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The One That Got Away (1957)

A cocky German flight officer is shot down over England and makes numerous attempts to escape to fight again.


(as Roy Baker)


(screenplay), (book) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Franz Von Werra (as Hardy Kruger)
Colin Gordon ...
Army Interrogator
R.A.F. Interrogator
Terence Alexander ...
R.A.F. Intelligence Officer
Commandant, Grizedale
Andrew Faulds ...
Lieutenant, Grizedale
Julian Somers ...
Booking Clerk
Duty Officer, Hucknall
Harry Lockart ...
German Prisoner
Robert Crewdson ...
German Prisoner
George Mikell ...
German Prisoner
George Roubicek ...
German Prisoner
John Van Eyssen ...
German Prisoner
Frederick Jaeger ...
German Prisoner
German Prisoner


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 <p-dominick@adfa.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

escape | german | dossier | hero | bravado | See All (37) »


Canadians will remember...The One That Got Away. See more »


Adventure | Drama | War


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 November 1957 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Einer kam durch  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75: 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Hardy Krüger was only cast after a couple of British A list actors had passed. See more »


When Von Werra ducks beside the ice-covered road to avoid a car, the car is an early '50's Chrysler product, even though the story is set in the winter of 1940-41. See more »


Army Interrogator: [Talking on phone about von Werra] All the routine jargon, of course, but he doesn't believe a word of it. It just happens to suit his own book.
RAF Interrogator: [Voice on phone] Is he a keen party member?
Army Interrogator: No, sir, the only thing von Werra believes in is von Werra, a mixture of bombast and sheer nerve.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: SEPTEMBER 5th 1940 WINCHET HILL, KENT. See more »


Referenced in Doing Time (1979) See more »


Auf, auf zum fröhlichen Tagen
See more »

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User Reviews

Well done, straight forward, harrowing story, a bit two-dimensional
15 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The One that Got Away (1957)

Not quite documentary in form, this is still a true life story told in a dry and sometimes rather funny British way about the one known P.O.W. who escaped from the British and returned to Germany in WWII. They tell you this in the opening titles, so in a way you know the whole plot.

And this changes the way you look at it all, wondering, okay, now how is he going to escape. And then he does. Yes. But it's how it happens, and the incredible chutzpah and cleverness that let it follow through. It's the kind of part Brad Pitt would play, with a terrible German accent of course, but this one is 1957 and Hardy Kruger, who is German (he's still alive in his 80s), is played with dash and compassion. I liked him despite the ingrained sentiment we have (here in the U.S. at least) that Nazis in the movies are terrible people.

This is Kruger's first significant film role, and he actually served in the German army as a teenager in the war. His character is so likable and cunning, you gradually come to admire and almost root for him, even though the British and later the Canadians are all doing a pretty decent job overall, however lax it might seem to us. This is set in 1940, and the U.S. isn't yet in the war and so represents neutral territory even for a Nazi (always a weird thing to swallow in retrospect) and this plays a role in the latter half the movie.

The drawback of the film is its inevitability. And its linear quality, following the increasingly outrageous and difficult escape. But it's smartly done, with understatement, and if you like the bravery and adventure of a man on his own against the odds, this might just resonate. And of course WWII buffs will get it at least from the periphery. It's got some good glimpses of planes and flying, and a decent sense of life on the ground in this period.

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