5.7/10
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Escape to Athena (1979)

A World War II adventure, involving a group of Allied P.O.W.s, Nazis, black market priceless art treasures, Greek resistance, a Greek monastery, and a secret German rocket base.

Director:

George P. Cosmatos

Writers:

Edward Anhalt (screenplay), Richard S. Lochte (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Roger Moore ... Major Otto Hecht
Telly Savalas ... Zeno
David Niven ... Professor Blake
Stefanie Powers ... Dottie Del Mar
Claudia Cardinale ... Eleana
Richard Roundtree ... Nat Judson
Sonny Bono ... Bruno Rotelli
Elliott Gould ... Charlie / Charlie Dane
Anthony Valentine ... SS Major Volkmann
Siegfried Rauch ... Braun
Michael Sheard ... Sergeant Mann
Richard Wren Richard Wren ... Reistoffer
Philip Locke ... Vogel
Steve Ubels Steve Ubels ... Lantz
Paul Picerni ... Zeno's Man
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Storyline

During World War II, the prisoners of a German camp on a Greek island are trying to escape. They don't want only their freedom, but they also seek for an ineffable treasure hidden in a monastery at the top of the island's mountain. Written by Chris Makrozahopoulos <makzax@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They were fighting for what they believed in. Getting rich! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 June 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Escape a Atenas See more »

Filming Locations:

Kalithea Spa, Rhodes, Greece See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Elliott Gould and Telly Savalas appeared in Capricorn One (1977). See more »

Goofs

A control room could not survive with an open window immediately behind a launching rocket. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: Somewhere in the Greek Islands 1944 See more »

Alternate Versions

When originally released theatrically in the UK, the BBFC made cuts to secure a 'A' rating. All cuts were waived in 1986 when the film was granted a 'PG' certificate for home video. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood and the Muslim World (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Blues in the Night
(uncredited)
Music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Performed by Stefanie Powers
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Reluctant Nazi
20 February 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Roger Moore is the Austrian commandant of a German POW camp located in the Grecian Isles in Escape to Athena. He's got a couple of favorites among the prisoners, an Italian cook in Sonny Bono, an archaeologist in David Niven and a black GI magician in Richard Roundtree. In addition USO entertainers Elliott Gould and Stefanie Powers are shot down in their transport plane and become Moore's prisoners.

Moore really hasn't got his heart in the commandant business. He's an antique dealer in civilian life and he relishes the assignment only because of the location where he's also involved in Adolph Hitler's looting of Greek antiquities of which there are many in that area. Niven and company aid him because if they didn't they'd be in the hands of the SS. STill they want there freedom.

Which they get when they join with resistance leader Telly Savalas and his mistress, bordello madam Claudia Cardinale. It's rumored there's a lot of hidden loot in a monastery on a nearby hill, whatever Moore hasn't taken for his own private stock for after the war. But Savalas is interested in some prototype V2 rockets located there.

Escape to Athena mixes the plot elements of The Guns of Navarone and Topkapi, but they're not stirred too well. The scenery is quite nice and I'm sure the prospect of some paid time in the Aegean Sea might have been a big inducement for all these people signing on for the movie.

As he was involved with Stefanie Powers at the time, William Holden gets a small unbilled cameo in a brief scene with Elliott Gould. As it turns out Moore's Prison Camp is also Stalag XVII. That might have been part of the package for Stefanie to go to Greece.

It was also plain dumb to make Richard Roundtree a black GI. Americans were not involved in that theater, let alone black soldiers. Now if they had made his character be part of the African colonial troops of the British Empire, it would have made more sense. Then again we couldn't have heard Roundtree call a German soldier a 'cool cat'.

The action sequences are done well enough, but the cast here just collected their paychecks and walked through the parts.


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