RR Films: Escape

Phew! France didn’t put the racist bastard in charge (although her popularity is still very worrying). Given other trends elsewhere, I consider that an escape. Sounds like a topic…..

There are plenty of war-era films and horror films featuring escapes you may wish to pick. The Killing Fields – highlighted in Journalism week – tells the stomach-churning story of one man’s miraculous escape from the murderous Khmer Rouge, but I’ll go with something more light-hearted, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, in which Alan heroically negotiates the release of hostages held at gunpoint (well, in his head he does…..).

What films about escape would you recommend?

22 thoughts on “RR Films: Escape

  1. I suppose that many people will think of The Shawshank Redemption or maybe The Great Escape, but I am going to nom Papillon, the 1973 film, based on the best-selling autobiography by the French convict Henri Charrière, who is played by Steve McQueen.

    Charrière is a bank robber who is sentenced to serve his time in a penal colony in what was then French Guiana. He repeatedly escapes but is always recaptured and eventually is incarcerated in the notorious Devil’s Island, from which he eventually escapes to regain his freedom.

    • I love that book too – although I haven’t read it since I was in my teens. The film is good – I think Dustin Hoffman is in it too.

    • Yes, I nearly kicked off with The Shawshank Redemption but I was held back by the fatal flaw in the escape plan – SPOILER ALERT – which was highlighted recently in the BBC’s adaptation of Decline And Fall. They inserted a scene in which Paul Pennyfeather is trying to escape from his prison cell by making a hole in the wall, over which he intends to place a poster to hide his efforts. ‘How are you going to attach it after you’re on the other side of the wall?, a fellow inmate asks…….

  2. I’ll go for The Crying Game. Forrest Whittaker escapes Stephen Rea and the IRA only to get run over. If I remember, I believe Rea escapes the IRA. (Jaye Davison escapes Magic?)

  3. I recently saw a movie called 3096 Tage. A German film based on the true story of a 10 year old being kidnapped, held for 8 years and her escape finally. Harrowing.

  4. Two immediately spring to mind

    1) Midnight Express – still, after 39 years, one of the most powerful films I’ve ever seen, a true nightmare of a film ! I saw it as a student with 4 mates, we went to the pub afterwards and didn’t speak for about 20 minutes we were so shocked !

    2) A Man Escaped – you couldn’t want for a more contrasting film than this 1956 Robert Bresson story of a French resistance fighter sentenced to death in a Nazi prison camp in Lyons. It is shot with Bresson’s characteristic spare style and yet the attention to detail and slow building of tension means that at the climax of the film ie the escape the viewer feels an almost transcendental release !

    Amazingly both these films are based on true stories.

  5. I’m going for the excellent Aardman film, Chicken Run. A brood of chickens are desperate to escape their prison style coop and the scary pie machine recently installed by their evil overlords Mr and Mrs Tweedy. They enlist the help of the new resident rooster, Rocky. They conclude their only way out is to fly…hilarity ensues in the various attempts to learn this new skill. Aardman films are all very funny – I love the detail in each scene and the amazing knack they have of giving distinctively human characteristics and traits to their animal characters. Most humans are grotesque. Brilliant fun.

  6. Small scale escape, but i’ll also put up Saturday Night Fever. John Travolta escapes his dead end job and life in Brooklyn by dancing on Saturday nights. And eventually plans to escape Brooklyn for Manhattan by the end of the film.

  7. There was a French film a few years ago called “Pour Elle”. English title was “Anything For Her”. It was about a woman who was wrongly imprisoned and her husband’s attempt, when all legal means had failed, to get her out.
    It was a good film, very tense. It was also very well reviewed and very popular in the UK and USA for a foreign language film . Inevitably there was a Hollywood remake which may also be good although I haven’t seen it.
    Here is the trailer for the original version.

  8. The Great Escape (even though only the American actors escape – even the one pretending to be Australian).

  9. The Count of Monte Cristo – convoluted plot, false imprisonment, escape disguised as dead body and final triumph.

  10. Just to add that there was a very good film last year called Mustang. It was an international co-production but set in Turkey. Five orphaned girls of school age are being brought up by their grandparents.
    A minor incidents with some boys leads to them being taken out of school and confined to the home where they can learn to be traditional Turkish wives. This, mostly at the instigation of a rather unpleasant uncle.
    There are various escapades, secretly meeting a boyfriend, sneaking to a football match etc, but the real question is which, if any, of them will escaped marriage to a boy chosen for them by the adults. Possibly who will escape the home altogether. It didn’t get a lot of publicity but it was quite a gem of a film.


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