‘Escape to Victory’ – or simply ‘Victory’ in U.S – captured two emotive subjects for Americans: war and sport. And now a remake is set to do the same, as Americans take soccer in to their hearts like never before with the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Pele starred in 'Escape to Victory' [Photo: Getty images, credit: Stuart C. Wilson]
The original, starring Michael Caine and Sylvester Stallone, saw the Nazi's arrogance manifest in a Germany v P.O.W football match, with the controlling force assuming it had the game won – an opportunity to embarrass those they had living under horrible conditions.
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John Huston's film was loosely inspired by the 'Death Match', a mythologised game between former professional footballers from Dynamo Kyiv and Lokomotyv Kyiv, and a side of German air defence artillery.
Of course, with Caine holding the clipboard and an irrepressible Stallone employing his American football skills in goal – not to mention the contemporaneous world football icon, Pele, amidst their ranks, the prisoners of war turn out to be more than a match for the Nazi XI.
It’s rare that any American should feel the underdog in the world of sport, but soccer has never really translated stateside as it has in Europe and South America.
The national team, spearheaded by Clint Dempsey, did remarkably well to emerge from a group containing both Germany and Portugal, though, and face a tough but not impossible task against a young, strong and organized Belgium team tomorrow (Tues July 1).
This year’s World Cup has enjoyed a huge following from the American fans as their team fights against the odds and find themselves in the knockout stages. Soccer’s popularity in American has been exponentially increased by the presence of stars like David Beckham and Thierry henry, who moved over to play in the country’s highest league – The MLS.
Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman is in talks with Warner Bros to remake Escape to Victory. Gavin O'Conner, the writer-director of Warrior, in on board to pen the script for the new version.