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The McKenzie Break (1970)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 1,008 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 5 critic

During WW2, German POWs in Britain plot to escape from their prison camp in Scotland.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: The McKenzie Break (1970)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Capt. Jack Connor
Helmut Griem ...
Kapitän zur See Willi Schlueter
...
Maj. Perry
Jack Watson ...
Gen. Kerr
Patrick O'Connell ...
Sgt. Maj. Cox
...
Lt. Neuchl
Alexander Allerson ...
Lt. Wolff
John Abineri ...
Capt. Kranz
...
Lt. Hall (as Constantin De Goguel)
Tom Kempinski ...
Lt. Schmidt
Eric Allan ...
Lt. Hochbauer
Caroline Mortimer ...
A.T.S. Sgt. Bell
Mary Larkin ...
Cpl. Jean Watt
Gregg Palmer ...
Lt. Berger
...
Ingenieur-Offizier Unger
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Storyline

In the closing days of World War II, German prisoners riot in a POW Camp in Scotland. Fearful of a mass escape attempt, the British Army sends in an unorthodox Irish Captain in hopes of discovering exactly what is going on. The Irishman at once comes into conflict with the senior prisoner, a U-Boat commander, and the two must match wits, knowing that only one will emerge victorious. Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prisoner | pow | scotland | escape | captain | See more »

Taglines:

"THE MCKENZIE BREAK" The Ultimate Escape Film See more »

Genres:

War | Drama | Action

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for violence, language and brief sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 January 1971 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Escape  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie details a rivalry between a grizzled bastard of a gun-for-hired POW Camp Commandant, Captain Jack Connor played by Brian Keith and a leader of a camp of Nazi German prisoners-of-war, Kapitänleutnant Willi Schlueter played by Helmut Griem. In gigantic letters, one of the movie's posters played a play on words with the P.O.W acronym. Schlueter was emphasized as being a P - O - W, whilst Keith was emphasized as being a S - O - B. See more »

Goofs

Although it is raining heavily in many scenes, the ground remains mostly dry. There is no dirt visible on the character's clothes after they fought each other on expectedly wet sand and grass. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Captain Jack Connor: Willi, looks like we're both in the shithouse.
See more »

Soundtracks

SYMPHONY NO.3 E-FLAT MAJOR, OP.55 -- 1st & 2nd Movements
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
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User Reviews

 
Detailed, methodical POW drama enhanced by two good performances...
18 August 2010 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Brian Keith is well-cast as an Irish-born Army Captain with the British forces during WWII who is penalized for some indiscretions and busted down to Intelligence Officer at a prisoner-of-war camp in Scotland; the German inmates there take their orders from a megalomaniac Nazi Kapitänleutnant, who is supervising the digging of a tunnel underneath the barracks to freedom. Although ultimately let down by the lax editing and the careful if plodding pace, this is a well-realized vision of wartime behind barbed wire. The picture runs too long and has some beleaguered plot-threads (such as the sacrificial homosexual), though the match of wits between adept, assured Keith and smug, shrewd Helmut Griem is riveting. The locations (via Ireland and Turkey) give the film a vivid and unique look, and screenwriter William Norton's dialogue is extraordinarily direct. The finale is somewhat dragged out (and far-fetched in the bargain), yet it provides for a satisfying, sardonic close. **1/2 from ****


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