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A Man Escaped (1956)
"Un condamné à mort s'est échappé ou Le vent souffle où il veut" (original title)

 -  Drama | Thriller | War  -  26 August 1957 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 9,326 users  
Reviews: 50 user | 73 critic

French Resistance activist Andre Devigny is imprisoned by the Nazis, and devotes his waking hours to planning an elaborate escape. Then, on the same day, he is condemned to death, and given... See full summary »

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(scenario and dialogue), (memoir)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
François Leterrier ...
Charles Le Clainche ...
François Jost
Maurice Beerblock ...
Blanchet
Roland Monod ...
Le pasteur Deleyris
Jacques Ertaud ...
Orsini
Jean Paul Delhumeau ...
Hebrard
Roger Treherne ...
Terry
Jean Philippe Delamarre ...
Le prisonnier 10
Jacques Oerlemans ...
Le gardien-chef
Klaus Detlef Grevenhorst ...
L'officier de L'Abwehr
Leonhard Schmidt ...
Le garde de l'escorte
Roger Planchon ...
Le garde cycliste
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Storyline

French Resistance activist Andre Devigny is imprisoned by the Nazis, and devotes his waking hours to planning an elaborate escape. Then, on the same day, he is condemned to death, and given a new cellmate. Should he kill him, or risk revealing his plans to someone who may be a Gestapo informer? Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

26 August 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Man Escaped or: The Wind Bloweth Where It Listeth  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (censored)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After seeing the film, Jean-Luc Godard said that Bresson was "to French cinema what Mozart is to German music and Dostoevsky is to Russian literature". See more »


Soundtracks

Great Mass in C Minor, No.16 (K.427) - Kyrie
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
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User Reviews

 
A superb but suffocating prisoner-of-war drama
17 June 2000 | by (Birmingham, England) – See all my reviews

An excellent war movie portraying the final days & months of a convicted French officer trying to escape from a German Prison and a pending execution during WWII.

For the majority of the film we are like a fly-on-the-wall observing Lieutenant Fontaine (François Leterrier) come to terms with the fact that he is going to be shot very soon and that no one other than himself is going to come to his rescue.

In addition we share the confined cell with our pessimistic officer. Understatement swamps every scene - but this is very much a good thing. There are no heroics, loud explosions of gunfire, flag waving jingoism or tightened-square jaws here...this is very much reality.

Neither is director Bresson concerned about hurrying the film along. Instead every scene is measured to precision; every camera angle is clearly pre-defined; and every emotion & inner doubt from Leterrier is emphasised very simply.

The film is so claustrophobic that you feel you want to gasp for air such is the tightness of the cinematography and the relatively slow pacing of the plan to escape. But you can't break free, you want to stick with Leterrier and mentally urge him to escape from his appointment with the firing squad.

The last 20 minutes is perhaps marginally weaker compared to the rest of the film and Bresson does have an annoying habit of playing the same extract of dreary music when our prisoner wonders whether his escape attempt will ever happen.

BUT you must somehow track down this film. It is a classic film-noir with a heavy European styling, understated but consuming & passionate.

*****/*****


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