Taxi to Tobruk

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German title Taxi to Tobruk
Original title Un Taxi pour Tobrouk
Country of production France , Spain , Germany
original language French
Publishing year 1960
length 89 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Denys de La Patellière
script René Havard
Michel Audiard
production Continental / Franco London / SNE Gaumont
music Georges Garvarentz
camera Marcel Grignon
cut Jacqueline Thiédot

Taxi to Tobruk is an anti-war film set in North Africa during World War II . It is based on the novel of the same name by René Havard , who also contributed to the script. The film pleads for understanding among peoples, which could avoid many wars.

Story of the movie

In October 1942, a Free French raid troop during the Second World War in North Africa, after a commando operation in which they blew up German fuel depots, ended up in the hostile Libyan desert. There they were able to overpower a German scout troop, with only the officer of the Africa Corps and Knight's Cross holder Ludwig von Stegel surviving. The captured vehicle, a German four-wheel drive Mercedes off-road vehicle, is now used to transport the four French, Brigadier Théo Dumas, soldiers Samuel Goldmann, François Jonsac and Jean Ramirez and the German prisoner Ludwig von Stegel.

After initial distrust, you begin the common struggle for survival in the desert. The vehicle does not have enough fuel to reach the French positions in the desert. Over the radio one hears of the major Allied offensive and the retreat of Rommel on all fronts. One decides to take a trip to a former German oasis, which may have already passed into French possession, to refuel there. In doing so, you end up in a convoy of German troops, but with a bare chest, the French are indistinguishable from the Germans. The squad refuel and are almost exposed by a French prisoner. But everything goes well and you can leave the oasis with a full tank.

During a difficult maneuver in the desert sand, the German succeeds in taking the vehicle and weapons from the French. He takes all four French prisoners. But a short time later they get stuck in the desert sand again. The French refuse to vacate the vehicle and go on a sit-down strike. Since they take turns at the watch at night, they can take the vehicle away from the German, who at some point is overwhelmed by his tiredness.

In the meantime, a very human relationship has also developed between the enemies. And you realize that once you get to know your enemies personally, you don't want to fight them anymore.

One of the French is seriously injured in a minefield. Turning back is now impossible, because he has to go to the nearest hospital very quickly. So they keep going through the minefield, whatever you can do. But tragically, only the French brigadier Théo Dumas survived an Allied tank attack on the German car.

Film music

The film is accompanied by a version of the Christmas carol Les Anges dans nos campagnes (Gloria in excelsis deo) that looks like a military march .


“An adventurously dressed film that does its thing - breaking down prejudices between peoples - a little too easy. As entertainment, not least thanks to excellent actors of dignified cinema quality. "


Denys de La Patellière's drama won the Grand prix du cinéma français for best French film of 1961.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Taxi to Tobruk. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used