A group of French soldiers during WWII are captured by Nazis troops and sent to a military prison. There they will have to make use of his best resources to keep alive... and sane, while at the same time scheming a way out.
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With the onset of World War II, Frenchmen from all walks of life enlist in the army. The war is short-lived however as the Nazis quickly defeat them and Marshall Petain signs a peace agreement with the invaders. The troops surrender but rather that being repatriated to their homes as expected, they all find themselves in a military prison. Conditions are difficult with little food and poor medical conditions. The men resist as best they can and for some, like Paul, they are prepared to spend time in solitary confinement and be subjected to beatings if need be. For others, such as Duval, collaboration with their Nazi jailers is the route to an easier life. The men find solace in the company of Father Sebastian, a priest who was also in the army. He counsels them wisely and in the case of Paul, gives him strength to face the daily challenge of simply living. When Paul gets an opportunity however, he helps his fellow prisoners escape. When they liberate a village, they all realize that ... Written by
If you thought World War II Hollywood war movies were all sweetness and Casablanca fans, just wait till you see this gut-wrenching little propaganda piece, which must have come out the week the censors were all in Palm Springs. Perhaps the most realistic Hollywood portrayal of life as a prisoner of the Nazis until "Schindler's List," it's also quite intelligent and extraordinarily well-played by an excellent cast. You don't know the meaning of shock until you've seen Gene Kelly spit a huge gob of real sputum onto Peter Lorre's face--and then wait till you see what comes next. It's not Captain Renault and the roulette table, dearie.
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