1960s The Last Escape (1970)

Published on September 12th, 2012 | by Chris


The Last Escape (1969)

Movie by:
Walter Grauman

Reviewed by:
On September 12, 2012
Last modified:October 24, 2012


Not great, not bad. A mediocre soul-less romp through WWII that ultimately leaves you hungry for some real action.

I'm on the fence on this one. (That happens a lot doesn't it)... The problem with The Last Escape isn't so much that its a bad movie, because its not, really.  It's just not that good.  A celebration of mediocrity might describe it best.  A product of its time.

Captain Lee Mitchell (Stuart Whitman) is sent to capture a German rocket scientist, von Heinkin (Pinkis Braun) before the Russians can get to him.  He's sent a squad of Brits to lend a hand, although he may have been better off without them, as they mostly wind up as target practice.  As luck would have it, they wind up being forced to take an entire group of civilians along for the ride.  As further luck would have it, they have to do this the hard way.  Of course.

Of course, there is a saboteur-slash-traitor in their midst, and if you're paying any sort of attention, you know who it is early on.  (And they even give this away in the trailer!? Inconceivable!)

Along the way they get into a few battles which, like I said, aren't terribly bad, but are just so full of the typical "rat-tat-tat lets spray everything" and heart-clutching deaths, and what not that made their way into war movies from the westerns....  If I hear that "metal wire snap" ricochet sound effect one more time, just one more time!!!

There's also some wanton destruction of what were probably considered mere war surplus vehicles at the time, but made me cringe horribly.  Check the trailer below to see what I mean.

Whitman is lacking as the action hero here.  He just doesn't have the persona to pull it off.  Not sure why that is, exactly.  He's got the face and the voice for it, but he just doesn't do it.   A bit too wooden and stoic, maybe?  I know its a war/action movie, but Mitchell's character is just too one-sided.

I have to capitulate and give The Last Escape 3 stars here.  Because I just can't decide it I liked it or not.  Would I watch it again?  Probably not, but I won't call it terrible.

Laserdisc Laser Disc Of THE AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY a WWII Movie With JAmes GArner, Julie Andrews, James Coburn And Melvyn Douglas. Laserdisc Laser Disc Of THE AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY a WWII Movie With JAmes GArner, Julie Andrews, James Coburn And Melvyn Douglas.
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A Romantic Comedy set in WWII. Garners Superiors force him (A Devout Coward) to carry out a plan to insure that the first casualty on D-Day is a Sailor. As D-Day nears, Garner realizes that sailor just might be him.


  • Deluxe Letter-Box Edition. Black & White. 1 Hour 57 Minutes. Not Rated.
  • Digital Video Transfer. CX Niose reduction.


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Long Overdue for Local Release, May 25, 2009
Kevin R. Austra (Delaware Valley, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Laserdisc Laser Disc Of THE AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY a WWII Movie With JAmes GArner, Julie Andrews, James Coburn And Melvyn Douglas.
Considering all of the other films re-released by MGM-UA it is surprising that Stuart Whitman's THE LAST ESCAPE has yet to be available. With the exception of sporadic imports from Japan, this film has not seen the light of day, for me anyway, since it used to appear every year or so on the CBS Late Movie in the early 1970's.

THE LAST ESCAPE is somewhat of a cross between THE DIRTY DOZEN and OPERATION CROSSBOW. In the final month of World War Two in Europe a team of Allied commandos goes behind German lines to spirit away German rocket technicians before either the Germans kill them or the Red Army captures them. In doing so the team finds themselves saddled with not only the liberated scientists, but also some of their family members. As the team races westward they force their way through German roadblocks while attempting to elude a fast pursuing Soviet column.

THE LAST ESCAPE was filmed near Munich, Germany. For reasons that have not fully been explained... Read more
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The Last Escape (1969) Chris



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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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