thumb|700px|centerסרט מלחמה משנת 1969 מנקודת ראות איטלקית
The Battle of El Alamein movies )1969) This movie's opening prologue states: "June 1942. As Rommel swept toward the Nile, the fall of Egypt and the capture of the Suez Canal seemed inevitable. Italian and German advance units raced toward Alexandria. Mussolini had given explicit orders: The Italians must arrive first!"
BATTLE OF EL ALAMEIN (Giorgio Ferroni, 1969) **1/2, 7 October 2006
Author: MARIO GAUCI (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Naxxar, Malta
This isn't a bad WWII adventure, in fact a fair imitation of the big-budget Hollywood films from that vintage; the international cast is second-rate but both Michael Rennie and Robert Hossein cut a serviceable figure as General Montgomery and Field Marshall Rommel respectively - and there's a good performance by Enrico Mario Salerno as an Italian officer of the Bersaglieri.
The film deals with Rommel's famous North African campaign, in which the Nazis were 'aided' by the Italian forces (more precisely, the latter served as a shield to the former, with their largely disheveled armies being deemed disposable). Interestingly, but unsurprisingly, the Fascists are the heroes here (though Frederick Stafford is portrayed as a martinet) while the Allies, i.e. the British, are the villains (at one point, they're even shown massacring a group of unarmed Germans in cold blood) - but, at least, there's one sympathetic member in George Hilton; the Germans stand somewhere in the middle: Rommel is treated as a level-headed strategist who, however, is extremely critical of the Fuehrer's unrealistic orders (and, even if the film is clearly set in 1942, is already seen to be a willing participant in what eventually became the July 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler). The cast also includes Gerard Herter (who, memorably, had been the aristocratic sharpshooter and Lee Van Cleef's alter-ego in THE BIG GUNDOWN ) as a German officer who doesn't see eye to eye with Rommel.
The action is frequent and well-handled, and there's even a healthy dose of comedy - at least among the Italian lines (which may well have been lost in the English translation!); besides, Carlo Rustichelli's upbeat score is a major asset...and surprisingly - but satisfactorily - the film provides a downbeat ending! I'll be following this with two other Italian war films - Enzo G. Castellari's EAGLES OVER London (1969), also with Stafford, and Sergio Martino's CASABLANCA EXPRESS (1989)...