The One That Got Away (film)
|The One That Got Away|
|Directed by||Roy Ward Baker|
|Produced by||Julian Wintle
Earl St. John
|Music by||Hubert Clifford|
|Editing by||Sidney Hayers|
|Studio||Julian Wintle Productions|
|Distributed by||Rank Organisation|
|Running time||111 minutes|
The One That Got Away is a 1957 World War II film starring Hardy Krüger and featuring Michael Goodliffe, Jack Gwillim and Alec McCowen. It was directed by Roy Ward Baker with a screenplay written by Howard Clewes. It was based on the 1956 book of the same name by Kendal Burt and James Leasor.
The film chronicles the true exploits of Oberleutnant Franz von Werra, a Luftwaffe pilot shot down over England in 1940. He initially tried to escape from England, but was later successful during transfer to a Canadian POW camp.
Luftwaffe fighter pilot Franz von Werra (Hardy Krüger) was shot down during the Battle of Britain and captured. He wagered his RAF interrogator (Michael Goodliffe) at the POW reception centre, Air Defence Intelligence, Cockfosters (London), that he would escape within six months.
Initially, von Werra was sent to a prisoner of war (POW) camp in the Furness area of Lancashire. His first escape attempt resulted in him being recaptured after an intense manhunt while lying in a muddy hole on a moor.
Subsequently, von Werra was sent to a more secure POW camp (based on the Hayes Conference Centre) near Swanwick, Derbyshire. He and four others escaped through a tunnel. The others paired up, but von Werra continued alone. Reaching Codnor Park railway station, he impersonated a Dutch pilot and claimed his Wellington bomber had crashed while on a secret mission. He telephoned the nearest airfield, RAF Hucknall, and tricked the duty officer into sending a car. When his story started to fray, von Werra crept away and tried to steal an experimental Hawker Hurricane, only to be caught at the last moment.
Along with many other POWs, von Werra was sent by ship to Canada. On the train ride across the country, while the guards were distracted, he escaped near Smith's Falls, Ontario, by jumping from a window. Making his way south, using a stolen rowing boat, von Werra crossed the nearly frozen St Lawrence River and reached Ogdensburg, New York in the then still-neutral United States to claim asylum. The RAF interrogator received a postcard from von Werra featuring a photograph of the Statue of Liberty, informing him that he has lost his bet.
The epilogue states:
Despite the efforts of the Canadian Government to obtain his return, and of the United States Authorities to hold him, von Werra crossed the border into Mexico. Travelling by way of Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Spain, he reached Berlin on 18 April 1941.
On 25 October of the same year, while on patrol, his plane was seen to dive into the sea. No trace of von Werra was found.
A Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Hawker Hurricane were featured in the production. As of 2012[update], the Hawker Hurricane IIc (serial number LF363) is still in existence, flying with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
- Erickson, Hal. "The One That Got Away (1957)." The New York Times. Retrieved: 6 May 2012.
- More 1978, p. 171.
- "Hurricane LF363 (Mk IIc)." RAF BBMF. Retrieved: 12 July 2012.
- Thompson, Howard H. "The One That Got Away (1957): Escape Drama Opens." The New York Times, 23 April 1958.
- The One That Got Away at the Internet Movie Database
- The One That Got Away at the TCM Movie Database
- The One That Got Away at allmovie
- The One That Got Away (book) by James Leasor, 1956, 2011. ISBN 978-1-908291-12-7