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The Last Chance (1945)

Die letzte Chance (original title)
Approved | | Drama, War | 19 December 1945 (France)
Escaping a Nazi prison train in war-torn Italy, an American and a British soldier set out for the Swiss border and find themselves leading a multi-national party of refugees for the Italian underground.

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(italian dialogue), | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ewart G. Morrison ...
British Major Telford
John Hoy ...
British Lieutenant John Halliday
Ray Reagan ...
US Sergeant James 'Jim' Braddock
Luisa Rossi ...
Tonina
Giuseppe Galeati ...
Wagon Driver
Romano Calò ...
The Priest
Leopold Biberti ...
Swiss Lieutenant Brunner
Sigfrit Steiner ...
Swiss Military Doctor
Emil Gerber ...
Frontier Guard Rüedi
Therese Giehse ...
Frau Wittels
Robert Schwarz ...
Bernhard Wittels
Germaine Tournier ...
Madame Monnier
Berthe Sakhnowsky ...
Chanele Sokolwki
Jean Martin ...
Dutchman
Carlo Romatko ...
Yugoslav Worker
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Storyline

Escaping a Nazi prison train in war-torn Italy, an American and a British soldier set out for the Swiss border and find themselves leading a multi-national party of refugees for the Italian underground.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

19 December 1945 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Last Chance  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Frere Jacques
Traditional
Sung by the party in the mountain hut
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User Reviews

 
Early WWII film of escape and flight from Nazis
19 April 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Last Chance" is a movie about escape and pursuit. It is about Italian villagers helping Jews and Allied POWs escape; and about the Allies helping the Jews as well. The setting for the film was 1943, and the place was northern Italy. This little known film was made in Switzerland and released in Zurich, on May 26, 1945 -- less than three weeks after the end of WWII in Europe. It opened later that year in New York City (Nov. 27), in Brussels (Dec.2), and in Paris (Dec. 19). It appeared in most other European countries in 1946 – but wasn't shown in Italy or Austria until 1947. It was distributed by MGM.

Most of the cast were unknown outside of Europe. The main supporting actors had much more movie experience than any of the three male leads who played the Allied soldiers fleeing the Nazis. Ewart Morris appeared in only one other movie, and John Hoy and Ray Reagan appeared only in this film. Even with their inexperience, the three leads were very good. Characters in the film speak four languages – Italian, English, German and French.

The quality of the film I have is very poor. The movie was obviously made on the cheap, but it is very well done and is an excellent story. Very little costuming or casting was needed of German soldiers. Instead, much of the filming was done of the escapees and villagers helping them. Excellent filming techniques were used. The use of key lighting with lots of shadows reminds one of the early styles used by Alfred Hitchcock and John Ford.

The movie most likely was filmed in Switzerland and part of Italy around Lake Maggiore. This 52,500-acre lake (23,870 hectares) straddles the border of Italy and Switzerland. It was a route frequently used by escaping POWs and downed Allied pilots. Other war movies have been made with escapes by way of Lake Maggiore. At the time of filming, director Leopold Lindtberg would have had no difficulty finding a burned or war- damaged Italian villages in the area. Many locals would be able to serve as extras for the townspeople in the film. These were people who had lived through such treachery and horror within just the past year or two. The film won the grand prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1946, and earned a Golden Globe in 1947.

"The Last Chance" is a very good war drama from WWII. At the start of the war, Italy was a fascist state and ally of Germany. But the people overthrew Benito Mussolini in 1943. And, throughout the war, Italians aided Jews fleeing the Nazis. They hid and helped American, British and other Allied downed pilots; and they helped escaping POWs. Thousands of Italians were killed by the Germans for aiding escaping Allied soldiers. No other nation during WWII did more to help those fleeing the Nazis. This is a fine movie about that time and effort.


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