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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 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 »
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 »
Detailed, methodical POW drama enhanced by two good performances...
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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