A Man Escaped (1956) Imprisoned French Resistance Fighter Seeks Liberation

A Man Escaped (1956) Robert Bresson film prison POW french resistence movie poster

Caught. Wedged on the back seat of a speeding car. Three men. Two handcuffed, one not. Maybe not enough cuffs to go around? He’s by the door. The door handle beacons. Should he make a run for it? He’s likely to be killed anyway, whatever he does. He’d chance it, go for it. No! the car is travelling too fast. At the traffic lights he’d make a break for freedom. The car speeds through. His hand taps the door handle. A tram is coming. Now’s his chance!

A Man Escaped (1956) Robert Bresson film prison POW french resistence François Leterrier looking through bars

Beaten, imprisoned and locked away with many men. Interrogation awaits. This was Montluc prison. A place of despair and brutally. Nazi Germany had invaded France and pockets of resistance fighters kept chipping away at their captors. If they were caught they were brought here. A home to the Gestapo. Tortured, interrogated, broken and shot. Firing squads were heard on a daily basis but never seen. Death wasn’t far, spirits are crushed. No talking! The German soldiers are always there, always watching. The men need a purpose, to keep their low morale alive. Just a pencil would do for now. It’s a start.

A Man Escaped (1956) Robert Bresson writting wall prison POW french resistence François Leterrier

Lieutenant Fontaine (François Leterrier) was a captured French resistance fighter. Now handcuffed in his tiny cell, 24 hours a day. What he needs is a safety pin. A little win! Now Fontaine can focus a goal in his mind. Escape. He’d play the long game, he knew it wouldn’t be easy, maybe impossible? No, don’t think that, keep that determination. Ambition and hope. It would take time. He had time, well until he was shot! He had to escape. It would keep him busy and active. The fear and paranoia was always there, around every single corner. It fed him. He was cool under pressure. The adrenaline kept him alert and focused. He had a plan. All he needed now was a…… spoon!

A Man Escaped (1956) Robert Bresson nazi sign prison POW french resistence

  • A Man Escaped is directed and written by Robert Bresson. Himself, I read, spent time in prison as a member of the French Resistance.
  • Robert Bresson won the Best Director Award at the 1957 Cannes Film Festival.
  • You can read a very informative article, obituary of Robert Bresson in the Guardian from 1999 with his passing at the grand age of 98.

A Man Escaped (1956) Robert Bresson film prison POW french resistence prisoners inmates

  • François Leterrier didn’t really acted again after giving such a sublime performance but strangely he’d go off to directed Emmanuelle 3! Say whaaaat?
  • The film is based on the memoirs of André Devigny a school teacher who’d joined the French Army at the outbreak of the Second World War. Later, as France fell, he’d helped the British Special Operations Executive whilst joining the fight with his French Resistance brothers-in-arms. Unfortunately, later getting caught by the Gestapo and sent to Montluc prison. Only to be tortured by the infamous Butcher of Lyon!
  • A link to André Devigny wikipedia page where you can read some historical facts about the brave man. And here’s a photo of him.
A Man Escaped (1956) Robert Bresson nazi sign prison POW André Devigny resistance fighter
André Devigny

A Man Escaped is a captivating and mesmerising story. It’s painstaking execution keeps you completely immersed in the danger, the heroics and the dread. It’s breathtaking and claustrophobic. The dialogue is kept to a bare minimum but still you feel for every expression caught in a glance or sorrowful, blank look. The German soldiers are rarely focused on, just their presence is enough to command fear. The firing squads are not seen yet it doesn’t make them any less terrifying. A Man Escaped is incredible and very thought provoking in it’s manner. I would say it’s truly essential viewing.

A Man Escaped (1956) Robert Bresson film prison POW french resistence François Leterrier

Have you seen this one? I’ve seen Robert Bresson’s fantastic Pickpocket which I really enjoyed. Feel free to recommend any other of his works if you wish and let me know what you thought of A Man Escaped.

Thanks for popping in on the wolf lair. All the best and keep watching those screens. Mikey


Seven Days to Noon (1950) How Far Would You Go To Save Mankind?

Seven Days to Noon (1950) Boulting brothers thriller movie poster

Standing nervously in the dark of a small cheap bed and breakfast. A haven for now. He knew he wouldn’t have the appetite for the breakfast and he certainly wouldn’t sleep a wink. He paced the room. The streetlights casting shadows across the room. Dreadful images constantly twisted in his mind. Thoughts of what he planned to do consumed his soul. He wasn’t a bad man but he knew his name would go down in the history books as an evil harbinger of death! Continue reading “Seven Days to Noon (1950) How Far Would You Go To Save Mankind?”

Billy Budd (1962) Terence Stamp Sweetly Smiles Through The Napoleonic War

Billy Budd (1962) Peter Ustinov robert ryan terence stamp poster movie art work

And again I reached that age old question? Is Robert Ryan going to be a goodie or a baddie? Well I believe it’s no secret to say that Robert Ryan’s portrayal of John Claggart the Master Of Arms is as malicious and hateful as he’s ever been. No question? A man so cruel and despicable that he makes another ship bound lunatic, like say Queeg (Humphrey Bogart) look decidedly sweet and tender. Continue reading “Billy Budd (1962) Terence Stamp Sweetly Smiles Through The Napoleonic War”

Deadlier Than the Male (1967) Crazy Hot Lady Assassins In Bond-Esque Caper

Deadlier Than the Male (1967) poster james bond style hot girl kickass for hire

If you are here for Deadlier Than the Male then you are more than likely here for one thing. So without no further ado here are the assassins and the other lovely ladies.

Deadlier Than the Male (1967) Elke Sommer Irma Eckman Sylva Koscina Penelope harpoon sea bikinis sexy Continue reading “Deadlier Than the Male (1967) Crazy Hot Lady Assassins In Bond-Esque Caper”

The Reckoning (1970) Marler Raced Up North For Revenge Before Get Carter

The Reckoning (1970) Nicol Williamson Jack Gold Ann Bell poster

Before Jack Carter (Michael Caine) swaggered around the north brandishing a shotgun with his tackle hanging out. There had been another! Michael Marler (Nicol Williamson) preceded the London bad boy as the returning prodigal son. Both had family deaths to revenge and women to bed. Jack speeds around in his humble Ford Cortina in Newcastle upon Tyne whilst Michael rockets to Liverpool in his posh Jaguar. Jack was a gangster. Michael is a cutthroat businessman. Both had payback on their minds. Continue reading “The Reckoning (1970) Marler Raced Up North For Revenge Before Get Carter”