5.7/10
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36 user 24 critic

Escape to Athena (1979)

A World War II adventure, involving a group of Allied P.O.W.s, Nazis, black market priceless art treasures, Greek resistance, a Greek monastery, and a secret German rocket base.

Director:

George P. Cosmatos

Writers:

Edward Anhalt (screenplay), Richard S. Lochte (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Roger Moore ... Major Otto Hecht
Telly Savalas ... Zeno
David Niven ... Professor Blake
Stefanie Powers ... Dottie Del Mar
Claudia Cardinale ... Eleana
Richard Roundtree ... Nat Judson
Sonny Bono ... Bruno Rotelli
Elliott Gould ... Charlie / Charlie Dane
Anthony Valentine ... SS Major Volkmann
Siegfried Rauch ... Braun
Michael Sheard ... Sergeant Mann
Richard Wren Richard Wren ... Reistoffer
Philip Locke ... Vogel
Steve Ubels Steve Ubels ... Lantz
Paul Picerni ... Zeno's Man
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Storyline

During World War II, the prisoners of a German camp on a Greek island are trying to escape. They don't want only their freedom, but they also seek for an ineffable treasure hidden in a monastery at the top of the island's mountain. Written by Chris Makrozahopoulos <makzax@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An exciting World War II prison camp drama with an all star cast. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 June 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Escape a Atenas See more »

Filming Locations:

Kalithea Spa, Rhodes, Greece See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To evoke the Greek theme and setting, on American movie posters, instead of using the letter "e/E", the Greek alphabet's uppercase sigma symbol was used for that letter in the wording of the title. See more »

Goofs

Sonny Bono's and Elliot Gould's hairstyles are more of the 1970s than the 1940s. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: Somewhere in the Greek Islands 1944 See more »

Alternate Versions

When originally released theatrically in the UK, the BBFC made cuts to secure a 'A' rating. All cuts were waived in 1986 when the film was granted a 'PG' certificate for home video. See more »

Connections

Spoofs Stalag 17 (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Vesti la giubba
(On with the motley) from "Pagliacci" (uncredited)
Written by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Performed by Enrico Caruso (probably)
Mimed by Bruno Rotelli (Sonny Bono)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Promises a lot but delivers little
26 May 2001 | by Big S-2See all my reviews

I only recently got to see this movie and – on the basis of the all-start cast and the still pictures that I had seen – I was expecting a well-made and slightly offbeat war film. I was very disappointed. This movie can't make up its mind whether it wants to be a comedy or an action / adventure yarn, and in the end it largely fails to deliver on either front. Roger Moore is hopelessly miscast as the antiques-loving German (or rather Austrian) PoW camp commandant, and a number of the other characters such as Sonny Bono's Italian chef, Michael Sheard's oafish German sergeant and Telly Savalas' Greek resistance leader are extremely caricature-ish. Even Richard Rowntree's PoW character comes across merely as Shaft in a GI uniform (coming out with expressions like `he's one cool cat'). The character Charlie (played by Elliot Gould) is a civilian USO entertainer whose plane was shot down over the Mediterranean, with him and his female colleague being captured and placed in the PoW camp. However, when these two are introduced early on, we see them looking like a pair of well-heeled American holidaymakers. Both are immaculately groomed and dressed, and they certainly don't look like two people who have just been fished out of the Mediterranean after their plane has been shot out of the sky - the woman is even lugging all her suitcases behind her!!! I assume that we're supposed to believe that they too would have survived the shootdown without even a scuff mark and then floated up from the plane wreckage to be conveniently retrieved. I have to admit that initially I found the Charlie character fairly amusing and even laughed at some of his one-liners. But ultimately he became more annoying than funny. The action scenes later on were also fairly predictable and boring. I got the impression that the makers of this movie were trying to combine elements from those classic war films `The Guns Of Navarone', `The Great Escape' and `Kelly's Heroes' (we even had David Niven who appeared in the former and Telly Savalas from the latter). But this movie is not a classic in any way, shape or form. It oozes mediocrity in all areas. On the plus side, the Greek islands location is wonderful and the camera work is on the whole pretty good. And the beautiful Claudia Cardinale graces any movie that she's in. On balance though I'd have to give this film just 3½ out of 10. Not the worst war film I've ever seen, but definitely `below average' and – given the amount of big names in it – the end result is a massive disappointment.


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