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A Man Escaped (1956)

Un condamné à mort s'est échappé ou Le vent souffle où il veut (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 26 August 1957 (USA)
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A captured French Resistance fighter during WWII engineers a daunting escape from a Nazi prison in France.

Director:

Robert Bresson

Writers:

André Devigny (memoir), Robert Bresson (scenario) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
François Leterrier ... Le lieutenant Fontaine
Charles Le Clainche Charles Le Clainche ... François Jost
Maurice Beerblock Maurice Beerblock ... Blanchet
Roland Monod Roland Monod ... Le pasteur Deleyris
Jacques Ertaud Jacques Ertaud ... Orsini
Jean Paul Delhumeau Jean Paul Delhumeau ... Hebrard
Roger Treherne Roger Treherne ... Terry
Jean Philippe Delamarre Jean Philippe Delamarre ... Le prisonnier 10
Jacques Oerlemans Jacques Oerlemans ... Le gardien-chef
Klaus Detlef Grevenhorst Klaus Detlef Grevenhorst ... L'officier de L'Abwehr
Leonhard Schmidt Leonhard Schmidt ... Le garde de l'escorte
Roger Planchon ... Le garde cycliste
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Storyline

Captured French Resistance fighter Lieutenant Fontaine awaits a certain death sentence for espionage in a stark Nazi prison in Lyon, France. Facing malnourishment and paralyzing fear, he must plot an extraordinary escape, complicated by the questions of whom to trust, and what lies beyond the small portion of the prison they are housed in. Written by Sam Spector

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Robert Bresson's Prize Winning Film

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | German

Release Date:

26 August 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Man Escaped See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (censored)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. See more »

Quotes

Le lieutenant Fontaine: I think my courage abandoned me for a moment and I cried.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cinemania (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Great Mass in C Minor, No.16 (K.427) - Agnus Dei
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Simple yet practically "spiritual" in its focus on humanity.
21 October 2004 | by roger-212See all my reviews

Bresson's command of the cinematic language...and more importantly, his restraint... make this a very powerful story of one man's determination to find meaning in his actions, focused goal, and adherence to his beliefs.

Presumably tipping off the viewer with the title (A Man Escaped) we already suspect how it will end, and therefore the tension isn't in the final twists of the story, but rather, his journey to that place.

Narrative stripped down of all melodramatic trappings, the film manages to reveal a larger truth about man's struggle against unknowable odds, his struggle with himself, and his resolve to move forward. A couple of the side-characters are from the church, or pastors, which give the ongoing conversations in the common areas an added resonance to "grace" and a possibility of transcendental deliverance. Even though the lead character doesn't seem to truck much with religious faith.

He has his own - in his resolve to escape.

It's appropriate that we barely know why the lead character is in prison, only that he is already on the way there when the film starts. (And even then, tries a failed attempt to run from the car that is transporting him. So much for back-story. The character is revealed through his subsequent actions.)

A simple beautiful film focused on humanity at its most desperate, spare, and focused.


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