A Man Escaped


1h 40m 1956
A Man Escaped

Brief Synopsis

An activist is imprisoned by the Nazis, and devotes his waking hours to planning an elaborate escape.

Film Details

Also Known As
En dödsdömd har rymt, Man Escaped, Man Escaped or: The Wind Bloweth Where It Listeth, A, Un Condamne a mort s'est echappe ou le vent souffle ou il veut, Un condamné à mort s'est échappé, Wind Bloweth Where it Listeth, The
Genre
Drama
Thriller
War
Prison
Foreign
Release Date
1956
Location
Montluc Prison, Lyon, France

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 40m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

Rebel activist Andre Devigny has planned a foolproof escape from a Nazi prison. But on the day of the jailbreak, he is given a new cellmate and must decide whether to let the man in on his plan or kill him as a suspected informant.

Film Details

Also Known As
En dödsdömd har rymt, Man Escaped, Man Escaped or: The Wind Bloweth Where It Listeth, A, Un Condamne a mort s'est echappe ou le vent souffle ou il veut, Un condamné à mort s'est échappé, Wind Bloweth Where it Listeth, The
Genre
Drama
Thriller
War
Prison
Foreign
Release Date
1956
Location
Montluc Prison, Lyon, France

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 40m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Articles

A Man Escaped


Critics that praise French director Robert Bresson often remark on his ascetic, severe approach. He's noted for using non-actors and then directing them with a method intended to remove all vestiges of "acting." When pressed, Bresson explained that his intent was to reject all theatrical elements in favor of pure cinema. His A Man Escaped (1956) is a unique suspense film that boldly exhibits the director's penchant for paring story and character down to bare essentials. Also known as "The Wind Blows Where It Wants," the account of an escape from a Gestapo prison in occupied France creates suspense without trickery or dramatic exaggeration. There is little direct dialogue. Based on the experiences of actual Resistance hero André Divigny, the condemned Lt. Fontaine (François Leterrier) prepares his daring prison break by fashioning tools from objects in his cell and carefully dismantling the wooden door. We know only what our hero sees and hears, and he can't see much from his narrow cell window. In place of patriotic speeches about faith or human resolve, Bresson's film concentrates on the stark reality that Fontaine is betting his life on every detail of his plan. Does he have a chance? Fontaine continues to pass notes to his comrades, even after his captors threaten to execute anyone caught with a pencil. Just when he's ready to make his move, a second prisoner is placed in his cell, a French conscript soldier. Is this fellow a plant, an informer for the Germans? Fontaine must either kill him or take him along on the escape. This spare tale of pure mental calculation and self-reliance is Bresson's most hopeful film. He avoids patriotic heroics but does deliver one moment of 'history shock.' When Fontaine is escorted into a building in Lyon, the camera tilts up to see a sign reading "Hôtel Terminus." That hotel housed the Gestapo office of the dreaded war criminal Klaus Barbie.

By Glenn Erickson Producer: Alain Poire, Jean Thuillier
Director: Robert Bresson
Screenplay: Robert Bresson (scenario and dialogue); Andre Devigny (memoir)
Cinematography: L.H. Burel
Art Direction: Pierre Charbonnier
Film Editing: Raymond Lamy
Cast: Francois Leterrier (Fontaine), Charles Le Clainche (Jost), Maurice Beerblock (Blanchet), Roland Monod (Priest of Leiris), Jacques Ertaud (Orsini), Jean Paul Delhumeau (Hebrard), Roger Treherne (Terry), Jean Philippe Delamarre (Le Prisonnier 110), Cesar Gattegno (Prisoner X), Jacques Oerlemans (Chief Warden).
BW-99m.
A Man Escaped

A Man Escaped

Critics that praise French director Robert Bresson often remark on his ascetic, severe approach. He's noted for using non-actors and then directing them with a method intended to remove all vestiges of "acting." When pressed, Bresson explained that his intent was to reject all theatrical elements in favor of pure cinema. His A Man Escaped (1956) is a unique suspense film that boldly exhibits the director's penchant for paring story and character down to bare essentials. Also known as "The Wind Blows Where It Wants," the account of an escape from a Gestapo prison in occupied France creates suspense without trickery or dramatic exaggeration. There is little direct dialogue. Based on the experiences of actual Resistance hero André Divigny, the condemned Lt. Fontaine (François Leterrier) prepares his daring prison break by fashioning tools from objects in his cell and carefully dismantling the wooden door. We know only what our hero sees and hears, and he can't see much from his narrow cell window. In place of patriotic speeches about faith or human resolve, Bresson's film concentrates on the stark reality that Fontaine is betting his life on every detail of his plan. Does he have a chance? Fontaine continues to pass notes to his comrades, even after his captors threaten to execute anyone caught with a pencil. Just when he's ready to make his move, a second prisoner is placed in his cell, a French conscript soldier. Is this fellow a plant, an informer for the Germans? Fontaine must either kill him or take him along on the escape. This spare tale of pure mental calculation and self-reliance is Bresson's most hopeful film. He avoids patriotic heroics but does deliver one moment of 'history shock.' When Fontaine is escorted into a building in Lyon, the camera tilts up to see a sign reading "Hôtel Terminus." That hotel housed the Gestapo office of the dreaded war criminal Klaus Barbie. By Glenn Erickson Producer: Alain Poire, Jean Thuillier Director: Robert Bresson Screenplay: Robert Bresson (scenario and dialogue); Andre Devigny (memoir) Cinematography: L.H. Burel Art Direction: Pierre Charbonnier Film Editing: Raymond Lamy Cast: Francois Leterrier (Fontaine), Charles Le Clainche (Jost), Maurice Beerblock (Blanchet), Roland Monod (Priest of Leiris), Jacques Ertaud (Orsini), Jean Paul Delhumeau (Hebrard), Roger Treherne (Terry), Jean Philippe Delamarre (Le Prisonnier 110), Cesar Gattegno (Prisoner X), Jacques Oerlemans (Chief Warden). BW-99m.

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1956

Released in United States on Video August 10, 1994

Released in United States 1956

Released in United States on Video August 10, 1994

Re-released in London November 9, 1990.