Escape to Athena [DVD]
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Top Customer Reviews
The blu ray presentation looks really good, especially considering this isn't a typical big budget studio restoration. It's the best I've ever seen this movie.
If you like the movie, get it on blu. If you've never seen it before, rent it first then get it if you liked it.
Escape To Athena may have its critics, but its one hell of a war movie. This film was the second outing with Greek Director, George Pan Cosmatos had with ITC, and as with The Cassandra Crossing in 1976, he brings a sense of importance to the proceedings. Roger Moore is excellent as sympathetic Camp Commandant Otto Hecht, as is Telly Savalas as resistance leader, Zeos.
Roger Moore's casting was accurate. After playing Simon Templair, Lord Brett Sinclair, and of course, James Bond. This film reunites him with Lew Grade after a seven year gap, and his role is essential to the film's storyline.
Of the other actors, Elliot Gould, Sonny Bono, Richard Rountree, Stefanie Powers are also effective, but the main actor in my opinion has to be David Niven as he contributes most to this film.
Lalo Schifrin's Greek oriented music score is the film's most important feature, and the end dance sequence is definitely a highlight. Incidentally, the soundtrack of this film is very hard to find, and is only on Japanese issue.
Nevertheless, an excellent film.
Made in 1979, it's basically a 'family-friendly action movie' / WWII film, but with a satirical or almost slap-stick comic streak a mile wide. Half a decade later, Steven Spielberg would nail that genre niche with his first Indiana Jones movie... whereas Escape to Athena seems to flounder a bit trying to get a balance that works. Perhaps this is because there is no one central goodie/hero character - instead that role is spread rather diffusely between over half a dozen of the leads... Telly Savalas plays it completely straight as a Greek resistance leader, whilst David Niven and Roger Moore give much more twinkly-eyed performances... meanwhile Elliot Gouid and Sonny Bono are totally playing things for laughs. To be fair, this is all perfectly befitting for their characters as scripted, but it means the tone of the film is all over the place.... one minute there's some really quite wry and witty satire, the next the Nazis are hanging Greeks in the village square - not something that there's much to chuckle about. Some of the best performances are from the Nazis, actually - Anthony Valentine is flawless as an SS commander, Philip Locke as a googly-eyed Nazi missle commander, and British viewers of a certain age will delight in Maurice Sheard (Mr Bronson from Grange Hill) as a Nazi sergeant.
It's all fairly watchable, but I can't help feel the satire undermines the drama and vice versa.
On a technical level, the BluRay picture quality is extremely good (the film is all shot on location on the island of Rhodes and looks gorgeous), and there is some very nice music on the soundtrack (particularly evocative use of the cimbalom).Read more ›
Set during the second world war on a 'German' occupied 'Greek' island, a group of 'resistance' fighters joined by some 'prisoners-of-war set out to over-throw the 'Germans'
Some of the prisoners are driven by the promise of valuable relics said to be hidden in the local 'Monestery'
'Roger Moore' plays a 'German' major who's task it was to work the Prisoners on a dig to find 'ancient relics'
A great cast which includes including 'Telly Savalas' 'David Niven' and 'Sonny Bono' the three sadly no longer with us.
This film is a good-romp with much tongue-in-cheek action, if your feeling nostalgic it's a good watch.
The picture quality is a little sharper than on 'DVD' also the sound has been Digitally enhanced for this format.
Available for around £6.00 currently.......decent price for a bucket load of memories.
The ITV DVD from Great Britain is a decent anamorphic transfer in its appropriate 2.35 aspect ratio.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Certainly the best looking version I have ever seen and at a bargain price. Stellar cast in an unusual film. The extras are very interesting, though not re-mastered.Published 2 months ago by Trevor William Douglas
It is very different war film, but great actors and I'll give 9/10.Published 2 months ago by Aquila52
After 30 minutes I had to switch it off. I love ITC shows , the cast list is great but wow- what a yawn. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Phelings
A curio of a movie, with stellar cast, not quite performing their accustomed roles.Published 10 months ago by Ian Patterson
Like a cross between Hogan's Heroes and a very bad Carry on film this is just ludicrous. It must have been an excuse to be paid while on holiday on Rhodes. Read morePublished 11 months ago by N. M. Fletcher