Von Ryan's Express

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20th Century Fox Released 1965

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Movie Summary

Director:
Mark Robson
Released:
1965
Rating:
PG

Von Ryan's Express (1965) is a World War II adventure film concerning an escape from a prisoner-of-war camp in Italy. Ryan, an American Air Force colonel, arrives at the camp as Italy is on the point of collapse. He becomes unpopular with the British soldiers in the camp (almost all the POWs) with his insistence that they stop their campaign of disobedience before it leads to someone's death. Major Fincham, whom he replaces as senior officer, is especially vituperative. One of Ryan's most unpopular decisions is to notify the camp's Commandant, Battaglia, of the prisoners' escape tunnels in exchange for much-wanted medicine and new clothes - this earns him the contemptuous nickname "Von Ryan". When the Nazis take over Italy, however, Ryan sees a chance for the men to commandeer a train and take it to Switzerland and safety whilst disguised in German uniforms. Will personal enmity cloud the issue, or can the POWs bond as a team?

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Themes

Classics, Military & War