The movie has a slightly dated "manly" feel...there are no women, but it isn't a "tough guy" movie, a la, THE DIRTY DOZEN, let's say. These are military men, mostly, each with his own idea of how to escape. How all these efforts play out is at the heart of the movie.
Everyone is very good. Richard Attenborough is very good, and Peter Finch even better. What a underrated actor he was. He is certainly someone who should have had more work. Hardy Kruger is very fine...and his character holds the key to possible escape (and a VERY BIG humdinger of a surprise too!!). And James Stewart is at the top of his game. We so often remember him in romantic comedies like PHILADELPHIA STORY, and impersonators have done him no favors with their stammering, slightly dim-witted approach. When he was a mature actor (not an older, more feeble man)he could be very strong, and very unlikeable if need be. This is one of those roles. He is a convincing tough guy...not just a bland hero, but a hard-headed, sometimes wrong, leader. I put this right near the top of my Jimmy Stewart list.
If you haven't seen this movie, and you are an adult viewer who doesn't require lots and lots of noise and special-effects to have a good time...you MUST see this film. It is a nearly forgotten classic, in my estimation, and one that bears up very well with repeated viewings.
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