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The Only Way (1970)

A Jewish family try to escape from Denmark in October 1943 during the German occupation.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ebbe Rode ... Leo Stein
Helle Virkner ... Ruth Stein
... Lillian Stein
Ove Sprogøe ... Mr. Petersen
... Morten Jensen
Benny Hansen ... Lars
Kjeld Nørgaard ... Reiman
Bendt Rothe ... Sanders
Kjeld Jacobsen ... Lassen
Claus Nissen ... Lassens assistant
Erik Kühnau ... Mogens
Bjørn Watt-Boolsen ... Dr. Kjaer
Leif Mønsted ... Bartender
Ejner Federspiel ... Arresteret jøde / Arrested jew
Elsa Marianne von Rosen ... Balletlærer / Ballet trainer


A Jewish family try to escape from Denmark in October 1943 during the German occupation.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A true story of one of the greatest escapes in World War II [Video Australia] See more »


Drama | War


G | See all certifications »



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Release Date:

20 October 1970 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Ainoa pakotie  »

Filming Locations:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

Danes don't think twice about helping Jews flee Nazis
4 October 2012 | by See all my reviews

Few people have rated this film, and only three have commented on it by this date of my posting. From two of the comments, it seems to me that we may be seeing an addiction to modern movie-making of the past decade or more. The modern viewing audience seems hooked on the thrill-a- minute, high-speed chase, explosive action and CGI makeup that is fast becoming the trademark movie of Hollywood.

"The Only Way" certainly has none of that. The plot was familiar. The script was minimal. The acting was OK. The scenes and cinematography were good – shot mostly in Denmark. The musical score was the only bad part of the movie. For the first two-thirds it was not suited at all to the picture we were seeing. Just when it got to the point of being a distraction, it changed. From then on, the music was excellent and seemed to fit the rest of the film right up to the end.

So, it is not a great film by any means, but it is a very good one, and an important one for the story it tells and how it tells it. I was never bored watching this film, because I never knew what came next. There was always a thread of suspense and mystery. Would the Steins make it, or would they be caught? Would someone turn them in? So, there was just the right amount of intrigue to keep one glued to the screen.

The one thing that raised this film considerably was what one other commenter lamented. A very minimal script, with brief lines, left the audience with no choice but to watch and absorb the people and their actions. And, in that, we saw the Danish people. They weren't flamboyant or boisterous. They smiled and frowned and acted like real people act and behave most of the time. But they were earnest and purposeful in their help. They acted with an unspoken understanding of what they needed to do.

This film really gives one a feeling for what the Danes were properly praised for after World War II. They were unflinching in their attitude toward and willingness to help their Jewish neighbors, their fellow countrymen. So, in "The Only Way," we see numerous Danish people reacting in a matter-of-fact way about helping the Steins and other Jews when word got out that the Nazis were coming for them. In no other country under Nazi occupation in World War II was there such widespread humanity and absence of prejudice. The Snope Web site describes it thus: "The rescue of several thousand Danish Jews was accomplished through the efforts of thousands of policemen, government officials, physicians, and persons of all walks of life."

"The Only Way" isn't an action-thriller by any means. But it does give a realistic picture of the people of one country who arose with spontaneity to help save the lives of a persecuted sect who were their neighbors and fellow countrymen. For that, this film is a gem and a priceless lesson for history.

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