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 <email@example.com>
The designation of the real-life Second World War U-boat that was to rendezvous with the Nazi German POWs was U-536 (Unterseeboot 536). During World War II, U-536 in their escape attempt of Operation Kiebitz actually evaded the Allies attempts to capture it by the Royal Canadian Navy during their Operation Pointe de Maisonnette counter-attack on 26-27 September, 1943. U-536 was actually later sunk about a month after in October, 1943. See more »
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 »
The McKenzie Break refers to a prison in Scotland during World War II where some German prisoners are very anxious to get back to the fight as they see it. This is the early war years and the only prisoners there are Luftwaffe and Sailors, more specifically prisoners taken off captured U-Boats.
McKenzie prison is in for some big trouble, commander Ian Hendry can smell it. It's due to the presence of U-Boat captain Helmut Griem who has taken over the leadership of the prisoners unofficially. Griem plays Captain Willy Schluetter as I conceive Reinhard Heydrich to be, a handsome charismatic leader, totally dedicated to the Nazi cause and one stone cold killer.
British Intelligence in trying to get to the bottom of things sends Captain Brian Keith who from his accent I'm guessing is an Ulster Protestant. Keith's a smart guy, but just maybe a bit too smart for his own good.
The McKenzie Break is dominated by Helmut Griem as well it should be. This man has to dominate or otherwise the film would make no sense at all. As charismatic as Griem is as Schluetter, he's both fascinating and repellent. His objective is to get as many U-Boat people back into the fight. He will sacrifice everything to achieve that objective and I do mean everything.
Sad to say this film is a forgotten gem and deserves to be better remembered than it is. Catch it by all means if it's broadcast, you will enjoy the surprise ending when neither Keith or Griem get everything they want.
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