None Shall Escape (1944)

“The future lies in victory not in freedom. The war will be continued until it’s won, that’s our destiny. ” – Wilhelm Grimm

Number of Times Seen – 1 (13 Sep 2018)

Brief Synopsis – Following the future end of World War II, the career of a Nazi on trial is shown in flashback following the testimony of many of the witnesses.

My Take on it – This is a film that I was interested in seeing upon hearing that it was one of the very first films to show the kind of atrocities committed by the Nazis on Jews and other minorities during World War II.

It was quite a bold move to make a film speculating how a tribunal would treat war criminals despite the fact that the war was far from being over at the time this was made.

Surprisingly, they do get many of the overall ideas right which helps make thing seem realistic in retrospect yet there are still a lot more things that just don’t work well especially with the information we now have about what transpired in Germany during those dark days.

The way that the panel of judges deal with the information given to them feels a bit too preachy especially with the knowledge that this was made while the war was still being fought.

Bottom Line – Interesting idea that speculated on the way things would be seen following the end of the war. They get a lot of it right yet there are some things that feel a bit too preachy. The story doesn’t work as well as one would hope it would yet they do manage to show some of Nazi atrocities quite vividly even when some of their actions were pure speculation at the time.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Director de Toth was doing only his second feature for Columbia with “None Shall Escape” and the studio wanted him to use Paul Lukas, who had recently enjoyed a great success in a similar role with “Watch on the Rhine.” De Toth wanted a lesser known star and campaigned for Alexander Knox, whom he had seen on Broadway in Chekhov’s “Three Sisters.” When Knox was hired and was told who was directing, he objected that de Toth was unknown and insisted on Lewis Milestone. Harry Cohn reportedly berated Knox for his selfishness and ingratitude. According to de Toth, Knox and he ended up as friends, and worked together on subsequent films. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)


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One thought on “None Shall Escape (1944)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1944 | MovieRob

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