Escape to Victory: We’ve come a long way, USA!

Escape to Victory.jpg
Remember schmaltzy Escape to Victory. The soccer movie by John Huston with a beefed up Sly Stallone playing the goalkeeper, Capt. Robert Hatch. It was all about a soccer match between the good old allied prisoners and their jailers, the beastly Nazis. With stakes involved. It helped that the players representing the Allies included Pele, Bobby Moore, and Osvaldo Ardiles. The honor of the Germans were shouldered by ex-players of Ipswich Town. And Max Von Sydow, who by the looks of it has always had problems tieing his shoelaces, let alone kick a beer can.
So of course, the Allied not only kicked ass but managed to escape. The best part was Sylvester Stallone with his lines, playing the Allied goalkeeper underscoring the total ignorance of an American to soccer.
[Just before the football match]
Hatch: Where do I stand for a corner kick?

Hatch: This frigging game is ruining my life
Its gratifying to note that contemporary day Americans are much more knowledgeable about soccer than Robert Hatch circa 1944. But then again its Hollywood, so anything is possible including a fantasy about the US winning the World Cup, where they beat the evil and dastardly Iranians in the finals and thereby save the planet from nuclear annihilation. Mahmoud Ahmedinejad played by Art Malik, plots revenge and becomes Shakira in the closing ceremony of the World Cup. But his voice gives him away and he is charged by Sony Music for impersonation and panned by Simon Cowell for the worst rendition of Underneath My Clothes. Which is worse than nuclear annihilation, believe you me. But it rids us of Ahmedinejad, without Bush and Cheney resorting to their Aw Shucks bombing of Iran and the messy democracy to follow amongst the idle Iranians. Lives are spared and FIFA awards the 2022 World Cup to Iran. Taylor Twellman finally makes it to the US team at age 42.
Lest, I get carried away, here is the Imdb info on Escape to Victory. Pele choreographed the whole game and Stallone insisted that he score the match winner. He was gently reminded that it was not what a goalkeeper does.

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4 comments on “Escape to Victory: We’ve come a long way, USA!
  1. I totally remember that movie, and I have to say that you are being far too kind when you call it “schmaltzy”!! What a waste of almost two hours, huh? Anyway, thanks for the laugh.

  2. You might double-check on what Stallone’s nationality is in that movie, I thought it was American too; but I read reviews at and they said he’s a Canadian in that movie and I think they are correct. Still, good topic and article to bring up. It may not be an A-1 movie, but with a few extra touches, maybe they could have had “Private Ryan” soccer style. Soccer movies are few and far between, so I don’t downgrade it too much.

  3. How about THE GAME OF THEIR LIVES with Louis Mandylor, his brother Costos & a bunch of others?
    It may be out on DVD by now. It had a limited release altho I don’t know why. It’s a true soccor story .

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