The 5th Golden Boy Blogathon: A William Holden Celebration – Escape to Athena (1979)

This is a post dedicated to The Fifth Golden Boy Blogathon: A William Holden Celebration! being held over at The Wonderful World of Cinema, The Flapper Dame and Love Letters to Old Hollywood.

Tnx Virginie, Emily and Michaela for letting me take part!

“Telling bad jokes doesn’t make a man a collaborator.” – Professor Blake

Number of Times Seen – 1 (15 Apr 2022)

Brief Synopsis – A group of prisoners at a Greek Prison camp during World War Two try to find a way to escape while also discovering a long lost national treasure.

My Take on it – This is a movie that I knew nothing about before coming across it in my search for films for this blogathon.

The cast is amazing with Roger Moore, Telly Savalas, Elliott Gould, Sonny Bono, David Niven, Stephanie Powers and Richard Roundtree.

William Holden actually only has a very small two second cameo in the film, but it is so memorable for me that I still include this film as being part of his filmography.

One of my favorite roles that Holden portrayed during his career was his role in Stalag 17 (1953) as J.J. Septon and this film has him play that character as another character passes by him in the POW camp.

It’s quite ironic and even after 26 years, Holden still was able to play this character with the same gusto and characteristics that won him an Oscar.

He apparently agreed to do this cameo because he was in a relationship with Stephanie Powers at the time and was on set.

This film is a fun escape film and there are lots of light moments along with the action scenes.

The biggest problem with things here is the way that things get a bit convoluted because the plot and plans keep changing directions as things unfold.

Unfortunately, the characters aren’t developed enough and they seem like superficial stereotypes which is a shame.

The film gives a nice twist to the WWII escape film and despite not giving enough of an explanation about how some of these characters ended up where they are, it still is quite enjoyable to watch as it progresses.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Despite some misgivings about the quality of the script, several of the cast members were still enticed to appear in the film due to the prospect of spending three months filming in scenic parts of Greece As Roger Moore put it “Even if the film turned out to be a flop I still got to spend several weeks with my family enjoying the glorious Greek sunshine in the splendid company of David Niven and nights out on the town with Telly Savalas”. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)


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One thought on “The 5th Golden Boy Blogathon: A William Holden Celebration – Escape to Athena (1979)

  1. I really didn’t have a lot of expectations when I saw that film and I think there are things that work for it. It has some potential but unfortunately a lot of flaws (you put the finger on some of them). For instance, it could and should have been shorter. But overall it has its moment, including Holden’s cameo. I like how you compared it to his character in Stalag 17! Thanks a lot for your participation!


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