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Victory Reviews

Part THE GREAT ESCAPE, part standard sports movie, Huston's VICTORY limps along until hitting full stride with a brilliantly staged soccer sequence that provides the film's climax. The setting is a WW II POW camp, where major von Sydow, a former member of the German national soccer team, persuades Allied prisoner Caine, a former English international player, to put together a team to play a "friendly" match against a German team. With the intervention of the Nazi propaganda machine, the contest escalates into a confrontation between the German national team and an all-star squad of Allied prisoners to be played in Colombes Stadium in Paris. With their American trainer Stallone, in a key role, the Allies plan a daring escape to take place during the game. Among the real-life soccer stars in the film are Brazilian great Pele; Moore, captain of England's 1966 World Cup champions; and Argentine superstar Ardiles. Alternately hokey and inspiring, the climactic game, which features the crowd chanting victoire and bursting into "La Marseillaise," is unquestionably VICTORY's highlight and good enough reason to sit through the rest of the film.