7.3/10
109,229
210 user 218 critic

The Way Back (2010)

Trailer
2:02 | Trailer
Siberian gulag escapees travel four thousand miles by foot to freedom in India.

Director:

Peter Weir

Writers:

Slavomir Rawicz (novel), Peter Weir (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
2,510 ( 69)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dragos Bucur ... Zoran
Colin Farrell ... Valka
Ed Harris ... Mr. Smith
Alexandru Potocean ... Tomasz
Saoirse Ronan ... Irena
Mark Strong ... Khabarov
Gustaf Skarsgård ... Voss
Jim Sturgess ... Janusz
Sebastian Urzendowsky ... Kazik
Zachary Baharov ... Interrogator (as Zahari Baharov)
Sally Brunski Sally Brunski ... Janusz's Wife, 1939 (as Sally Edwards)
Igor Gnezdilov Igor Gnezdilov ... Bohdan
Dejan Angelov Dejan Angelov ... Andrei
Stanislav Pishtalov Stanislav Pishtalov ... Commandant
Mariy Rosen ... Lazar (as Marii Grigorov)
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Storyline

In 1941, three men attempt to flee communist Russia, escaping a Siberian gulag. This movie tells their story and that of four others who escaped with them and a teenage girl, Irena Zielinska (Saoirse Ronan), who joins them in flight. The group's natural leader is Janusz Weiszczek (Jim Sturgess), a Pole condemned by accusations secured by torturing his wife, spent much of his youth outdoors, and knows how to live in the wild. They escape under cover of a snowstorm: cynical American Mr. Smith (Ed Harris), Russian thug Valka (Colin Farrell), comedic accountant Zoran (Dragos Bucur), pastry chef Tomasz Horodinsky (Alexandru Potocean), who draws, Priest Andrejs Voss (Gustav Skarsgård), and Polish Kazik (Sebastian Urzendowsky), who suffers from night blindness. They face freezing nights, lack of food and water, mosquitoes, an endless desert, the Himalayas, as well as many moral and ethical dilemmas throughout the journey towards freedom. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>, Shahob, Bellingham, WA, US

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

long walk | oasis | gulag | desert | priest | See All (86) »

Taglines:

Their escape was just the beginning


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violent content, depiction of physical hardships, a nude image and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Colin Farrell designed many of his character's tattoos. See more »

Goofs

The original plan is to escape to Mongolia, but they discover it has a Communist government. But this government had been ruling since 1924. It is unlikely that not one of the escape party would have known this. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[in Polish, using English subtitles]
Interrogator: [presents pen to sign confession]
Janusz: No.
Interrogator: Bring in the witness.
Janusz's Wife, 1939: [brought in]
Interrogator: Do you know this man? His name?
Janusz's Wife, 1939: Janusz Wieszczek.
Interrogator: Witness, what's your relationship with this man?
Janusz's Wife, 1939: [crying] I am his wife.
[...]
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Connections

Featured in The Hour: Episode #7.78 (2011) See more »

User Reviews

 
What an incredible story
26 January 2015 | by juneebuggySee all my reviews

I mean these men escaped a Russian gulag and WALKED 4,000 miles from Siberia to India, come on...

So this movie is based on the 1959 memoir "The Long Walk" (of which there is some debate over its validity). Regardless I really enjoyed it, the story is incredible and I'd been looking foreword to seeing what they would do in the movie version. Throw in a top notch cast as our Siberian gulag escapees (Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess) and this should have been fantastic. All I can say there is maybe my expectations were too high because honestly I came away a little disappointed, actually preferring the book.

The movie itself was very long and kind of jumped around. Granted they had a lot of material to cover as our men escape under cover of a snowstorm and undertake a treacherous journey across thousands of miles of hostile terrain. They face freezing nights, lack of food and water, injuries, mosquitoes, an endless desert, the Himalayas, and moral questions of when to leave someone behind.

The cinematography is beautiful, the scenery breathtaking and everyone does a great job. Ed Harris is excellent as the American Mr. Smith (love him) and Colin Ferrell (love him a bit more) was awesome as a tattooed gang-style prisoner, with an amazing Russian accent. As a point of interest his character is not in the book. The scenes in the blizzard and the Gobi desert stand out to me and are brutal but well done. 08.11


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Language:

English | Russian | Polish | Tibetan | Mongolian

Release Date:

21 January 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Way Back See more »

Filming Locations:

Morocco See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,218,868, 23 January 2011

Gross USA:

$2,701,859

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$24,172,201
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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