Three Italian-American brothers, living in the slums of 1940's New York City, 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 <email@example.com>
This movie is similar in storyline to two earlier European films made around 1962. Firstly, it is similar to the Hungarian black-and-white film Two half-times in Hell (a.k.a. Két félidö a pokolban (1961)). Winner of the Critics' Award at the 1962 Boston Cinema Festival, this movie told of a soccer match between Allied POWs and German soldiers and held on Adolf Hitler's birthday. Victory (1981) is also similar in storyline to the earlier Russian film, Tretiy taym (1963). See more »
Around the 61th min. after Hatch escaped, when the German soldier comes to report the number of prisoners, he speaks in Hungarian, but not in German. See more »
If the part where the football match takes place was omitted, "Victory" would be a "5 stars out of 10" film. The reason is that although it features two very good actors (Michael Caine - Max von Sydow), there is not much to stand out: A rather incredulous WW2 plot, an average acting (what could you expect from professional footballers or from Stallone?), and a simply decent direction, produce an average result. Thankfully, there is more than that, as I will explain in more detail later.
"Victory" is about some inmates in a WW2 prison camp, who have a passion for soccer. Captain J. Colby (Caine), a former footballer, is the leading figure in the camp matches that take place. One day, he is spotted by football-fan Major Steiner (Max von Sydow) who proposes him the idea of organizing a match between allied POWs vs. Germans. Colby agrees, as he believes this will be a great morale-booster and a chance for better prison conditions for those involved; however, more senior inmates are skeptical, as they believe this will be a propaganda stunt for the Germans. In the end, they also concur but only after they have convinced the team's goalie Capt. Hatch (Stallone) to arrange the team's escape during the match. The difficulty is that both Colby and his team are more interested in this game than in their freedom, so they are hesitant on what they should finally do...
As I said, the movie is just watchable during its first part. And yet, when we start to watch the Allied - Germans match, things get much better: We watch terrific football from stars such as Pele, Ardiles, and Bobby Moore, with scenes such as Pele's goal being memorable to all sports fans. Of course, if you are not into soccer, then perhaps you won't get that excited (although the spectacle can be exciting for non-fans, too). But if you like the King of Sports, then you will certainly enjoy this film. 7/10.
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