The Desert Fox

  • PG
  • Henry Hathaway (1951)
  • US
  • 84 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Twentieth Century-Fox here casts James Mason - an actor who will be remembered for playing charming villains - as Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, who was known as a professional soldier rather than a Nazi sadist. Filmed not in North Africa but Borrego Springs, California, the film begins as a wartime adventure, then turns into a study of disenchantment as Rommel, beaten by Montgomery's 8th Army, returns to Germany and joins the plot against Hitler. There's a good supporting cast - notably Jessica Tandy as Frau Rommel and Luther Adler as Hitler - and Henry Hathaway directs with solid assurance. Mason was prevailed upon to reprise his role in the sequel, The Desert Rats.

Plot Summary

Fact-based Second World War action drama starring James Mason. With his troops in retreat in the North African desert, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel is relieved of his duties and returns to Germany to recover from illness. While convalescing, he is asked to join a group of German officers who are plotting to assassinate Hitler.

Cast and crew


Erwin Rommel
James Mason
Dr Karl Strolin
Cedric Hardwicke
Frau Rommel
Jessica Tandy
Luther Adler
General Burgdorf
Everett Sloane
Field Marshal Von Rundstedt
Leo G Carroll
General Fritz Bayerlein
George Macready
Richard Boone
Desmond Young
Desmond Young
Manfred Rommel
William Reynolds
Michael Rennie


Henry Hathaway

Other Information

Black and White
Available on video and DVD
Certificate PG