A prisoner of war working at a zoo gets the chance to escape from the Germans, so he does and he takes with him the elephant that he's been caring for. Together they head for the Swiss border and freedom.
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In WW2, captured British soldier Stephen Brooks is on a prison train to Germany.On the train he meets an American prisoner, Packy, who's obsessed with escaping.Brooks tries to temper Packy and reminds him that escaped prisoners are shot if recaptured.Packy is insistent despite Brooks' warnings. On arrival at the POW camp Stalag 7A, Brooks and other fellow POWs are sent to work at the local Munich zoo, to care for the animals.Brooks is assigned to care for Lucy the elephant.The German caretaker in charge of Lucy is asked to train Brooks in his new job.At first, Brooks hates the assignment, considering the large amount of animal waste to be cleaned daily.However, he eventually becomes attached to Lucy the elephant.After a devastating bombing raid that kills some of the animals and zoo staff it is decided to evacuate the surviving animals.Lucy is scheduled to be transported by train to Innsbruck, Austria.On the departure day, the train is commandeered by a moody SS Colonel, for his ...Written by
Oliver Reed, in preparation for his role of Hannibal Brooks, spent a whole week working with an elephant keeper in a zoo to learn how to handle Aida the cow elephant, who would be playing Lucy in the film. See more »
What can you say about a war movie where an elephant crosses the Alps? It's silly but a heck of a lot of fun. The scenery is gorgeous, the acting is light and the action sequences are top notch. Oliver Reed is perfectly cast as our hero Brooks. He has played so many villain roles that it's great to see him play a nice guy for a change. The beautiful Austrian scenery steals the show. Somehow every time we see a breathtaking view of the mountains, we forget we're watching a war movie. The war is shown in a very comedic way(especially all of Michael J. Pollard's scenes, which are priceless) and this works to some extent. The comedy never goes overboard (a fine balance is kept throughout the film). A good example of this is the final action sequence at the border crossing which is exciting and well played with a nice dash of humour thrown in. At many times we are required to check our disbelief at the door but this is such a good natured movie that we don't really care.We root for our heroes to make it to safety, all the way to the end, without ever really wondering if they will make it, but that's part of the film's charm. Overall a great movie to see on a cold winter day.
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