Escape to Athena

Synopsis: 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.
Director(s): George P. Cosmatos
Production: Associated Film Distribution
125 min

Aw, sh*t.

Ionian column.

Fifth century BC, is it not?

No, it happens to be

third century BC, Doric.

So you're off the mark by a couple

of hundred years, you ignorant bastard.

Leutnant Braun... never kills a cook.

Especially an Italian cook.

On this occasion we will spare

Signor Rotelli.

And hang this man in his place.

Franz, ein Stuhl unter dem Vogel.

Und ein Seil.


Professor Blake.

What is this

incessant compulsion to escape?

It's a habit I picked up as a soldier

during your first world war.

As a civilian, where would you be...

...if the benevolent arm of the Fhrer's

Antiquarian Reclamation Unit...

...had not rescued you

from your various internment camps?

I most certainly would not be

looting Greece of all her art treasures.

Sergeant Judson?

In what swamp of despair

would you be...

...if your circus-bred skills of climbing

and rigging had not enticed me...

...into plucking you from your prison camp

in the Fatherland?

As for you, Bruno Rotelli,

if you were not a cook...

- I'm not a cook.

- God knows, that is true.

I'm a racing driver, sometimes I sing.

I've a feeling your defection to the Allies

must've been taken as a mixed blessing.

We have three dead archaeologists here

who cannot be replaced.

Note that did not deter Sergeant Mann

from shooting them.

In the interests of peace and harmony...

Harmony ain't what's about to happen.

Well, Major Hecht,

I am pleased to see... are conducting

a summary trial of these criminals.

Have you decided on punishment?

I was about to, Major Volkmann.

Oh, please, proceed.

As I was saying, to deter you from further

disrupting the mission of this unit... shall be confined

to your sleeping quarters.

This camp exists for one purpose... exhume priceless

archaeological relics.

Anyone who interferes will pay dearly.

I suggest you confine them in here.

- Remove the grating.

- Open it.

Jump in, men.

In the SS, we play no favourites.

Put the dead men in with them.

Do you wish me to give the order?

Herr Major, let me remind you that... this camp, I am in command.

You're quite right.

I have exceeded my authority.

Have they located the transmitter?

No, sir.

It takes 30 seconds to get a fix

and the Greeks never transmit that long.

Ah, please come. This way, please.

Don't do that.

You don't care

about any of this, do you?

I care that your Resistance heroes

have turned five girls into whores

so they can spy on the Germans for you.

You know we have a date for

an Allied naval invasion of the Aegean.

- Who's invading us this time?

- How do I know?

- The British? The Americans?

- The Germans are neater.

From a madam's point of view.

They just hang old men

in the village square.

The Resistance,

it has a specific target to take now.

All right.

Yes, the submarine refuelling depot.

- Real coffee, where did you get it?

- Lieutenant Braun.

And how did you get it?

Follow me.

Gesundheit. I hope it's not catching.

- Oh, Charlie!

- Mamma mia, che meraviglia!

What are they doing down there?

Prisoners who tried to escape. Come.

They told me we were going

to a country club.


- Ah, the Americans.

- Charlie Dane. This is Dottie Delmar.

- Major Otto Hecht.

- Great likeness. Great likeness!

- Louis Armstrong.

- Yes, are you a jazz lover?

From King Oliver on.

Fancy looking junk you got there.

It is a fifth-century Aegean vase.

I would've sworn it was fourth century.

Looks expensive.

- You were shot down over the Adriatic?

- That's right, on our way to a USO show.

I see you are a swimmer.

- Do you swim underwater?

- What did you have in mind?

We need someone to explore

the coastline for ancient art treasures.

I'm your man, Major.

Aptly put.

And you, Mr... Dane?

What is your speciality?

I'm a stand-up comic,

I do schtick, tell jokes.

I'm afraid there's no place... the Antiquarian Reclamation Unit

for a comedian.

But there is for a schvimmer?

Even if she were not a swimmer

she would not be entirely useless.

Well, thank you, Major.

Major Volkmann, in his next sweep,

will be wishing to interrogate you.

- Is he another jazz lover?

- He is a major... in the SS.

I could catalogue your art collection...

...write biographies of jazz immortals,

tune up the motorcycles.

I do mending, washing...

Come. We shall see how things go.

I can teach dancing. Limber them up

after all that goose-stepping.

- And Gershwin's An American in Paris...

- The Third Reich forbids Gershwin.

And not a moment too soon.

- Sergeant?

- Herr Major.

What took him so long?

Sergeant, you will take Mr Dane

to barrack seven...

...and escort Miss Delmar to the guests'

quarters next to the carpenter's shop.

- Jawohl, Herr Major.

- Jawohl.

I hope you won't mind the banging.

She never has.


They got a lot of loot in there. This Kraut

could have a good thing going.

- Not everyone's as crooked as you are.

- You wanna bet?

You will stay here.

I'll meet you downstairs in the bar

just as soon as I freshen up.

Work! Please. Come.

- Who is it?

- It's Zoe.

The kite is up.

Braun's trying to locate the radio again.

He'll never find it

where he's been looking.

You can change all that.

That's a commitment

I'm not prepared to make.

Then stop complaining about it.

- Climb back to your monastery.

- Oh, I intend to.

Is that part of your plan?

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Edward Anhalt

Edward Anhalt (March 28, 1914 in New York City – September 3, 2000 in Pacific Palisades, California) was a noted screenwriter, producer, and documentary film-maker. After working as a journalist and documentary filmmaker for Pathé and CBS-TV he teamed with his wife Edna Anhalt during World War II to write pulp fiction. (Edna was one of his five wives.) more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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