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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 <email@example.com>
Opening credits prologue: This is the true story of Oberleutnant Franz Von Werra, the only German prisoner of war taken in Britain who escaped from captivity and got back to Germany. See more »
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 »
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 »
26. THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY (war, 1958) During air raids on Britain during WW2 German Lt. Von Warren's (Hardy Kruger) plane is shot down. He's captured and made a P.O.W. He repeatedly tries to escape but to no avail. Undaunted in his efforts he finally succeeds but has to survive the long and dangerous trek back to Germany.
Critique: Although the title is a bit of a giveaway, this is one of the most intriguing of war films, a substitute to the countless Americanized versions of P.O.Ws. The picture is perfectly paced adding to the excitement and suspense. Based on a true story of the only German to escape from an allied camp, it has beautiful crisp black and white photography. What makes it a standout in film history though is the fact that a German soldier is made the hero here.
Actor Hardy Krugers' portrayal is an unusual mix of boyish charm, and cockiness. The film is virtually flawless except for the screenwriter's depiction of Von Warren. They make him so much likable and appealing (funnier) than the Brits that one walks out rooting for him. I mean isn't he the enemy? One of Hitler's tools of war?
Furthermore, it's disturbing to learn that Von Warren returns home but goes back to the front and dies fighting the Allies. This little known film is hard to get on video (though I've seen a re-released copy), so your best shot is to catch it on TV.
QUOTE: Von Warren: "It's the duty of an officer to try and escape."
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