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Bulat Tretyakov
Bulat Tretyakov

Escape To Victory



Today we celebrate our athletes in the way we used to celebrate war heroes, with giant parades. I was by accident caught downtown in the 2016 celebration of the Chicago Cubs world series victory. I was meeting a friend for breakfast, we scheduled the meeting a week or two prior. I get on the train that morning, and everyone was dressed in blue. The last time I saw so many people crowding together, where the crowd was larger than what my eyes could register, I was in Mecca for the pilgrimage, though without all the alcohol. I suppose that is a fitting analogy, because sports can be religion for many, and religion can be sport for many.




Escape to Victory



We see contrast in this film, not between sport and religion, but between patriotism and nationalism. In championships, we root for our own team and share in their victory or loss. In war, regimes fill their populaces with nationalist pride (rather, rage), so as to justify the bloodshed of villains.


Colby is the captain and essentially the manager of the team and thus chooses his squad of players. Another POW, Robert Hatch, an American who is serving with the Canadian Army, is not initially chosen, but eventually nags the reluctant Colby into letting him on the team as the team's trainer, as Hatch needs to be with the team to facilitate his upcoming escape attempt.


Colby's superior officers repeatedly try to convince him to use the match as an opportunity for an escape attempt, but Colby consistently refuses, fearing that such an attempt will only result in getting his players killed. Meanwhile, Hatch has been planning his unrelated escape attempt, and Colby's superiors agree to help him if he in return agrees to journey to Paris, contact the French Resistance and try to convince them to help the football team escape.


Hatch succeeds in escaping the prison camp and finding the Resistance in Paris. The Resistance initially believes it will be too risky to aid the team's escape, but once they realise the game will be at the Colombes Stadium, they plan the escape using a tunnel from the Parisian sewer system to the showers in the players' changing room. They convince Hatch to let himself be recaptured so that he can pass this information back to the leading British officers at the prison camp.


After Hatch preserves the draw, the crowd storms the field and swarms the players. Some of the spectators help the Allied players disguise themselves in the chaos so that they can escape, and they all burst through the gates to freedom.


The film was inspired by the now discredited story of the so-called Death Match in which FC Dynamo Kyiv defeated German soldiers while Ukraine was occupied by German troops in World War II. According to myth, as a result of their victory, the Ukrainians were all shot. The true story is considerably more complex, as the team played a series of matches against German teams, emerging victorious in all of them, before any of them were sent to prison camps by the Gestapo. Four players were documented as being killed by the Germans but long after the dates of the matches they had won.[10]


Escape to Victory is one of those films that manages to dip its toes in a number of different genres in just two short hours. At different times it has the feel of a historical drama, a war flick, a suspense thriller, and finally a sports movie. That variety keeps the movie from getting too bogged down in the details and keeps the escape narrative moving forward throughout. The internal politics and intrigue within a POW camp, for both the captured and the captors, is one of the most interesting dynamics that the film brings to light.


Comparisons between Escape to Victory and 1963's The Great Escape starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, and Richard Attenborough are plentiful, but Escape to Victory has its own flavor, and is far from an imitation of the former. While the central focus of The Great Escape is the actual escape plan, Escape to Victory is more focused on preparations for the all-important match than the plot to flee. As such, the soccer match in Escape to Victory offers a satisfying crescendo to the story that's about much more than simply getting away from one's captors.


Throughout the movie, much is made of what the game means. For Caine and the POWs, it's a way to reclaim some of their dignity from the Germans. For Hatch, it signifies a means of escape, for Von Steiner it's an olive branch of sorts, and for his Nazi superiors it's a way to assert their dominance over the prisoners. It's a multi-layered metaphor that gives the movie a little more depth than the average escape caper. In the end, with all odds stacked against them, the Allied team manages to hold their own against the German team. It's a moral victory of the highest order, which results in the French fans rushing the field in elation, leading to the film's ultimate resolution.


This is no ordinary soccer match. This is war! The battlefield: a stadium in occupied Paris. The armies: German all-stars vs. ragtag Allied POWs. The objective: demonstrate another proof of Aryan superiority. Guess who wins. Better yet, guess who cleverly uses the match as a means of escape.


Parents need to know that Victory -- also known as Escape to Victory -- is a sporting drama set during World War II with strong messaging around teamwork, perseverance, and courage. It's loosely based on real events, and tells the story of a group of Allied prisoners of war -- led by Michael Caine's Captain John Colby -- who use a soccer match against their German captors as an opportunity to escape. Released in 1981, the film also stars Sylvester Stallone and has cameo roles for real-life soccer stars Bobby Moore, Pele, and others, who get a chance to show off their skills. Violence is occasional and not graphic, but one failed prison attempt results in a soldier being shot to death. Other characters are hurt off-screen, with a bloody broken nose the most graphic of their injuries. Nudity is brief and non-sexual, when prisoners shower together in their camp or exercise shirtless in the yard. Language is more frequent, with "bulls--t," "bastards," and "bloody" the most often used curse words. Smoking and drinking are occasional, both in moderation, the latter with food in bars and restaurants.


Going through the tunnel, there's stairs immediately heading up and the dressing rooms are situated in a corridor under the main stand. Alas, they were being used as there seemed to be some sort of junior football teams inside and we were unable to check the communal bath for an escape route into the sewers of Budapest.


Edwards came up 1.1s short of Harvick at the finish of Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 Sprint Cup race, but he lost any real hope of contesting the victory when he became embroiled in a fierce battle with Busch following the final restart.


Escape to Victory (stylized as Victory) is a 1981 American-British-Italian sports war film. The head of a German POW camp, soccer enthusiast Karl von Steiner (Max von Sydow) organizes a match between Nazi players and their Allied captives. While the team, which also includes Luis Fernandez (Pelé) of Trinidad, trains for the match under a veteran British player (Michael Caine), Robert Hatch (Sylvester Stallone) plans a dangerous mass escape from the camp. The film received great attention upon its theatrical release, as it also starred professional footballers.


The basic premise of Escape To Victory, which is back on TV screens today, had the Rocky star playing a Second World War Allied Prisoner of War. He becomes the goalkeeper on a team of imprisoned professional football players. They plan to make a daring escape during a Nazi propaganda match against a German team staged in Paris.


For Escape to Victory we make a return to the war with Caine playing Captain John Colby an England international footballer. Now being held in a German prisoner of war camp a chance meeting with an ex-German player leads to them arranging a match between the POWs and a local army base. Before they know it events quickly spiral out of their control as the match is hijacked as a potential propaganda victory for the Nazis and an opportunity to organise an escape for the allies.


Second World War drama starring Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine and Pelé. As a propaganda stunt, the Nazis arrange a football match between the national German team and a squad made up of prisoners of war. However, the PoW team see the game as a chance to attempt an audacious escape.


John Colby (Michael Caine) is a former professional footballer, now prisoner of war in a German camp, who gets roped in by the German camp commander (Max von Sydow) to have a team of his choosing play an exhibition match against a German team. While Colby begins to get his team ready for the game (which includes several POWs from other camps, and Antillan Luis Fernandez (Pelé)), Canadian Robert Hatch (Sylvester Stallone) is trying to escape the camp, and gets into the team to get advantage of the relaxed security around the team. When it turns out that the game will be played in Paris, the French Resistance agrees to help the team escape at halftime, but when the choice becomes between escaping and winning the match, things change a lot. 041b061a72


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