6.5/10
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The McKenzie Break (1970)

PG | | War, Drama, Action | May 1971 (Ireland)
During WW2, German POWs in Britain plot to escape from their prison camp in Scotland.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay) (as William Norton), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Maj. Perry
...
Gen. Kerr
Patrick O'Connell ...
Sgt. Maj. Cox
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...
...
Capt. Kranz
...
Lt. Hall (as Constantin De Goguel)
Tom Kempinski ...
Lt. Schmidt
Eric Allan ...
Lt. Hochbauer
Caroline Mortimer ...
A.T.S. Sgt. Bell
...
Cpl. Jean Watt
...
Lt. Berger
...
Ingenieur-Offizier Unger
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Storyline

In the closing days of World War II, German prisoners riot in a POW Camp in Scotland. Fearful of a mass escape attempt, the British Army sends in an unorthodox Irish Captain in hopes of discovering exactly what is going on. The Irishman at once comes into conflict with the senior prisoner, a U-Boat commander, and the two must match wits, knowing that only one will emerge victorious. Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"THE MCKENZIE BREAK" The Ultimate Escape Film See more »

Genres:

War | Drama | Action

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for violence, language and brief sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

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Release Date:

May 1971 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Escape  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie details a rivalry between a grizzled bastard of a gun-for-hired POW Camp Commandant, Captain Jack Connor played by Brian Keith and a leader of a camp of Nazi German prisoners-of-war, Kapitänleutnant Willi Schlueter played by Helmut Griem. In gigantic letters, one of the movie's posters played a play on words with the P.O.W acronym. Schlueter was emphasized as being a P - O - W, whilst Keith was emphasized as being a S - O - B. See more »

Goofs

The Jeep used is a civilian CJ 3B model, first introduced in 1953. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Captain Jack Connor: Willi, looks like we're both in the shithouse.
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Soundtracks

SYMPHONY NO.3 E-FLAT MAJOR, OP.55 -- 1st & 2nd Movements
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
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User Reviews

Outstanding
21 October 2001 | by See all my reviews

Whereas many supposedly modern films such as `Saving Private Ryan' play along a clear black - and - white scheme (us = good decent chaps, Germans inhuman war robots), `The McKenzie Break' goes down a different path; neither of the central characters is readily likeable or even understandable. Captain Jack Connor is an Irishman fighting on the side of the British Army, a maverick by his personality and origin and yet a representative of the status quo. His antagonist Kapitän Willi Schlüter is a fanatical Nazi, yet we unwillingly sympathize with him because, young and sharp - witted, he is a prisoner desperately trying to break free.

Because the film does not force a constructed morality on the viewer, it is truthful and keeps us in suspense; we are never able to predict the ending or even the next turn of events. `The McKenzie' break is truly a neglected gem, an honest, engaging and intelligent movie that stands out among its genre.


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