Escape to Athena (1979)

George P. Cosmatos directs Roger Moore, Telly Savalas and Elliot Gould in the WWII caper where prisoners of war on a Greek Island rope their good German warden into a heist.

A lot of snobs look down their noses at this one but (while nowhere near The Great Escape God Tier) it is a perfectly grand Boy’s Own lark for all its dated compromises. Rog is a lovely gent as always who just happens to be wearing the enemy’s uniform. Half hearted accent aside, you know implicitly he’s a good egg from the start. He and David Niven take a classy back seat for the second half which is action, action, action. Seventies on-location destruction derby-a-go-go. Rhodes gets torn up… Shaft throws grenades, Ross’ Dad chases the SS in an incongruously blistering motorcycle chase that matches 007’s finest stunt work and Kojack is a bad ass resistance monk. The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. does a PG striptease for Mr Bronson from Grange Hill. Claudia Cardinale runs a cheeky brothel! Silly ensemble work gives way to explosive spectacle. What else do you guys want from your expensive yet cost cutting afternoon filler? An anachronistic advert from the Greek Tourist board to come visit the locations set to specifically commissioned disco music? Well… just guess how this barmy charmer ends?


Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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