The One That Got Away (1957)

The One That Got AwayThe_One_That_Got_Away-493056152-large
Directed by Roy Ward Baker
Written by Howard Clews from a book by Kendal Burt and James Leasor
The Rank Organization/Julian Wintle Productions
First viewing/Netflix rental

Franz von Werra: Hello, RAF intelligence? Hello, RAF. I’m looking for the microphone hidden near the window of my room. This is Oberluetnant Von Werra calling the RAF, are you recieving me? Werra calling and testing.

This is an different POW escape/action film in that it is a Nazi that does the escaping.

It is 1940.  Lt. Franz von Werra (Hardy Krüger)  is shot down over Britain.  During his interrogation, we learn that he is cocky to the extreme and a proficient liar.  These qualities serve him well as a POW.  He bets his interrogator that he will escape from camp within 6 months.  We follow a couple of audacious aborted escape attempts.

one that got away

Finally, the British transfer him to a camp in Canada.  But nothing can stop von Werra and the last act is devoted to his flight over a snowy landscape.


This is based on the true story of the only POW to successfully escape a British camp and return to Germany.  It is a fairly standard POW escape film despite its twist.  I thought it was refreshing that the filmmakers owned up to all the mistakes the British made in the case.  I had not seen Krüger in anything before and thought he was very good.  All in all I liked this movie.


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