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Victory Reviews

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Anthony L

Super Reviewer

March 24, 2014
Escape to Victory is nothing short of complete nonsense. It's a work of fiction, a what if scenario, which is fine but its as realistic as Elvis still being alive and well and living on the Moon. It's The Great Escape, with Football and a not particularly great escape. It's neither a good war film or a good sports film. Yet, it's still pretty entertaining, for all it's faults I still quite liked it. I liked Michael Caines and Max Von Sydow's characters, the idea that war can't extinguish a man's passion and that those shared passions can unify some under difficult and horrific situations. You can't argue with the eclectic cast either. An entertaining oddity.
Luke B

Super Reviewer

August 5, 2008
Imagine the brilliance of combining The Great Escape with football. If The Great Escape didn't have you crying manly tears of true awesomeness into a nice cup of tea then this surely will. The use of real actors and footballing professionals really does give the film a more realistic edge than many sporting films. Well at least during the games and training. Not just for football fans, who may actually be too picky and disgruntled of Stallone being the lead. Uplifting, salute worthy and just a bit of fun. Sydow is also brilliant as a nice German officer, which I didn't get since we all know that Germans in war films are evil.
DragonEyeMorrison
DragonEyeMorrison

Super Reviewer

January 4, 2008
Such a cheesy premise that you have to give it some credit for daring.
garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

January 2, 2007
A real oddity in which WWII prisoners of war attempt to hatch an escape plan during an exhibition football match. All the usual feelgood rooting for the underdog cliches, but it's fairly watchable because of the presence of some genuine stars. Helps if you like football, of course...
Tecnoandre
Tecnoandre

Super Reviewer

July 3, 2011
Film about Allied prisoners of war who are interned in a German prison camp during World War II and accept the chalenge of a soccer game facing the German national squad. The film was directed by John Huston and stars Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone and Max von Sydow.
The film received great attention upon its theatrical release, as it also starred football superstars Bobby Moore, Osvaldo Ardiles, Kazimierz Deyna, Paul Van Himst and Pelé. Numerous Ipswich Town F.C. players were also in the film, including John Wark, Russell Osman, Laurie Sivell, Robin Turner and Kevin O'Callaghan. Further Ipswich Town players stood in for actors in the football scenes - Kevin Beattie for Michael Caine, and Paul Cooper for Sylvester Stallone.Good fun in this movie, specially for soccer lovers(as myself).Despite the poor theatrical performances by the soccer players, the final result is good and interesting.
David S

Super Reviewer

August 2, 2010
Let's be honest, this will never be remembered as one of the great war films. Hell, it's not even a good sports film! This is definitely one of Huston's lesser films (there's no visual flair here at all) and even Michael Caine looks bored. Stallone is trying to convince himself that he is McQueen in The Great Escape but fails miserably (and he is the worst goalkeeper ever!) and the script and story never really develop the characters fully. It's left to some good acting from Von Sydow and Massey and a football game that is nowhere near long enough and badly shot to lift this up to an ok film. It's entertaining seeing all the greats on the pitch and Pele's skills are still amazing. One to watch every four years during the world cup but not a patch on The Great Escape.
DrLappos
DrLappos

Super Reviewer

June 9, 2007
Brilliant....Shame they won...
stallonefan1
March 24, 2007
Stallone and Michael Caine lead a football team against a nazi propaganda.Its got some great moments and top notch actors.
soulxside
August 16, 2007
Nostalgic soccer fans take note... the film is seriously pretty terrible and the soccer scenes aren't good, but somehow this film remains a bit of a classic.
jjgaut
February 11, 2007
Just plain boring from opening to closing, although there are some decent (if unexceptional) moments in the soccer games.
December 14, 2012
The combination of Soccer, POW Prison Break, Sylvester Stallone and Michael Caine made Escape to Victory a film I could not miss at all.

Although the concept of a soccer match against POW soldiers and a prison escape sounds really interesting, Escape to Victory moves at a very slow pace over the course of its 117 minute running time and isn't nearly as exciting as it should be. The problem is that the film spends too much time building up to the final soccer match as well as the intended escape and doesn't really fit all that much interesting in over the course of its approximately 85 minute buildup. Escape to Victory has an interesting premise, but its execution is burdened by slow movement and a lack of feeling that comes with the film. Though it should be intense and interesting, I didn't honestly feel much from Escape to Victory. It didn't feel like it captured the true horrors of the war and its drama lacked a personal touch which means that it wasn't that much of a compelling film either. It is easy to find the film compelling as it is a tale of standing up against the Nazi's and therefore against evil and corrupt people in power, but it isn't too easy to truly feel sympathy for the characters as they are mostly just a lot of soldiers who don't honestly seem to be in any real danger even though as POW camp members they are constantly at risk of execution. I guess what I'm saying is that Escape to Victory isn't one of director John Huston's most meaningful and thoughtful films but rather is a half-hearted effort which isn't as inspiring as it should have been and simply follows a conventional style.
The cinematography in Escape to Victory was a little rough. It constantly took on conventional angles which felt a little too zoomed in for their own good. Although the scenery of the film is strong and good for making the film more believable, it is captured with a very rough camera quality and cinematography techniques which do not break any new ground and simply zoom in on things too much, almost like some kind of new report. Escape to Victory has the visual appeal of news coverage in terms of technical qualities, and this really doesn't benefit it, nor does it make it feel more genuine or compelling in any manner. It doesn't even truly capture the big scale of what is actually going on, nor does it really glamourise the final soccer match scene due to the same reasons. The musical score is the only really strong technical quality, and it isn't capitalised on much when it could have been used which has a lot of random dramatic sequences being essentially empty of any feeling. Frankly, Escape to Victory lacks the depth of a character based film, the heart of a true sports film or the scale of a war film and makes it a simply failure in all three areas.
Escape to Victory has a really interesting story to it because of the fact that it uses as WWII Prisoner of War setting as a medium for its sports story against corruption, but it deserves better treatment than director John Huston gives it. It sounds like a combination of The Great Escape and The Longest Yard on the surface but it is just really dull, slow and over long as a final product, and the victory of the film isn't all that easy to feel except for the most patriotic viewers and biggest fans of association football. As a person not too familiar with it, I really couldn't find all that much appeal in Escape to Victory, and the fact that it attempted to balance many themes without truly establishing a single one correctly rendered it an inconsistent and scattered film which just doesn't have enough consistent entertainment value
Escape from Victory is simply a boring film and isn't a visual experience like a good sports or war film truly should be which means that it doesn't have the strength of numerous films of the same genre and concept. The final soccer match scene is fairly entertaining though, and its themes are good. And all in all, the cast make a good effort to ensure that the intended effect of Escape to Victory is felt in the end.
As expected, Michael Caine is a great heroic lead in Escape to Victory simply because of his natural heroism and the fact that he is a very likable lead, as well as the fact that he makes for an inspiring hero and shares a tense and effective chemistry with Sylvester Stallone at the right times. Michael Caine gives Escape to Victory a touch of the patriotic edge that it really needs, and although it doesn't precisely succeed as much as it wants to, Michael Caine's performance is no problem and proves to be one of the most positive aspects of the film.
Sylvester Stallone's performance is a rather routine effort, but Escape to Victory benefits from his genial presence and the fact that he serves as the symbol of America's patriotism. Sylvester Stallone creates a natural strong presence for Escape to Victory simply because of who he is and how strong he is. His escape scene feels genuine because of how he makes the atmosphere of the story feel realistic, so he is a strong addition to the cast in Escape to Victory.
Max Von Sydow is also naturally strong as a villain, and the presence of Pele as a Soccer hero is awesome because of his awesome heroism as a soccer player.

So despite Escape to Victory having a lot of potential due to the nature of its story and the fact that it combines sporting heroism with the concept of prison escape, it ends up too slow, dull and weak in how it scripts itself to truly soar and be actually heroic and inspiring.
March 23, 2014
A rather unoriginal story that reeks of inspiration from 'The Great Escape' and 'The Longest Yard', however this charming World War II sports film is still an exciting picture with a typically conventional feel featuring some of the greatest sportsmen in history including Bobby Moore and Pelé. It does have a cheesy premise, but is executed rather well with a classic nostalgic feel to it.
September 24, 2013
Enjoyable for the football fan, maybe they should make an updated one with Beckham, Renaldo and Messi
June 28, 2013
We saw this one again today. What a classic, if you love football, this one is a must!
March 23, 2013
its shows hope of leaving the prison
March 17, 2013
Michael Caine has always, always made it easier for me to suspend my disbelief. And Huston's reverence for Pele and the game was obvious and welcome. A well made movie.
The Critic
February 26, 2013
A fanciful prison escape film that has a strong sense of believability (though it could've easily gone the other way) through the engaging performances from its principal players. Sylvester Stallone is fun as the loud-mouthed American spending time in a Nazi prison camp alongside Europeans, lead by an always-likeable Michael Caine.

It's a highly entertaining piece that continually builds momentum as it goes on. And just when you think the plan is about to come together...
January 21, 2013
No es de extrañarse que este filme no haya pegado en Estados Unidos y tenga reviews tan bajos, es un filme sobre futbol soccer, que es un deporte nada popular en Estados Unidos, que la gente allá no entiende ni disfruta, y en 1981? Todavía menos, si cuando hicieron la copa USA 94 la mayoría de los gringos ni siquiera estaban enterados de que se estaba realizando una copa mundial en su país, más de 10 años antes mucho menos iba a interesarles ver un filme sobre futbol soccer. Yo solo tengo que decir esto... Pelé vs Nazis, ah? ah?! El mejor jugador de futbol soccer de la historia contra los villanos más temibles de la historia. Qué más pueden pedir?! Además Pelé diseñó todas las jugadas que se ven en el partido. El filme es básicamente "The Longest Yard" se encuentra con "The Great Escape", ahí no puedo negar que no es algo que digamos muy original o novedoso, pero eso no quita... Pelé vs Nazis!!! El filme se inspira también en un partido que supuestamente nazis tuvieron con un equipo de Ukrania, y que supuestamente como ganaron los de Ukrania, fueron fusilados después del partido. En este filme los papeles protagónicos los tienen Michael Caine y Sylvester Stallone por lado de los aliados teniendo su contraparte en el distinguido Max Von Sydow, que interpreta a uno de los pocos Nazis honorables que he visto en filmes. Además, como si fuera poco, aparte de contar con Pelé, el filme tiene a Osvaldo Ardiles, Bobby Moore, y otras luminarias de ese momento del futbol soccer. Y finalmente tenemos... Pelé vs Nazis!!! Cómo no van a querer ver eso?!!! Altamente recomendada.
November 17, 2012
actually i like the MichaEL Caine perfomance
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