Hannibal Brooks

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Hannibal Brooks
Hannibal Brooks Film Poster.jpg
Directed by Michael Winner
Produced by Michael Winner
Written by Michael Winner
Tom Wright
Ian La Frenais (screenplay)
Dick Clement (screenplay)
Starring Oliver Reed
Michael J. Pollard
Wolfgang Preiss
Helmuth Lohner
Music by Francis Lai
Cinematography Robert Paynter
Edited by Peter Austen-Hunt
Lionel Selwyn
Distributed by United Artists Films
Release date(s) July 23, 1969 (1969-07-23)
Running time 102 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Hannibal Brooks is a 1969 British war film about a prisoner of war attempt to escape from Nazi Germany to Switzerland during World War II, accompanied by an Asian elephant. It stars Oliver Reed, Michael J. Pollard and Wolfgang Preiss. It was directed by Michael Winner. The beginning is based on the experiences of the writer Tom Wright, who whilst a prisoner of war, worked at Munich Zoo to care for their elephant "Lucy". Some attribute it to the true story of Olga the elephant rescued from Vienna Zoo in 1944. The title is a reference to the Carthaginian military commander Hannibal who led an army of war elephants over the Alps.


Stephen "Hannibal" Brooks (Oliver Reed) is a British prisoner of war officer put to work in a Munich zoo, looking after an Asian elephant called Lucy. When the zoo is bombed by the Americans the zoo's director (Eric Jelde) determines it is unsafe for the elephant to remain there. So he sends Brooks along with hostile German soldier Kurt (Peter Carsten), a friendly German soldier named Willy (Helmut Lohner) and Vronia, a female cook to accompany the elephant to Innsbruck Zoo via train.

They are forced to walk when an SS commander (Wolfgang Preiss) tells Brooks that the elephant is not allowed on the train. In Austria, Kurt threatens to shoot Lucy whilst drunk and Brooks accidentally kills Kurt. Brooks, Lucy, Willy and Vronia are forced to run towards the Swiss border. They are helped along the way by an American escapee named Packy (Michael J. Pollard) who has formed a group of partisans to fight the Germans in Austria, after many run-ins with the Nazis.Half way there, Lucy gets mumps, so Brooks had to get an Austrian doctor (Ralf Wolter) to look after her, whilst Vronia and Willy run to Willy's parents house. Vronia and Willy are captured, and later are joined by Brooks. Brooks and Willy are rescued by Packy and continue to race towards Switzerland with Lucy. Unfortunately, along the way Willy is shot by the Nazis whilst helping Brooks to escape.

When Brooks gets close to the border with Lucy, he is met with German Col. von Haller (Preiss), the SS commander who told him to walk to Switzerland and Vronia, who has changed sides after being captured. After another long fight with the Germans, Brooks and Lucy eventually make it to Switzerland with Packy and his partisans.


Actor Role
Oliver Reed Stephen 'Hannibal' Brooks
Michael J. Pollard Packy
Wolfgang Preiss Colonel von Haller
Helmuth Lohner Willi
Peter Carsten Kurt
Karin Baal Vronia
Aida The Elephant Lucy
Ralf Wolter Doctor Mendel
John Alderton Bernard
Jürgen Draeger Semi
Ernst Fritz Fürbringer Elephant keeper Kellerman
Erik Jelde Zoo director Stern
James Donald Padre

External links[edit]