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It's amazing how many great escape from prison movies there actually are. Perhaps there is just something about its concept that keeps intriguing. the comradely and loyalty among the prisoners is perhaps the biggest reason for this all, as to why these sort of movies always work out as effective and involving ones. But perhaps it is also because of the very same reason that I have already seen so many escape from prison movies that I just didn't loved this movie as much as everyone else seems to.

This obviously remains one great movie to watch, mostly because it's being an effective one with all of its themes. The movie is pretty simply with its setup and it doesn't allow itself to get distracted by any subplots. You could say it's being a very straight-forward movie; it's an escape from prison movie and that's all there is to it.

We get to see how the prisoners slowly plan and prepare for their escape. But the whole planning and execution of it isn't brought as well to the screen as for instance is the case with the other and earlier French genre movies "La grande illusion" and "Un condamné à mort s'est échappé ou Le vent soufflé où il veut". Same goes for the movie its atmosphere and story really. I just thought that the movie could had been a tad bit more interesting to get more involving and therefore also more tense to watch.

Can't really put any blame on the movie its characters. They are quite good ones, with each a good and strong personality, which also provides the movie with its best moments. I especially liked the ending, which isn't necessarily a typical sort of ending for these sort of movies.

It's also a well directed movie, with some good looking sequences in it. It was the last movie from director Jacques Becker, who died suddenly, only weeks after finishing this movie.

So despite that this movie is done in familiar genre, it still has plenty of originality and greatness to offer.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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