Escape to Victory

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Escape to Victory Overview

A group of POWs in a German prison camp during World War II play the German National Soccer Team in this powerful film depicting the role of prisoners during wartime.

Who Stars in Escape to Victory

Michael Caine
Captain John Colby

Michael Caine

Sylvester Stallone
Captain Robert Hatch

Sylvester Stallone

Max von Sydow
Major Karl von Steiner

Max von Sydow

Pelé
Cpl. Luis Fernandez - Allied Soccer Player - The Players: Trinidad

Pelé

Carole Laure
Renee

Carole Laure

Bobby Moore
Terry Brady - Allied Soccer Player - The Players: England

Bobby Moore


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Review for Escape to Victory

Author: John Chard

Arguably one of the most unfairly derided boys own movies out there? World War II and the Nazi officers come up with a propaganda driven idea for the German national football team to play a team composed of Allied Prisoners of War. Led by Capt. John Colby (Michael Caine) the prisoners agree, but there's more than just propaganda at stake here. Directed by John Huston in the twilight of his career, Escape To Victory, in spite of it being a perennial Bank Holiday viewing in the UK, is a film that's often used as a kicking post by critics. It's hard to understand why such a fun and harmless piece can cause such derision in cinematic circles. It can't be expectation because when you read the plot, see that Sylvester Stallone is playing in goal and that a tubby 48 year old Caine is the captain of this soccer team!; well surely you know this film isn't all about about cranial depth encompassing the propaganda machinations of the Nazi regime? Using real footballers (notably Pelé, Bobby Moore and Osvaldo Ardilies) is what makes Escape To Victory work as entertainment for so many people in the UK. Huston, much like Stallone, hadn't got a clue how to make a football based movie. In stepped the footballers to choreograph the film's football sequences, sequences that give the film some truly memorable moments (Pelé overhead kick, Ardiles rainbow flick, and erm, Stallone penalty save). They couldn't act for toffee, none of them, but that's where Caine comes in. Guiding them thru their scenes, Caine was highly thought of on the set by the players, a sort of father figure by all accounts, not just on the set, but in the bar too. Stallone excepted (he was off doing his own thing most of the time), it was a happy shoot, and that shows in the movie, the non actors growing in confidence as the movie progresses. While the film ultimately deals in escapist fun, it's not without moments of poignancy too. A sacrificial break for the war effort induces winces across the board, whilst the arrival of the Eastern Block players from the work camps demands our utmost heartfelt attention. Is Escape To Victory a great film? No, of course not. But it is a darn good one. A film that's easy to lose oneself in during the holiday periods. With Caine flicking the Vs, Max Von Sydow being classy as usual and some legendary footballers strutting their stuff, what's not to enjoy? Really? 7.5/10


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Production

Lorimar


Paramount


Facts

Status
Released

Release Date
1981-06-17

Original Language
English

Runtime
1 hr 56 mins

Budget
$ 10,000,000.00 (Estimated)

Revenue
$ 27,453,418.00 (USA)

Profit
$ 17,453,418.00 (Estimated in USA)

Genres
Action Drama

Keywords
sport escape nazi germany soccer german soccer player


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