Sea of Sand (Desert Patrol) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sea of Sand (Desert Patrol) Reviews

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January 26, 2013
'Sea of Sand' is a British war film that tells the story of the Long Range Desert Group (L.R.D.G), who fought an unconventional war in the desert of North Africa during WWII. The L.R.D.G along with the more popularly known S.A.S were tasked with carrying out "road watch" missions and nuisance raids far behind enemy lines in what was called Rommel's back yard. While their exploits may have been exaggerated over the years, it's true to say that the damage caused on these raids were out of all proportion to the numbers of men carrying out the missions and without a doubt the information provided by their reconnaissance efforts proved to be invaluable in the battle against the famous Afrika Korps.

It's one of these raids that is the subject of 'Sea of Sand', in which an L.R.D.G group has been ordered to blow up a fuel dump (a common target) in preparation for the forthcoming Battle at El Alamein. The raid is part of many other such raids being carried out at the time across North Africa and Captain Williams (John Gregson) and Captain Cotton (Michael Craig) are tasked to lead the men (which a young Richard Attenborough) into the desert.

There is little in the way of surprise in 'Sea of Sand', as it plays out pretty much in a very ordinary way, which is par the course for a British war film from 1958. There are no spectacular battle scenes and very little other action too, but this is actually one of the films strengths and fitting too for a movie about an outfit who's moto was "Not by strength, by Guile." In short, it all feels quite realistic, for the most part anyway. The equipment, at least for the British, passes for real (except that they use Sten SMG's rather than Lee Enfield rifles). Efforts were made to get the famous 30 ton Chevrolet trucks, or vehicles as close as possible, which makes for a more believable experience. The Chevy's are really the star of the film and anyone who knows anything about the L.R.D.G will know what I mean. Unfortunately, the poor Germans have to make do with American Half-Tracks (painted with absurdly oversized crosses) and disappointingly they use Sten guns too. All in all though, these drawbacks tend not to interfere with the film too much, but was it really that difficult to get hold of Mausers or MP40's?

There are several scenes that are quite powerful in 'Sea of Sand', including a brilliantly handled minefield clearing scene and a genuinely moving piece between best mates, "Blanco" (Percy Herbert) and Brody (Richard Attenborough).

The men of the L.R.D.G are presented as sand bitten disheveled types and unsuited to the army, which is an indication that the film-makers were listening to the technical advice of W. B. Kennedy Shaw, who served as an intelligence officer with the real L.R.D.G. That is not to say that is no stereotyping or cliché on offer in 'Sea of Sand', there is. But, for the majority of the film it's kept to a minimum. It's really only in the last 20 minutes that the film goes down the usual well worn paths (even for 1958). Also, one gets the impression that the film-makers were at a loss on how to actually end their film, which is evident in the speed of the final scene.

For people who are interested though, 'Sea of Sand' offers a nice little window onto a subject that was rarely handled in the war movie genre. I can think of only one other film that deals with the subject, that was 1968's 'Play Dirty', which presents are more realistic and more cynical view of war and people in general. Both films have the strengths and weaknesses though and if you can look past those in 'Sea of Sand', you'll have a pleasant 94+ minutes.
½ October 15, 2012
Monday, October 15, 2012

(1958) Sea Of Sand
WAR

A film that is dedicated to the British Army in particular the Eight Division also known as "The Long Range Desert Group" a story centering on a suicide mission regarding a small group of commandoes about 10 having to go across the deserts of Africa to destroy one of Rommel's major fuel supplies and then return back to base. On the first half of the movie contains plenty of babble as the commandoes coverse with each another to the most boring effect that at times making it almost unbearable to watch before and after the mission is completed.

2 out of 4
December 28, 2010
Like many of these 50s war films, good while you're watching it yet afterwards it blends into all the rest becoming almost entirely forgettable. Notable as far as I can remember for a rather bittersweet attitude to "heroism" and a tense sequence on a desert minefield.
terris85017
Super Reviewer
May 19, 2010
(1958 Director: Guy Green, Guy Greens)
½ February 13, 2010
A classic British war movie. I think it should be remade (or at least a new film following the exploits ofthe LRDG).
February 11, 2010
wow what a movie.....i have just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a great war movie 2 watch......its got a good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie.....i think that wolf frees, vincent ball, richard attenborough. barry foster, michael craig, andrew faulds play good roles/parts throughout this movie......i think that the director of this action/war/adventure/thriller movie had done a good job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie.....i think that richard attenborough plays a good part throughout this movie....i think that this is a good movie 2 watch with a great cast throughout this movie
½ March 12, 2009
I caught the last half of this film and I liked it! The characters are harder than coffin nails - you would expect that from members of the LRDG. A by-the-numbers 50's British war film, though that is no bad thing!
July 14, 2008
i was driving an army water wagon in this film in libya
May 29, 2008
World War II film focusing on the exploits of the LRDG (Long Range Desert Group) who were the fore-runners to our modern SAS. While on a routine mission behind enemy lines, the LRDG patrol discovers massive enemy tank build-ups - and is then a race against the Germans to get this information back to HQ. Free of many of this genre's cliche's, it is still an average movie - no better, no worse!
May 29, 2008
A good British war film with the desert situation used to create added tension to the mission. Can be gritty in parts and pre-dates very similar and more well known movies like Tobruk and Raid on Rommel.
½ February 9, 2008
The war in the desert has inspired quite a few films and this one is certainly amongst the best. It is tough, cynical and heroic. It is also miles away from a romantic vision of the war or any aesthetic stand. If beaut is to be found in this movie, it is in the roughness of the desert and the suffering of the men.
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