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Victory (1981)

PG  |   |  Action, Drama, Sport  |  30 July 1981 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 18,831 users  
Reviews: 93 user | 24 critic

As allied POWs prepare for a soccer game against the German National Team to be played in Nazi-occupied Paris, the French Resistance and British officers are making plans for the team's escape.

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Title: Victory (1981)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Capt. John Colby - The Players: England
...
Cpl. Luis Fernandez - Allied Soccer Player - The Players: Brazil
Bobby Moore ...
Terry Brady - Allied Soccer Player - The Players: England
Osvaldo Ardiles ...
Carlos Rey - Allied Soccer Player - The Players: Argentina
Paul Van Himst ...
Michel Fileu - The Players: Belgium
Kazimierz Deyna ...
Paul Wolchek - The Players: Poland
Hallvar Thoresen ...
Gunnar Hilsson - The Players: Norway
Mike Summerbee ...
Sid Harmor - Allied Soccer Player - The Players: England
Co Prins ...
Pieter Van Beck - The Players: Holland
Russell Osman ...
Doug Clure - The Players: England
John Wark ...
Arthur Hayes - The Players: Scotland
Søren Lindsted ...
Erik Ball - Allied Soccer Player - The Players: Denmark (as Soren Linsted)
Kevin O'Callaghan ...
Tony Lewis - Allied Goalkeeper - The Players: Ireland (as Kevin O'Calloghan)
...
Major Karl Von Steiner - The Germans (as Max Von Sydow)
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Storyline

In World War II, a group of Nazi officers come up with a propaganda event in which an all star Nazi team will play a team composed of Allied Prisoners of War in a Soccer (Football) game. The Prisoners agree, planning on using the game as a means of escape from the camp. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Their goal was freedom... See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Sport | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

30 July 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Escape to Victory  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A three acre prison set was built in the grounds of the Allag Riding Stables on the outskirts of Budapest, Hungary. The POW set took three months to construct. See more »

Goofs

The microphone used by the radio announcer at the soccer match is an RCA model 77B, a model not introduced until the late-1940s. See more »

Quotes

[Eastern European players have been brought from labor camps to play on the team]
Capt. John Colby - The Players: England: They're all great players.
Colonel Waldron - The English: They WERE.
[the camera focuses on the five men, frail and starved, dressed in filthy rags]
Colonel Waldron - The English: [angrily] You are a naive fool, Colby. Insisting on great players? Von Steiner has sent you five skeletons. Guarantees that you'll turn up in Paris for his propaganda victory.
Capt. John Colby - The Players: England: Colonel, I...
Colonel Waldron - The English: The Germans are doing their job very well. London knows. We heard it on the news. It's in all the papers. ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Greatest Ever War Films (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony 5, 4th movement
(uncredited)
Written by Dmitri Shostakovich
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Football + War = Masterpiece!
30 October 2001 | by (Durham, England) – See all my reviews

Despite being universally derided by everyone I know, I still believe that Escape To Victory is possibly the greatest feelgood movie ever made. For anyone who has a passion for football this is an absolute must see, if just for a chance to see legends such as Bobby Moore and Pele playing in the same team.

However, while the football is marvellous, the drama is on a similar level. Everyone always goes on about this film being cheesy, but I really believe it has some great dramatic moments: Caine telling Stallone "I won't be responsible for your death", the tragedy of the Eastern European prisoners, and of course the performance of Max von Sydow.

He really does make the film what it is with a hugely dignified portrayal of a man who has no interest in the war going on around him. When he tells Caine "if all the nations of the world could solve their problems on the football field, wouldn't that be something?", it may be a hugely naive (and slightly corny) sentiment, but you honestly believe that he means it.

There are some minus points, however; it's clear that Stallone has never played as a goalkeeper before (I should know because it's my position), some of the lines delivered by the footballers do sound enormously false (a problem similar to that with the musicians in The Blues Brothers, another classic), and many of the British and German officers are incredibly caricatured. Also, as a war movie it's about as far removed from the terrible reality of war as it's possible to get.

However, to state that Escape to Victory is unrealistic is to miss the point entirely. It's pure escapism. As such, it can lay claim to being one of the few specifically male-oriented feelgood movies around.

In conclusion, it surely deserves to be regarded as something of a modern classic.


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