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Streaming video

Title Foreign Correspondent: Poland
Published Australia : ABC, 2012
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Description 1 streaming video file (27 min. 13 sec.) ; 163960351 bytes
Summary They really should remake The Great Escape - one of the all-time classic war films - and this time get it right. Perhaps it should begin on the cadet grounds of a Sydney school and focus on two young students, feature Manly Beach and an encounter with a German surfer suspected of being a Nazi sympathiser - and reach its dramatic crescendo as the two Aussies emerge from a tunnel they'd help build - against-all-odds - under and out of a super-secure POW camp. Then it should lose the Hollywood ending. The real story of the Great Escape is rich with coincidence, determination, grit and endurance. But is it triumphant? Judge for yourself as Foreign Correspondent tells the untold story of The Real Great Escape. We even find that German surfer - now 93 - and correct generations of misunderstanding.We're big fans of Hollywood legend Steve McQueen, we know the motorcycle scene in The Great Escape is one of the most memorable screen moments ever and we know the film is a much loved classic that celebrates the triumph of human ingenuity and spirit over the malevolence and brutality of Hitler's war machine. We also know that it's based - as they say in Hollywood - on a true story. The Great Escape is a great film. It's also wrong.Foreign Correspondent reveals the extraordinary Real Great Escape and true story of John 'Willy' Williams and Reg 'Rusty' Kierath two Sydney schoolboys together on the sporting field, the cadet ground and through an incredible confluence of circumstances together - years later - together in the infamous German POW camp Stalag Luft 111. The Germans believed it was escape proof. The prisoners - some of the Allies' smartest and ingenious officers - knew better.The story of how Willy and Rusty found themselves central to one of the most amazing escape stories in history, how a German surfer at Manly suspected of harbouring Nazi sympathies propelled the story, how the tunnel plan came together and what really happened to the escapees is as absorbing and compelling as any Hollywood blockbuster.With the help of Willy's niece - journalist Louise Williams - and Rusty's nephew John Kierath, reporter Eric Campbell heads off on a journey to unearth the truth of the breakout."I thought it would never happen. Because I grew up with the story of my uncle and it really affected the family, so you kind of grow up in this legend, the Great Escape, the film and it's not really real until you go back and find what really happened." - Louise WilliamsThere's not a dry eye in the house as Louise and John, meet up with the relatives of other Great Escapees, visit the ruins of the old Stalag, stumble around in the snow to see what confronted the escapees and in a series of moving moments reconcile themselves to the fate of their heroic uncles."It's an inspirational story of people fighting against tyranny, refusing to give in to that tyranny and I think it has as much resonance today as it ever did." - Peter Devitt - RAF Museum, London
Event Broadcast 2012-05-29 at 20:00:00
Notes Classification: NC
Subject Concentration camp inmates.
Despotism -- Social aspects.
Protestants -- Attitudes.
War films.
Escaped prisoners of war.
Great escape (Motion picture)
New South Wales -- Sydney.
Form Streaming video
Author Campbell, Eric, host
Devitt, Peter, contributor
Holy, Michal, contributor
Kierath, Peter, contributor
Pope, David, contributor
Wicke, Harry, contributor
Williams, Louise, contributor