7.2/10
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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.

Director:

(as Roy Baker)

Writers:

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

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
Edit

Storyline

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) »

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 November 1957 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Einer kam durch  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75: 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First Feature Film of George Mikell. See more »

Goofs

The bow of the ship that carries von Werra to Canada is seen in close-up travelling symbolically right to left across the screen. Unfortunately, the original stock footage was of a bow travelling left to right and the editor just stuck a piece in, reversed. The numbers are mirrored. See more »

Quotes

Army Interrogator: Let me compliment you on your English by the way, it's very much better than my German.
Franz von Werra: If you think to get anywhere with, uh, flattery, Captain, you waste your time.
Army Interrogator: Get anywhere? How do you mean?
Franz von Werra: Is this not an interrogation?
Army Interrogator: Oh, my dear fellow! A chat and smoke by the fire?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits epilogue: 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 into 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Doing Time (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Horch, was kommt von draußen rein
(uncredited)
Traditional
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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