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Escape

Escape(1940)

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NOTES

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Opening cast credits for the film identify Norma Shearer's character as "The Countess," Conrad Veidt's character as "The General," Albert Basserman's character as "The Lawyer," Felix Bressart's character as "Fritz" and Philip Dorn's character as "The Doctor." End credits list the character names as indicated in the credits above. Character names for the other leading actors, Robert Taylor, Nazimova and Bonita Granville, are the same in both places. According to the film's pressbook, the name Ethel Vance was a pseudonym used by the real authoress of Escape to protect relatives living in Nazi Germany. Modern sources have confirmed that Vance was the pen name of novelist Grace Zaring Stone, who previously had written The Bitter Tea of General Yen (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.0353). Stone's daughter, Eleanor Perenyi, was living in occupied Europe at the time, and her husband, Ellis Stone, was the United States Naval attache in Paris. Stone felt that her relatives might be in danger if her real name were attached to the book, thus she used a pseudonym that was not even known to M-G-M when that studio purchased the rights to the novel.
       An article in Pacific Coast Musician on November 2, 1940 noted that no music credits were given for the film for the reason that the composers also had relatives in Germany and feared for their safety. No music credits were given in contemporary reviews or in onscreen credits, nor were any music credits cited within the film's cutting continuity, a departure from most M-G-M films of the time. Additional scenes were shot for the film in early September 1940 by director George Cukor. A news item notes that Edgar Barrier, who played "The Commissioner," made his motion picture debut in the film. Elsa Basserman, the wife of actor Albert Basserman, who portrayed his wife in the film, made her motion picture debut in the film. Actor Helmut Dantine, who had a minor role as a porter in the film, also made his debut in Escape. Modern sources credit Jack D. Moore with set decoration.