1950s The One That Got Away (1957)

Published on May 24th, 2008 | by Chris

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The One That Got Away (1957)


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Rating:
3
On May 24, 2008
Last modified:October 6, 2012

Summary:

The One That Got Away is pretty predictable, as we know in advance the final outcome. But as they say, getting there is where the fun is.

The One That Got Away (1957)Continuing in the vein of "films that have some relevance in real life..." we've got 1957's The One That Got Away. It's the "true" story of one Franz Von Werra (Hardy Kruger), a German pilot shot down over England, taken prisoner, and who finally escapes and makes it back to Germany to continue the war, the only man to pull off that feat.

The picture opens with Werra being shot down, and taken prisoner by the local civilian defense patrols. From there he's sent off to an interim location for interrogation. It's clear to the British (and to us) that he's not your ordinary average pilot. It seems he's quite the celebrity back home, and somewhat of an "ace" to boot.

From there he's sent off to his first POW camp, and of course, attempts to escape. But, of course, he's captured again, and sent off to yet another camp.

His real break comes, though, as he's sent overseas, to a POW camp in Canada. In the harsh winter, he manages to bail out of the transport train, and makes his way to the St. Lawrence. After a great struggle to cross the river, he finally ends up on the other side, in the still neutral (this is before the US got involved) US of A. And its here that our story ends.

The final crawl tells us the rest of the story, how Werra manages to get back to Germany, only to be killed in action later.

I'll be honest, its hard to get behind Werra in his efforts, knowing that he's "the bad guy" here, but you do eventually. You will actually find yourself rooting for him. But it takes a little while. It wouldn't be possible without the excellent performance by Kruger as Werra. His swagger and attitude throughout the film actually makes you believe that he can pull this off. It also goes a long way towards defining the arrogant "celebrity" nature of the character. In that respect its really a great performance. He also manages to portray a great desparation in the final scenes, as it's clear he's not sure if he'll make it across the river or not.

Kruger is the real star here, I can say that none of the other characters were particularly memorable. Except maybe for the British officer who receives his postcard from Werra, claiming his victory in his wager that he would escape eventually.

There's also a very, very slight undertone to the picture, when the whole "neutral country" issue is raised, and in respect to the US. Being a British-produced film, I can't help but wonder if that was meant as a slight poke at pre-war US policy or not. Just something to consider.

The One That Got Away is pretty predictable, as we know in advance the final outcome. But as they say, getting there is where the fun is. So I have to give an overall thumbs up, if nothing else as an excellent popcorn-muncher for a lazy weekend.

The One That Got Away The One That Got Away
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Description

True story of a German Luftwaffe pilot who is captured by the British during the early days of World War II and believes it is his duty to escape and get back to Germany.System Requirements:Running Time: 106 minutesFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: DRAMA/CLASSICS Rating: UNRATED UPC: 883904106869 Manufacturer No: M110686

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)
Brand: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENT
Manufacturer: United Artists
Original Release Date:
Actors:
  • Hardy Krüger
  • Colin Gordon
  • Michael Goodliffe
  • Terence Alexander
  • Jack Gwillim

Reviews

Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent WWII story, October 25, 2012
By 
Jeff (Tallahassee, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The One That Got Away (DVD)
This is a WWII story for adults. No one dies in this movie. In fact, I cannot recall a single bullet being fired in the whole movie. If you're looking for just an action movie, this isn't for you. The story itself is what is so great. This movie is the true story of the escape of Franz von Werra, the only German pilot prisoner of war to escape from captivity. Based on the internet research that I've been able to do, the movie is a very factual account of von Werra's efforts. You really do wind up rooting for the "bad guy" in this movie. The movie is black and white. Also, there is no musical soundtrack, but you don't miss it. The one strange part about the movie is that when you turn on the English subtitles so you can know what the German prisoners are saying to each other, the movie shows English subtitles for the British soldiers speaking English too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent British war film, July 17, 2012
By 
B. Cathey (Wendell, NC United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The One That Got Away (DVD)
THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY is an excellent and enthralling film recounting the story of the only German POW who successfully escaped British containment during World War II and returned to Germany. Starring a youngish Hardy Kruger, the film recounts the story of Luftwaffe ace, Franz von Werra, whose derring-do is excitingly portrayed by a stellar English cast. THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY is part of an ongoing series of fine and well-made English films that VCI Entertainment is releasing. Let me also call attention to THE MALTA STORY, with Sir Alec Guinness, and director Carol Reed's masterpiece, THE WAY AHEAD---a true treasue trove of fine films worth investigating. Highly recommended.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Balanced Perspective, July 6, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The One That Got Away (DVD)
This is one of those movies that make you realize there was more than just one side in WWII.

Hardy Krueger plays an excellent role. Remember him from "The Flight of the Phoenix," with Jimmy Stewart? Unlike his character in that movie, he plays a much more flamboyant figure in "The One That Got Away."

In an age where Hollywood glorifies Americans as being the only independent & courageous people on the planet, it is nice to see a little redress. Except for "Letters From Iwo Jima," I can't think of another movie that reminds us there are always men on the other side who fight & die for their country.

That brings us to the crux of the matter: Hollywood. Neither "The Boat," originally released as "Das Boot," or "The One That Got Away" was produced in America. If you want a fresh perspective on events - past and present - try looking at foreign made films.

Another reason to recommend this movie: There are no politics involved; simply the... Read more
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The One That Got Away (1957) Chris

Summary: The One That Got Away is pretty predictable, as we know in advance the final outcome. But as they say, getting there is where the fun is.

3.0


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About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.



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