In January of 1962, 29 East Berliners escaped to West Berlin via a tunnel they had dug beneath the Berlin Wall, led by Erwin Becker, a chauffeur in the car pool of the East Germany ... See full summary »
In January of 1962, 29 East Berliners escaped to West Berlin via a tunnel they had dug beneath the Berlin Wall, led by Erwin Becker, a chauffeur in the car pool of the East Germany Parliament, who served as technical adviser on this film. The film opens with Karl Schroeder (Don Murray), chauffeur to an East German Major, seeing a friend killed as he tried to drive his truck through the wall, He is persuaded by the friend's sister, Erika Jurgens (Christine Kaufmann), and his own family to engineer an attempt to make an escape to the Western sector of the city by digging a tunnel under the wall which is close to their home. Their efforts to evade the suspicions of the East German police, their fear of betrayal by inquisitive neighbors and the exhaustion of the digging are only a few of the difficulties faced by the group. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Robert Siodmak had nothing to prove when he made "Escape from East Berlin".Maybe his film ,although inspired by real facts ,looks more like fiction,but he knew what he was talking about: Driven away from his land by Goebbels after "Brennendes Geheimnis " in 1933, he took refuge in France where he made at least two classics ("Mollenard" and "Piège" ),then in America where he reached peaks of films noirs ("cry of the city" "spiral staircase" "criss cross" ....).When he returned to Germany ,he depicted his country after the war ("die Ratten" ) without indulgence.Another movie made in France ("L'Affaire Nina B") dealt with Nazi criminals .
Siomak's genius as a film noir past master can still be felt in "escape...." ,notably in the first scenes where the characters seem to be buried alive in walls of stone and barbed wire.A short prologue with a voice over tells us so: "these men and women have done nothing and they are prisoners..."Don Murray looks too American but it's not a big problem.Since 1989,the Wall of shame has fortunately become a thing of the past.Siomak's movie was one of the first thrusts.
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