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Escape (1948 film)

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Director  Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Music director  William Alwyn
Language  English
6.8/10 IMDb

Genre  Thriller
Story by  John Galsworthy
Country  United KingdomUnited States
Escape (1948 film) movie poster

Release date  March 1948 (1948-03) (London)July 30, 1948 (1948-07-30) (Los Angeles)
Based on  the play Escape by John Galsworthy
Writer  Philip Dunne, John Galsworthy (play)
Cast  Rex Harrison (Matt Denant), Peggy Cummins (Dora Winton), William Hartnell (Inspector Harris), Norman Wooland (Minister), Jill Esmond (Grace Winton), Frederick Piper (Brownie)
Similar movies  The Criminal, Payroll, The Good Die Young, Blind Date, The Clouded Yellow, Hell Drivers

Escape is a 1948 British-American thriller film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. It follows a Royal Air Force World War II veteran (Rex Harrison) who goes to prison and then escapes and meets a woman who persuades him to surrender. The screenplay by Philip Dunne was based on the 1926 play Escape by John Galsworthy, which had previously been filmed in 1930.


Escape (1948 film) Escape 1948 Rex Harrison US insert poster F NM 125


Escape (1948 film) Escape 1948 IMDb

A former RAF squadron leader, Matt Denant goes to Hendley, England to visit an airfield run by Titch, a friend. An employee there named Rodgers asks if he would kindly make a large wager for him on a horse. Denant does, but when the horse loses, Rodgers makes a promise to repay him.

Escape (1948 film) William Alwyn Main Title music from Escape 1948 YouTube

While strolling through Hyde Park, a woman strikes up a conversation with Matt, only to be charged with unlawful soliciting by Penter, a detective. Matt intervenes on her behalf, but when the two men fight, Penter's head strikes a park bench.

Escape (1948 film) NoirWorthWatching ESCAPE 1948

Matt is placed under arrest. He is then sentenced to three years in prison after Penter dies. Believing it an unjust punishment, Matt escapes. Inspector Harris of Scotland Yard is assigned to find him, while Matt takes refuge in the home of Sir James Winton, whose daughter Dora helps him hide.

Escape (1948 film) Joseph L Mankiewiczs Rare Escape The New Yorker

An aeroplane is left for Matt by his friend, enabling him to flee to France, but he is betrayed by Rodgers once it's learned the police are offering a reward. Matt's aeroplane is caught in a heavy fog and crashes. He survives and takes refuge in a farm. Dora finds him and professes her love, also persuading Matt that he must turn himself in to the law.


Escape (1948 film) NoirWorthWatching ESCAPE 1948

  • Rex Harrison as Matt Denant
  • Peggy Cummins as Dora Winton
  • William Hartnell as Inspector Harris
  • Peter Croft as Titch
  • Stuart Lindsell as Sir James Winton
  • Norman Wooland as Minister
  • Jill Esmond as Grace Winton
  • Frederick Piper as Brownie - convict
  • Marjorie Rhodes as Mrs. Pinkem
  • Betty Ann Davies as Girl in Park
  • Cyril Cusack as Rodgers
  • John Slater as Salesman
  • Frank Pettingell as Constable Beames
  • Michael Golden as Detective Penter
  • Frederick Leister as Judge
  • Walter Hudd as Defence Counsel
  • Maurice Denham as Crown Counsel
  • Critical response

    Film critic A.H. Weiler of the New York Times wrote a positive review of the film, "As the harried convict, Rex Harrison gives a restrained but persuasive portrait of a man beset not only by physical but moral tribulations ... The pace of Escape, as set by director Joseph L. Mankiewicz, is, on occasion, slower than might be desired, and scenarist Philip Dunne's script is sometimes given to lengthy conversation. But these are minor flaws in an adult work, which unspectacularly and effectively does justice to a serious theme.

    Similarly, critic Craig Butler appreciated the film, writing, "Mankiewicz does a very good job of emphasizing the script's strong points, and he uses a number of interesting visual touches to keep things lively during discussions of morality and other weighty issues ... For his part, Harrison is in top form, finding multiple levels to play in dialogue that could easily devolve into rants and providing the kind of solid performance that is crucial to anchoring a film of this type. Neither he nor Mankiewicz can overcome the limitations of the script to make Escape a classic, but they do make it fairly engrossing."


    Escape (1948 film) Wikipedia
    Escape (1948 film) IMDb Escape (1948 film)