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This is the true story of Oberleutnant Franz von Werra, the only German prisoner of war to escape from imprisonment in Britain during the Second World War. Written by
Patrick Dominick <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hardy Kruger served in the German Army during WWII and was captured by the Americans. He managed to escape on his third attempt. See more »
Whilst being driven to Station HQ at Hucknall he passes two aircraft on the flight line. The first is a DHC-1 Chipmunk which first flew in 1949, nine years after the film is set and four years after the end of WW2. See more »
Franz von Werra:
Hello, RAF intelligence? Hello, RAF. I'm looking for the microphone hidden near the window of my room. This is Oberluetnant Von Werra calling the RAF, are you recieving me? Werra calling and testing.
See more »
Closing Credits: Despite the efforts of the Canadian Government to obtain his return, and of the United States Authorities to hold him Von Werra crossed the border in to Mexico. Travelling by way of Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Spain he reached Berlin on 18th April. 1941. On October 25th of the same year, while on patrol, his plane was seen to dive into the sea. NO trace of Von Werra was found. See more »
I occasionally found this movie in a DVD-sold-out for just 1,99 Euro - not a big risk to buy it, I thought. The movie is more or less unknown in Germany. Used to the British/American stereotype "The Ugly Nazi-Kraut"-productions of that area I was surprised to watch an movie which tells its story in a "neutral", adventurous and partly documentary-like style.
The film makes a difference between "Nazi" and "German soldier" (that is something many people from Britain or the US doesn't realise until today) - but of course one should not forget that many German soldiers were Nazis indeed. On the other hand, have all allied soldiers been "democratic heroes", fighters against racism or defenders of the Genevea Convention? Unfortunaltey not.
Other commentators have pointed out the pros and cons of the story so I'd like to write something more on the main actor Hardy Krüger and why he was the - so to say - ideal cast for the role of OLt. Fritz von Werra. Krüger himself belongs to a generation of "normal people" which more or less automatically became involved in the NS-system.
Hardy Krüger, born in Berlin 1928 (he is not Dutch!) grew up in Nazi-Germany. He seemed to be a typical boy of that area and surely he was intelligent and had outstandingly talents. 1941 he entered the Adolf-Hitler-School in Sonthofen, an elite school to be prepared for a leading position in the Nazi-regime.
1943/44, at the age of 15, he got his very first role in the UFA-production "Junge Adler" (Young Eagles), a NS-propaganda movie to inspire the youth for service in the Wehrmacht/Luftwaffe. During the making of this movie he met other UFA-actors who had helped Jews to escape and which opened him the eyes for the real intentions of the Nazi regime.
The end of the war 1945 Hardy Krüger survived as a soldier of the German mechanized infantry division "Brandenburg" and became POW of the Americans.
After the war Krüger started his career as an actor. In many films he represented the type of the charming, boyish and a little bit gruff young man. Later he was one of the very few German actors in the 60/70ies who worked in international productions, eg Un Taxi pour Tobrouk (Taxi to Tobruk with Lino Ventura), Hatari (with John Wayne), Flight of the Phoenix (w. James Steward), The Wild Geese, Barry Lyndon, A Bridge too Far and many more.
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