Escape To Victory



                                        Where do I stand for a corner kick?


The prisoners of war (POWs), coached and represented by John Colby (Michael Caine), who was a professional footballer for West Ham before the war, agree to play an exhibition match against a German team, only to find themselves involved in a German propaganda stunt. In the end, the POWs can leave the German camp only to play the match; they are to be imprisoned again following the match.

During the game, despite the match officials being heavily biased towards the Germans, and the German team causing several deliberate injuries to the Allied players, a draw is achieved after great performances from Luis Fernandez (Pele), Carlos Rey (Ossie Ardiles) and Arthur Hayes (John Wark). American soldier Robert Hatch (Sylvester Stallone) plays as goalkeeper, and makes excellent saves including one last save on a penalty kick as time expires to deny the Germans the win, drawing the game 4-4. Although, the POWs scored a goal which was disallowed by the referee, for a dubious offside decision, making the score 5-4 which prompted the crowd to shout "Victory!"

Some team members plan to escape at halftime (in an escape led by Hatch) but the rest of the team want to carry on with the game, despite being behind at halftime. They manage to escape at the end of the game, amidst the confusion caused by the crowd storming the field after Hatch preserves the draw.

V is used frequently in the film, particularly in the final match. This is a nod towards the title of the film (Escape to Victory, or simply Victory in some countries). As Pelé scores the fourth goal, equalising the match, his legs make a clear V-shape which is held in slow-motion.












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Directed by John Huston
Robert Riger
Produced by Mario Kassar
Gordon McLendon
Andrew G. Vajna
Written by Jeff Maguire
Djordje Milicevic
Yabo Yablonsky
Starring Sylvester Stallone
Michael Caine
Max Von Sydow
Music by Bill Conti
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) July 30, 1981
Running time 110 minutes.
Language English