Filmed almost concurrently with events in North Africa during WWII, Billy Wilder's take on the propaganda genre is adapted from WWI play, 'Hotel Imperial' by Lajos Biro. John Bramble (Franchot Tone) is the lone survivor after German troops rout the British at Tobruk. He stumbles through the desert, eventually finding a lonely outpost, the Empress of Britain Hotel, where the owner takes him in. But soon the hotel has another visitor, Rommel himself, (Erich von Stroheim in a captivating turn) and Bramble poses as a waiter to escape detection. Anne Baxter co-stars as a French housemaid who disapproves of the deception as Bramble finds himself in a position to discover Rommel's plans. A blend of fact and fiction and a skilfully executed adventure story, nominated for Editing, Art Direction and Cinematography Oscars.
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