Johnny Kovak joins the Teamsters trade-union in a local chapter in the 1930s and works his way up in the organization. As he climbs higher and higher his methods become more ruthless and ... See full summary »
Three Italian-American brothers, living in the slums of 1940's New York, try to help each other with one's wrestling career using one brother's promotional skills and another brother's con-artist tactics to thwart a sleazy manager.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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.
20 of 21 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?