A prisoner of war working at a zoo gets the chance to escape from the Germans, so he does and he takes with him the elephant that he's been caring for. Together they head for the Swiss border and freedom.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Stephen 'Hannibal' Brooks
...
Packy
...
Col. von Haller
...
Bernard
Helmuth Lohner ...
Willi (as Helmut Lohner)
Peter Carsten ...
Kurt
Karin Baal ...
Ralf Wolter ...
Dr. Mendel
Jürgen Draeger ...
Sami (as Jurgen Draeger)
Maria Brockerhoff ...
Anna
Til Kiwe ...
Von Haller's Sergeant
Ernst Fritz Fürbringer ...
Elephant Keeper Kellerman (as Ernst Fritz Furbringer)
Erik Jelde ...
Zoo Director Stern (as Eric Jelde)
Fred Haltiner ...
Josef
John Porter-Davison ...
Geordie (as John Porter Davison)
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Storyline

In WW2, captured British soldier Stephen Brooks is on a prison train to Germany.On the train he meets an American prisoner, Packy, who's obsessed with escaping.Brooks tries to temper Packy and reminds him that escaped prisoners are shot if recaptured.Packy is insistent despite Brooks' warnings. On arrival at the POW camp Stalag 7A, Brooks and other fellow POWs are sent to work at the local Munich zoo, to care for the animals.Brooks is assigned to care for Lucy the elephant.The German caretaker in charge of Lucy is asked to train Brooks in his new job.At first, Brooks hates the assignment, considering the large amount of animal waste to be cleaned daily.However, he eventually becomes attached to Lucy the elephant.After a devastating bombing raid that kills some of the animals and zoo staff it is decided to evacuate the surviving animals.Lucy is scheduled to be transported by train to Innsbruck, Austria.On the departure day, the train is commandeered by a moody SS Colonel, for his ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's a suspense story. It's a comedy story. It's a war story. It's a warm story. It's a wild story. It's a love story. It's a moving story. It's an elephant story. It's a super story. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some war violence and brief sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

21 March 1969 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Hannibal Brooks  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(DeLuxe)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Oliver Reed, in preparation for his role of Hannibal Brooks, spent a whole week working with an elephant keeper in a zoo to learn how to handle Aida the cow elephant, who would be playing Lucy in the film. See more »

Quotes

Stephen 'Hannibal' Brooks: [Looking through a hole in the side of the wagon] On a clear day, you can see Mussolini.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in In Confidence: Michael Winner (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Michael Winner is another Orson Welles!!
14 March 2004 | by (Rochford, Essex) – See all my reviews

That got your attention, didn't it? The words "Michael Winner" and "Orson Welles" in the same sentence. And I don't just mean because of their fondness for wine and good food. No, the fact is, that like, Orson Welles, Michael Winner made all his best films at the start of his career ("The Jokers", "The Games" and this film). After the first "Death Wish", he was starting to go downhill professionally (although "A Chorus of Disapproval" was not bad). If you see any of his most recent films, you'll find it hard to believe that this was the same man that made such a class act as "Hannibal Brooks" back in 1968. In fact, his films don't get released any more, they escape. "Dirty Weekend" is a case in point, executed so crassly and seemingly assembled by some clueless chimp who has no idea about film-making.

Anyway, back to "Hannibal Brooks" and the days when Winner made films for the family that didn't involve women being raped and tortured. The story of a British P.O.W. in 1944 helping to lead an elephant over the Alps to freedom in Switzerland was devised by Winner and former P.O.W. Tom Wright and blessed by a great script full of quotable lines by "Likely Lads" Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. Reed is great, although the film is stolen by Michael J. Pollard, who has never been better than he is in this film. With great picture postcard photography of Austria (by Robert Paynter) and a terrific score by "Love Story" composer Francis Lai, this is great entertainment and deserves a DVD release now.


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