Synopsis: An American goes to Germany to find his mother and discovers her in a concentration camp. With the help of a German countess he engineers her escape.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Mervyn LeRoy
  1 win.
98 min


Do you know what day it's to be?

All I know is we got to get you

up and walking by next Saturday.

Wake up!

Eat your soup while it's hot.

I can't.

- I'll feed you.

- No, no, please. They'll punish you.

Even they have humor

enough not to try that.

Who gave you permission to walk?

I'm rehearsing.

Permit an actress the luxury.

Rehearsals are very important.

I have to know the kind

of spectacle I am making.

Stop talking!

Get back into bed.

Will my audience cry?

Or will they yawn and say,

"Oh, this was a bad performance.

Now, the day we burned the

synagogue was much more fun.

And the day we threw the

Archbishop through the window,

we had a better show."

You may go now.

- I'll shut her mouth for good.

- I said, go!


Put her in the next room for treatment.

Don't do that sort of thing.

You'll just get hurt needlessly.

You operated on me.

You saved me to be hurt, didn't you?

I operated in the line of duty.

Now you have a new duty?

To save me from being hurt by

anyone, but the executioner?

I never imagined you would be...

- as you are.

- What's that?

I'm going to say something I've...

I've wanted to say.

Long before you came here,

I knew all about you.

That is why it was such a great shock

for me to go into the operating room...

and see that it was Emmy

Ritter I was to save.

- And yet not save at all.

- Then why did you?

When I was a boy, I

lived in the country.

I never saw a theater or went anywhere.

And one day my father

went to the city...

and brought back a theater program

with your photograph on it.

I stole it.

I kept it hidden in a bureau drawer.

Many young boys fell in love with me.

Ooh, many old ones too.

In the photograph you are

dressed as Saint Elizabeth...

carrying a basket with loaves of

bread, and in your arms, roses.

- I remember.

- That's why you were important to me.

In my hungry empty world

you promised so much.

Bread for the hunger and

roses for the emptiness.

And now I suppose you have a new

picture in your bureau drawer.

A new saviour of your world.

- But his arms are full of guns.

- Why not?

Power is the only answer.

It's the only chance of survival.

Guns and blood.

A river of blood to

blot out all hopes...

for a decent future.

Is survival worth that price?

Our children will thank us for the

world we are making for them.

Thank you?

Thank you for what?

For a world filled with

the seed of new hates?

For a world in ruins?

If that's what your new

saviour can bring...

No thank you. I don't want it

for myself or my children.

My children...

I've been wondering if you...

if you would like to send

some word to your family.

I'm asking you if you would like

to write a letter to your family?


You, ah...

You understand, of course, that I'll

only be able to send the letter...


Your passports, please.

- Have you any money to declare?

- Yes, about 600 dollars.

You'll permit me to examine it.

Please, your passport.


You can't take any more money out

of the country than you bring in.

It's the law!

Heil Hitler!

Thank you, sir.

Say, can you tell me if a certain person

was registered here about four weeks ago?

Yes, certainly, sir.

What was the name, sir?

Madame Ritter.

Emmy Ritter.

Yes, sir. Madame Ritter.

Just a moment, please.

Yes, sir. A Madame Ritter was our guest

for four days last month. She...

Well, where did she go from here?

What forwarding address did she leave?

We have no record of that, sir.

Look, here's a letter I addressed

to her in care of this hotel.

It came back stamped address unknown.

How do I find out where she went?

We have no record of that.

I don't know how you could find out.

Could I help you, sir?

I told you on the telephone.

He's been very ill. He sees no one.

- I must see him.

- I'm sorry.

Wait. Please listen to me.

Tell him it's a client from America.


Yes, I've traveled 3000 miles to see him.

At least tell him I'm here.

- Come in.

- Thank you.

Good evening, sir.

I want to apologize for insisting

upon seeing you, but...

believe me, it's most important.

- Sit down.

- Thank you.

It's just that I'm in trouble, or I

wouldn't have been so insistent.

I'm used to people in trouble.

You see, it's my mother, Emmy Ritter.

Emmy Ritter.

You know her?


Many years ago.

Then perhaps you know she's been

living in America for a long time.

My father died and my

mother needed money so...

she came back here several months

ago, sold her house and...

I believe got in some sort of

trouble over the transaction.

She has been arrested?

I'm not sure.

I can't seem to find out anything.

I don't even know where to start.

This is the last address

she gave me, but...

all the letters came back

stamped address unknown.

I thought perhaps you

could help me find out...


Your mother, is she

an American citizen?

No, sir. I am, and my sister is.

We were born in America...

but my mother,

well she always talked about

taking out citizenship papers

but she kept putting it off, just

like she did everything else.

In other words, she's still

a citizen of this country.

And subject to our laws.

Yes, sir, but whatever she did...

Well, a woman doesn't understand

much about exchange laws...

and all that sort of thing,

especially an actress like my mother.

She was always forgetting

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Arch Oboler

Arch Oboler (December 7, 1909 – March 19, 1987) was an American playwright, screenwriter, novelist, producer, and director who was active in radio, films, theater, and television. He generated much attention with his radio scripts, particularly the horror series Lights Out, and his work in radio remains the outstanding period of his career. Praised as one of broadcasting's top talents, he is regarded today as a key innovator of radio drama. Oboler's personality and ego were larger than life. Radio historian John Dunning wrote, "Few people were ambivalent when it came to Arch Oboler. He was one of those intense personalities who are liked and disliked with equal fire." more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Escape" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 May 2024. <>.

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