7.0/10
641
28 user 5 critic

Escape (1940)

Passed | | Drama | 1 November 1940 (USA)
1938: A young man arrives in Hitler's Germany, frantically seeking information about his German mother, and finds she is pending execution at a concentration camp.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A group of disparate travelers are caught are thrown together in a posh Alpine hotel when the borders are closed at the start of WWII.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Norma Shearer, Clark Gable, Edward Arnold
Certificate: Passed Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Oxford Professor Richard Myles and new bride Frances are off on a European honeymoon. It isn't your typical honeymoon though, for they are on a spying mission for British intelligence on ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Joan Crawford, Fred MacMurray, Conrad Veidt
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A wealthy woman, trying to discourage a former boyfriend from pursuing her, hires a young songwriter who needs money to pay off his gambling debts to pretend to be her boyfriend. The ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Taylor, George Sanders
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

John has led a solitary life for thirty years since the death of Moonyeen Clare. But now Owens, a close friend, insists that he care for his niece, Kathleen, orphaned when her parents were ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Leslie Howard
Johnny Eager (1941)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

District Attorney's daughter falls in love with a gangster the D.A. is trying to put in jail.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Robert Taylor, Lana Turner, Edward Arnold
Lured (1947)
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A serial killer in London is murdering young women whom he meets through the personal columns of newspapers; he announces each of his murders to the police by sending them a cryptic poem. ... See full summary »

Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: George Sanders, Lucille Ball, Charles Coburn
A Free Soul (1931)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An alcoholic lawyer who successfully defended a notorious gambler on a murder charge objects when his free-spirited daughter becomes romantically involved with him.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, Lionel Barrymore
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

While waiting at a train station, Nikki Collins witnesses a murder from a nearby building. When she brings the police to the scene of the crime, they think she's crazy since there's no body... See full summary »

Director: Charles David
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Ralph Bellamy, Edward Everett Horton
Private Lives (1931)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Elyot and Sibyl are being married in a big church ceremony. Amanda and Victor are being married by a French Justice of the Peace. Both couples go to a hotel on the same day and are put in ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Reginald Denny
Phantom Lady (1944)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A beautiful secretary risks her life to try to find the elusive woman who may prove her boss didn't murder his selfish wife.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Franchot Tone, Ella Raines, Alan Curtis
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The tragic life of Marie Antoinette, who became queen of France in her late teens.

Directors: W.S. Van Dyke, Julien Duvivier
Stars: Norma Shearer, Tyrone Power, John Barrymore
Ivy (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An Edwardian belle meets a rich bachelor, but what to do about her husband and her lover?

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Patric Knowles, Herbert Marshall
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Mark Preysing
...
General Kurt von Kolb
...
Emmy Ritter (as Nazimova)
Felix Bressart ...
Fritz Keller
Albert Bassermann ...
Dr. Arthur Henning
Philip Dorn ...
Dr. Ditten
Edgar Barrier ...
Commissioner
...
Ursula
Elsa Bassermann ...
Mrs. Henning
Blanche Yurka ...
Nurse
Lisa Golm ...
Anna
Edit

Storyline

An American goes to Germany to find his mother and discovers her in a concentration camp. With the help of a German countess he engineers her escape. Written by Herman Seifer <alagain@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

nazi | germany | actress | escape | skiing | See All (14) »

Taglines:

Thrilling Book : Magnificent Picture

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 November 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

When the Door Opened  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Feature debut of Helmut Dantine. See more »

Quotes

Maria - a Student: The sight of those goose stepping robots, is enough to give any one a headache.
Countess von Treck: Maria, its silly to have a thought like that.
Maria - a Student: You mean, it's very silly to express it out loud!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood: Style Center of the World (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Liebestod
(1865) (uncredited)
from "Tristan und Isolde"
Written by Richard Wagner
Played on piano by Conrad Veidt
Played at a concert and as background
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Robert Taylor stars as an American of German descent who has only a few hours to rescue his mother from a German concentration camp with the help of wealthy expatriate, Norma Shearer.
29 September 1999 | by (Glendale, California) – See all my reviews

This relatively unknown star vehicle is unusual for a number of different reasons. Although top billed, MGM Studio Queen, Norma Shearer's role is substantially smaller than co-star Robert Taylor's heroic turn as an American son desperately attempting to save his mother from a German Concentration camp. His mother is wonderfully played (and occasionally overplayed) by Nazimova, one of the great theatrical legends of the early 20th century. It's an interesting footnote, that it was Irving Thalberg who helped cut short the meretricious Nazimova's strange film career while his widow, Shearer, graciously allowed the former star to appear to great advantage in one of Shearer's last screen appearances. Conrad Veidt plays Shearer's Nazi lover and while he appears as icy and unyielding as he would two years later in "Casablanca", his character is softened somewhat by his un-disclosed illness and by Shearer's devotion to him. This film was one of the few made in Hollywood prior to the war which was openly critical of the Nazis (although they do hedge their bets by having a sympathetic German doctor, which gives the impression that more than a few intelligent German's disagreed with the Nazis. Significantly, this character does appear in full Nazi drag towards the end of the picture). Robert Taylor is given a very tricky part to play as a man determined to save his mother against all odds. With his masculine demeanor and his controlled sensitivity he gives a performance of great passion and conviction. Norma Shearer, looking regally beautiful and every bit the Countess, manages to convey the situation of a woman who desperately wants to help Taylor and leave her adopted country, but realizes that she must stay out of duty to Veidt, in spite of her true feelings. Felix Bressart also appears as the Nazimova's frightened but faithful servant, who helps Taylor escape. Bressart, who made a career of playing befuddled foreigners, is best known as one of the three Russian Communists in Ninotchka. Interesting casting was Bonita Granville, best known as the screen's all-American girl detective, Nancy Drew, here playing the role of a pro-Nazi student at Miss Shearer's finishing school (she would play a similar role in 1943's wartime propaganda film, "Hitler's Children"). The film was sumptuously mounted and stylishly directed by Mervyn Leroy the same year as he directed "Waterloo Bridge" also starring Taylor with Vivien Leigh. "Escape" is effective, at times shocking, but always vastly entertaining. Interesting footnote: Norma Shearer would turn down "Pride & Prejudice" and "Mrs. Miniver" both of which would turn Greer Garson into an MGM star much in the the same vein as Miss Shearer. Norma Shearer's last film, "Her Cardboard Lover" would also be opposite Robert Taylor.


23 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Similar Subject Matter madamebulshovski
Is the setting 1936 or 1938? btm1
What happened at the end? profprimbud
Another Great Old Movie johnfan1939
General von Kolb's Collapse Ecrevain
Discuss Escape (1940) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?