A Man Escaped (1956) – Encore Review


“[Narrating, after giving his word to the prison warden that he would not try to escape again] Who were we kidding? He certainly did not believe me. As for myself, I was determined to escape at the first opportunity.” – Fontaine

Number of Times Seen – 2 (28 Aug 2017 and 20 Apr 2020)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – A French resistance fighter is imprisoned by the German occupiers of France and must try and execute an escape before he is sentenced to death.

My Take on it – I am not the biggest fan of foreign language films and had no desire to see this film until a friend suggested it to me a few tears back.

I was enthralled by the story the first time and when it was suggested to me to rewatch it by my good friend Howard of Rantings and Ravings in order to discuss it on his podcast, I immediately was curious to see what I would think on the second time around.

This is a film that is done so well and works on various levels in showing us the predicament of this character.

The best thing about this movie is its attention to detail because it takes its time focusing on the small events, tools and techniques in order to give the viewer the feeling as if they are part of this planned escape with the character.

Director Robert Besson is able to keep things feeling quiet realistic throughout and the way that the character begins to experience the loneliness and claustrophobia of the cell and prison gives us more reason to root for him because we also are able to experience those feelings along with him.

The pacing of the story is quite slow yet they still find a way to keep us on the edge of our seat as things progress.

This is a movie that is filled with numerous moments that are filled with suspense and even tho I had seen this movie once before, I still felt the thick tension along with the character due to the great way this is all presented here.

Check out the podcast that I recorded with Howard for his Pop-Art Podcast here about this film and The Great Escape (1963).

Bottom Line – Such a brilliant film that works on so many levels. The film’s attention to detail is one of the best parts of it because they take the time to focus on events, tools and techniques in order to help make the viewer feel as if they are part of the escape being planned by this character.  Besson does a wonderful job keeping things realistic and the way that this character feels the claustrophobia and loneliness helps make us cheer for him to find a way to succeed in his endeavor. The story moves at a slow pace yet finds a way to keep us on the edge of our seat as the story moves along. The film is filled with lots of suspenseful moments and despite having seen it before, I still felt the tension of those scenes because they are presented so well. Highly Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – After seeing the film, Jean-Luc Godard said that Robert Bresson was “to French cinema what Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is to German music and Fyodor Dostoevsky is to Russian literature”. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10) (no change from original review)

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2 thoughts on “A Man Escaped (1956) – Encore Review

  1. Pingback: MovieRob Monthy Roundup – April 2020 | MovieRob

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