Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

"Raid on Rommel" or "Son of Torbuk"?

Cleveland Press March 12, 1971

In 1967 there was a movie called "Tobruk" that starred Rock Hudson.

Hudson and company were forgettable but the movie boasted some great special effects as a gasoline supply base was destroyed and later a huge gun emplacement was knocked out so that the British navy could move in close enough to shell the harbor.

"Raid on Rommel" uses all the pyrotechnics out of "Tobruk," splicing the film footage into a picture starring Richard Burton.

THIS TIME around Burton and company are forgettable.

I don't know how much more mileage this same company can get out of that "Tobruk" film. The gun emplacement is a dead giveaway.

This opens up whole new vistas for moviemakers The Disney studio puts its major pictures away and re-issues them every six or seven years. MGM returns regularly with "Gone With the Wind."

Now we have a new wrinkle. Don't re-release the old movie, just build a new one about the best parts of the old.

IMAGINE new epics about ancient Rome using the chariot race out of "Ben Hur." Or a whole series of films about Pearl Harbor climaxing in scenes lifted from "Tora! Tora! Tora!"

"Raid on Rommel" has Burton leading a commando raid on the German North Africa stronghold.

It's a terribly complicated and not very interesting plot in which commandos purposely become prisoners of war in order to get behind the lines. There's a mixup and Burton finds himself leading a bunch of medics, training them along the way into super fighters.

Burton makes no great acting efforts in this picture.

The movie has a weak and awkward ending, possibly dictated by that old film footage.