The One That Got Away

The One That Got Away


Reviewed by: Trash Fletcher

It's Tommies and Jerries left right and centre in this British made movie about one man's desperate attempts to flee from capture.

The One That Got Away is based on the true story of Franz von Werra (Hardy Kruger), allegedly the only German PoW to escape back to his homeland. If you read up on the man you'll see how accurate this portrayal actually is, admittedly with a few rather more dramatic scenes thrown in for good measure.

The good news is that The One That Got Away isn't a war film and its focus is much more upon humanity and breaking down the barriers of nationality. Bearing in mind that it was released just 12 years after the end of the war, I imagine that many people would be shocked to see a German pilot being portrayed as the main protagonist and very much the hero of the piece.

The film's weakness lies in the fact that everybody is so nice and friendly. Sure, the guards have their moments, but the others seems pretty reasonable overall. I find it hard to believe that people would allow a man, who clearly could have been German, to walk around a train station willy nilly and offer him food and hot drinks. I know I didn't pay much attention in history class at school, but this struck me as a little ridiculous.

There also appear to some severe time issues. I found it hard to comprehend that it was set over the duration of many months when the whole thing seems to fly by in a couple of days, and somehow Kruger is always well shaven, with neat hair, despite being out in the harsh British terrain for days on end.

This is an entertaining, lighthearted film and Kruger has enough charisma to pull off the arrogant (oh so friendly) lead. There are no surprises - you know exactly what's going to happen, but that's not the point. It's watchable and perfectly suited for a rainy afternoon.

Reviewed on: 04 May 2006
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The One That Got Away packshot
The true story of a German PoW's escape.
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Director: Roy Baker

Writer: Howard Clewes, based on the book by Kendal Burt and James Leasor

Starring: Hardy Kruger, Michael Goodliffe, Colin Gordon, Alec McCowen, Terence Alexander, Jack Gwillim, Andrew Faulds, Stafford Johns

Year: 1957

Runtime: 106 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: UK


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