever reviewed it.