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Victory (1981)

PG  |   |  Action, Drama, Sport  |  30 July 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 19,359 users  
Reviews: 94 user | 23 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)

Victory (1981) on IMDb 6.6/10

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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)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Now is the time for heroes. See more »


Action | Drama | Sport | War


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

30 July 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Escape to Victory  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This movie is both known as "Victory" and "Escape to Victory" in various territories, though its original English title is "Victory". In some territories, it was released under one of these titles in theaters and and then the other title for videocassette release. See more »


During the match an injured POW player is taken off by stretcher and another player puts on a shirt to replace him. Substitutes were not introduced in this way until 1953; until that point, a "substitute" was a player who stood in for another who had failed to turn up for the game and players were not replaced once the match was underway. See more »


Renée - The French: [Hatch has asked how she feels about sheltering him] How do I feel? I feel responsible. Hopeful. When I get word that someone I sheltered is safe, then I'm happy. I can forget them. But when I hear that they've been caught or killed, then I remember everything. I remember their face, their voices, what they said about their parents, their child, their pets, and I mourn for them. I don't want to mourn for you.
Hatch: Well, you're safe with me, Renée.
Renée - The French: How?
Hatch: Well, I'm, uh... an orphan, a bastard. I have no...
See more »


Referenced in Mean Machine (2001) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Once again, you can't trust the critics.
3 February 2002 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

John Huston's Victory has probably seen so much critical scorn it's mind boggling. Is this movie Oscar material? Certainly not, but it's a great film in many ways.

First of all, Bill Conti offers up a first rate uplifting musical score. It's outstanding work and you hear a bit of resemblence to the score he wrote for a 1982 film that received a little bit of notoriety -- The Right Stuff.

Next, the cinematography is simply gorgeous. Soccer is not an easy sport to film and I think this film was done wonderfully. I thought the choice of film stock, a certain amount of grain to make it almost like you're watching a documentary was a nice touch. Some of the action shots and slow-mos are absolutely wonderful to behold.

Finally, we have a nice plot with a couple of surprises, a great cast, and an auteur director. Certainly, Huston was in failing health and not at the top of his game by this time but his work on this film was still memorable. For me I will always remember the wonderful line with "The Forger" asking Hatch "You don't want to get shot as a spy do you?" And the quick reply, "No, I don't want to get shot as anything." Simple one liner, uncomplicated, yet funny.

Victory is a great inspirational film, a sure hit for soccer fans (of course he wasn't offside - he was behind the ball when it was struck!) and a nice film for war buffs. Just ignore Maltin et al and spend the time watching it, widescreen DVD recommended, you won't be sorry.

42 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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