A British multinational seeks to overthrow a vicious dictator in central Africa. It hires a band of (largely aged) mercenaries in London and sends them in to save the virtuous but ... See full summary »
Andrew V. McLaglen
Ryan, an American POW, leads his fellow prisoners on a dangerous escape from the Germans in Italy. Having seemingly made errors of judgement, Ryan has to win the support of the mainly British soldiers he is commanding. Written by
The film credits and all promotion publicity still say "A Cinemascope Picture", and Alfred Newman's "extended" 20th Century-Fox fanfare is still heard on the soundtrack as the picture begins, but most of the film was actually shot in Panavision, at Frank Sinatra's insistence. See more »
Loads of WWII action as Sinatra leads band of Allied POWs in theft of prison train and attempted escape run through Italy to Switzerland. Many tense moments and spectacular location photography create a realistic feel even if the basic plot is pretty far-fetched. After all they've been through, when Trevor Howard is still calling Frank "Von Ryan" an hour into the film you figure The Chairman is going to punch him senseless but that never actually happens. Memorable final scene. One of my favorite war movies.
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