Watch: Escape to Victory 1981 123movies, Full Movie Online – 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..
Plot: A group of POWs in a German prison camp during World War II play the German National Soccer Team in this powerful film depicting the role of prisoners during wartime.
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|6.6/10 Votes: 30,614
|63% | RottenTomatoes
|57/100 | MetaCritic
|N/A Votes: 744 Popularity: 19.745 | TMDB
This a great movie for any football fan. A great set of stars from the 70’s, Pele and Stallone as a funny goalkeeper. This is one of my favorite soccer movies. The storyline is not the best, but it is catchy. Now the way the stadium was set up, the noise, it feel really real. I would love to see a similar movie remade. Maybe a victory 2 with todays’s stars. Some people do not like the idea of sly as a football player, I disagree, I think he playing the “football-ignorant”american is good. Now I also think that the way the soccer players acted was very realistic. In special Pele was good. I know many friends in many countries outside the USA who just love this film.
POWs have a ball in this WW II escape film
Many movies made about World War II are complete fiction. The stories are totally fabricated but set within the context of the war. Most, but not all, are based on novels. Some of the better action and intriguing war films fit in this category. And, some books and movies are based on certain theaters and aspects of the war. These include battles and campaigns, the underground and resistance, POW camps and escape stories. “Victory” is one such movie.
It was based on a 1962 Hungarian film that itself was inspired by a mythical football (soccer) match between a Kiev team and the German occupation forces in the Ukraine during WW II. While there wasn’t such a match, three matches did take place between a Kiev soccer club and a team of the occupying Germans. The Ukrainians won all three, and after the last match, the Kiev players were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Many other matches apparently were held between Ukrainian clubs and German Army teams – about 150 total, with the Ukrainians winning a ratio of 6-3.5-1.5. See “The Death March” under Wikipedia for a detailed account and more background.
This film is set in Germany and France, and involves British and American POWs, as well as a collection of Allied prisoners from other countries. So, “Victory,” aka, “Escape to Victory” outside America, is a combination POW, soccer competition, underground resistance, and escape film. It also fits in the category of very late films made about WW II.
All the players are good. But, Sylvester Stalone, as U.S. Army Capt. Robert Hatch, has some hammy lines when he is with the French girl, Renee (played by Carole Laure) in the Paris underground. Producer Freddie Fields assembled an impressive cast beyond Stalone. Michael Caine shares the lead with Stalone, as British Capt. John Colby. And, Max von Sydow plays German Major Karl Von Steiner. A coup for the film is Pele, the famous Brazilian soccer player, and several other professional soccer players for both the POW and German teams. The Allied assortment is explained by POWs who played soccer being transferred in from other prisons.
The film makes a clear statement about the German treatment of East Europeans, compared to prisoners from other countries. Caine’s Colby insists that the soccer prisoners from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and other Eastern countries be included. When five of them show up, they appear to be undernourished shells of former athletes. None would be able to recuperate for a long time, but Colby keeps them for the team rather than send them back.
The pro soccer players in the film were from teams that had won national and/or world championships. They came from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, England, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Norway, Poland and Scotland. The movie was filmed in Hungary and France. Because Paris had changed so much, with modern buildings in the 35 years since the end of WW II, they couldn’t shoot the soccer match there. Instead, Fields found a stadium in Budapest, the “Paris of the East.”
This movie is a lighter account of Allied POWs during WW II. It has none of the drama or trauma of other films about the reality of wartime POW camps. But, it is entertaining and a fun film with some good scenes of soccer play. The French underground escape by the Allied team doesn’t come off as planned. The team couldn’t leave at half-time with the Jerry’s in the lead. To the delight of the fans – mostly thousands of French civilians hustled into the stadium to make a crowd (Hungarian extras in Budapest), the Allies rally and the game ends a tie (a legitimate Allied goal having been denied earlier). And, the excitement of the crowd turns into a spontaneous mass movement onto the field and dispersion of the Allied soccer players among the fans as they leave the stadium.
The ending is priceless and caps an entertaining fictional film that most members of the family should enjoy.
Original Language en
Runtime 1 hr 56 min (116 min)
Genre Drama, Sport, War
Director John Huston
Writer Yabo Yablonsky, Djordje Milicevic, Jeff Maguire
Actors Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone, Pelé
Country United Kingdom, United States, Italy
Awards 1 win & 1 nomination
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix Dolby Stereo
Aspect Ratio 2.35 : 1
Camera Lenses and Panaflex Camera by Panavision
Laboratory Metrocolor, Hollywood (CA), USA (color)
Film Length 3,215 m (Sweden)
Negative Format 35 mm
Cinematographic Process Panavision (anamorphic)
Printed Film Format 35 mm