Film Reviews, Short Review

Escape to Victory (1981)

3/4

Little more than The Great Escape with football, with Sylvester Stallone in the Steve McQueen role, Escape to Victory undeservedly has something of a crap reputation. It’s an amusingly preposterous WWII film, in which a group of POWs are challenged to a football game for morale-boosting purposes, which some of them use as a pretext to escape. Stallone and Michael Caine give solid performances, as does principal villain/’good German’ Max von Sydow, whilst a hotchpotch of 60s and 70s football stars with little acting ability get minor roles, from Bobby Moore to Osvaldo Ardiles, via Brazil’s greatest corporate entity Pelé. Perhaps the most noticeable feature of Escape to Victory is that it’s directed by John Huston, who back in the 40s was at the helm of such classics as The Maltese Falcon. Though he was already very old at time of filming (and it doesn’t look like he cares at all for football), he brings a strong sense of classical storytelling to the film, ensuring that even at its most preposterous Escape to Victory is still amusingly good fun.

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