The Fighting Rats of Tobruk (1944)   3/53/53/53/53/5

The Fighting Rats of Tobruk (1944)

An Australian's View of the War

Young Peter Linton (Peter Finch) finds himself becoming friends with drovers Bluey (Grant Taylor) and Milo (Chips Rafferty) as he sets about learning their ways for a piece he wants to write. When the call up comes all three sign up and find themselves with the other Australian soldiers fighting the Nazis in Tobruk but doing so with a mix of laid back fun and doing their duty as the situation worsens and the men around them are killed.

Honestly I didn't think a lot of "The Fighting Rats of Tobruk" as whilst not a bad war movie it does feel like a functionary one, working its way through the various scenes but never really feeling like there was an overall story to tell. As such in the first part of "The Fighting Rats of Tobruk" we get a glimpse of life for these men in Australia with one of them dealing with his girlfriend of sorts who wants him to settle down. Then we get a glimpse at how these Australians coped with going to war which at times full of comedy and even slapstick thanks to some of the supporting cast. But then we also see in the next part how when it came to getting down to business the laid back nature disappeared and they got stuck in to the fighting. As I said it is functionary at best in its portrayal of Australians at war including how those who were injured were affected.

But in truth the best part of "The Fighting Rats of Tobruk" is the cinematography and at times some of the shots look like they belong in a Hollywood epic rather than this forgettable war movie. But beyond the staging of various shots, which often have that feel of being moody yet constructed on a soundstage, there isn't a great deal else to say about it other than it features a young Peter Finch alongside Chips Rafferty and Grant Taylor.

What this all boils down to is that "The Fighting Rats of Tobruk" is very much a functionary look at a group of Australians and what they did during WWII. Sadly this movie doesn't do credit to what they did but ends up a typical mix of Australians being laid back but then doing what is needed when necessary.


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