The McKenzie Break (1970)

PG   |    |  Action, Drama, War

The McKenzie Break (1970) Poster

During WW2, German POWs in Britain plot to escape from their prison camp in Scotland.


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21 October 2001 | Karl Self
Whereas many supposedly modern films such as `Saving Private Ryan' play along a clear black - and - white scheme (us = good decent chaps, Germans inhuman war robots), `The McKenzie Break' goes down a different path; neither of the central characters is readily likeable or even understandable. Captain Jack Connor is an Irishman fighting on the side of the British Army, a maverick by his personality and origin and yet a representative of the status quo. His antagonist Kapitän Willi Schlüter is a fanatical Nazi, yet we unwillingly sympathize with him because, young and sharp - witted, he is a prisoner desperately trying to break free.

Because the film does not force a constructed morality on the viewer, it is truthful and keeps us in suspense; we are never able to predict the ending or even the next turn of events. `The McKenzie' break is truly a neglected gem, an honest, engaging and intelligent movie that stands out among its genre.

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