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The McKenzie Break (1970)

PG | | War, Drama, Action | May 1971 (Ireland)
During WW2, German POWs in Britain plot to escape from their prison camp in Scotland.



(screenplay) (as William Norton), (novel)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Capt. Jack Connor
Kapitän zur See Willi Schluetter
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
Cpl. Jean Watt
Lt. Berger
Ingenieur-Offizier Unger


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


CAPTAIN CONNOR. Fun-loving,sex-loving killer. Hated in London. That's why they gave him this lousy job: Get Willi and the U-Boat that's double-parked in the bay. See more »


War | Drama | Action

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

May 1971 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Escape  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The meaning and relevance of McKenzie in this movie's title refers to the Second World War McKenzie Prisoner of War Camp in Scotland. See more »


The Jeep used is a civilian CJ 3B model, first introduced in 1953. See more »


[last lines]
Captain Jack Connor: Willi, looks like we're both in the shithouse.
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SYMPHONY NO.3 E-FLAT MAJOR, OP.55 -- 1st & 2nd Movements
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
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User Reviews

" You may be following orders, but which ones make murder acceptable "
30 August 2009 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

During the War years, many a soldier were given specific instructions concerning their duties. After the war, just as many came under the scrutiny of justice. The Nazis were grossly mistaken when those accused of atrocious war crimes against humanity sought the protection of obeying explicit or direct orders. In this film " The McKenzie Break " German navel officers in a P.O.W camp are given secret orders to help 28 submariners escape and return to duty. As such they begin causing an inordinate amount of trouble for the English guards, to the point that general Kerr (Jack Watson) is puzzled by their antics. Unable to fathom the reason, Captain Jack Connor, an intelligent officer (Brian Keith) {supurb acting} is given tactical command over the camp run by Major Perry (Ian Hendry) to ascertain the reason. While there, Connor engages in mind games with Captain Willy Schlueter (Helmut Griem) a German Submarine commander. Time is short as Schlueter must complete an underground tunnel, before Connors' amasses enough evidence to prosecute his adversary for murder or deciphers the secret codes in the letters he confiscated. When the escape is prematurely forced, both men struggle to complete their assignments. Although not on the caliber of The Great Escape, this movie nevertheless gives a stirring and dramatic performance to excite audiences and the cast renders a good account of themselves. A top notch film which has since become a military Classic. ****

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