Desert Mice 1959


Directors: Michael Relph


Writers: David Climie

Role: The German Major

Release Date: December 1959


Synopsis: A WW2 British entertainment troupe bring comedy and chaos to North Africa. Marius plays a German major who is in command of an English speaking unit who infiltrate the British Army in a very tongue in cheek role.

Trivia: The fake moustache that Marius wears when his German Major character impersonates a British officer is very similar to the one that his co-star Robert Coote has as Bob Trubshaw in A Matter of Life or Death (1946).

Review: loureviews in Letterboxed: "Jolly good show. Where's the flipping char. And Yanks go home.'

Forget any semblance of a plot, and enjoy this affectionate and occasionally toe-curling tribute to ENSA, the Entertainments National Service Association set up by producer Basil Dean and comedian Leslie Henson to provide entertainment for the British armed forces during the war.

The film's title, 'Desert Mice', is itself a painful pun on the biopic of Rommel ('The Desert Rats'), and many of the acts depicted are on the verge of awful, and certainly amateur, but this is carried by its cast, which includes the explosive sergeant Alfred Marks, Sid James, Liz Fraser, the delightful Irene Handl, and the scatty Dora Bryan.

Marius Goring guest stars as the German who commands his infiltration force to 'blunder all the time', while Joan Benham (Prudence from Upstairs Downstairs) sees hallucinations of ladies' loos all across the desert."

Availability: DVD (Renown Pictures)

Desert Mice 1959.jpg

The German Major addresses his men