6.7/10
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108 user 40 critic

Victory (1981)

PG | | Drama, Sport, War | 31 July 1981 (USA)
As allied P.O.W.s prepare for a soccer game against the German National Team to be played in Nazi-occupied Paris, the French Resistance and British officers are making plans for the team's escape.

Director:

John Huston

Writers:

Yabo Yablonsky (story), Djordje Milicevic (story) | 3 more credits »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sylvester Stallone ... The Players: U.S.A. - Capt. Robert Hatch
Michael Caine ... The Players: England - Capt. John Colby
Pelé ... The Players: Brazil - Cpl. Luis Fernandez
Bobby Moore ... The Players: England - Terry Brady
Osvaldo Ardiles ... The Players: Argentina - Carlos Rey
Paul Van Himst Paul Van Himst ... The Players: Belgium - Michel Fileu
Kazimierz Deyna ... The Players: Poland - Paul Wolchek
Hallvar Thoresen Hallvar Thoresen ... The Players: Norway - Gunnar Hilsson
Mike Summerbee Mike Summerbee ... The Players: England - Sid Harmor
Co Prins Co Prins ... The Players: Holland - Pieter Van Beck
Russell Osman Russell Osman ... The Players: England - Doug Clure
John Wark John Wark ... The Players: Scotland - Arthur Hayes
Søren Lindsted Søren Lindsted ... The Players: Denmark - Erik Ball (as Soren Linsted)
Kevin O'Callaghan Kevin O'Callaghan ... The Players: Ireland - Tony Lewis (as Kevin O'Calloghan)
Max von Sydow ... The Germans - Major Karl Von Steiner (as Max Von Sydow)
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Storyline

In World War II, a group of Nazi officers come up with a propaganda event in which an all-star Nazi team will play a team composed of Allied prisoners of war in a soccer (football) game. The prisoners agree, planning on using the game as a means of escape from the camp. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Their goal was freedom... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Anton Diffring was dubbed. See more »

Goofs

The escape tunnel comes up under a pool. As the tunnelers break through, air bubbles burst forth - but since the tunnel is open at the other end, water would just flow down the hole, pushing the air along (rather like a domestic bathtub where bubbles don't come up from the drain while the water is running out). See more »

Quotes

Capt. John Colby - The Players: England: What's the verdict on Williams?
Major Karl Von Steiner - The Germans: A regrettable mistake.
Capt. John Colby - The Players: England: The whole bloody war's a regrettable mistake.
Major Karl Von Steiner - The Germans: I agree.
See more »

Alternate Versions

CBS edited 20 minutes from this film for its 1983 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Greatest Ever War Films (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony 5, 4th movement
(uncredited)
Written by Dmitri Shostakovich
See more »

User Reviews

 
Arguably one of the most unfairly derided boys own movies out there?
25 June 2010 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

World War II and the Nazi officers have come up with a propaganda driven idea for the German national football team to play a team composed of Allied Prisoners of War. Led by Capt. John Colby (Michael Caine) the prisoners agree, but there's more than just propaganda at stake here.

Directed by John Huston in the twilight of his career, Escape To Victory, in spite of it being a perennial Bank Holiday staple viewing in the UK, is a film that's often used as a kicking post by stuffy critics. It's hard to understand why such a fun and harmless piece can cause such derision in cinematic circles. It can't be expectation because when you read the plot and see that Sylvester Stallone is playing as the goalkeeper, and that a tubby 48 year old Caine is the captain of this soccer team, well surely you know this film isn't all about about cranial depth encompassing the propaganda machinations of the Nazi regime.

Using real footballers (notably Pelé, Bobby Moore and Osvaldo Ardilies) is what makes Escape To Victory work as entertainment for so many people in the UK. Huston, much like Stallone, hadn't got a clue how to make a football based movie. In stepped the footballers to choreograph the film's football sequences - sequences that give the film some truly memorable moments (Pelé overhead kick, Ardiles rainbow flick, and erm, a Stallone penalty save). They couldn't act for toffee, none of them, but that's where Caine comes in. Guiding them through their scenes, Caine was highly thought of on the set by the players, a sort of father figure by all accounts, and not just on the set, but in the bar as well. Stallone excepted (he was off doing his own thing most of the time), it was a happy shoot, and this shines bright in the movie, with the non actors growing in confidence as the movie progresses. So while the film ultimately deals in escapist fun, it's not without moments of poignancy too. A sacrificial break for the war effort induces winces across the board, whilst the arrival of the Eastern Block players from the work camps demands our utmost heartfelt thoughts.

So is Escape To Victory a great film? No, of course not. But it is a darn good one. A film that's easy to lose oneself in during the holiday periods. With Caine flicking the eff off Vs, Max Von Sydow being classy as usual and some legendary footballers strutting their stuff, what's not to enjoy? Really? 7.5/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | USA | Italy

Language:

English | German | French

Release Date:

31 July 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Escape to Victory See more »

Filming Locations:

Hungary See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$10,853,418

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,853,418
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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