Escape (1948)

Date: 1948
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Production Company: Twentieth Century-Fox Productions

Stars: Rex Harrison, Peggy Cummins, William Hartnell
Location(s): Devon, London

Region(s): ,

Storyline:

An RAF War veteran escapes from prison and meets a woman who persuades him to complete his sentence.

Additional Information:

Screen captures by Phil Wilkinson

 

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If you have any information regarding this film, any of the stills, or even better, some NOW shots please contact us.


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A panning shot soon brings the impenetrable walls of Dartmoor Prison into view.

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Inside the edifice, Matthew Denant contemplates his position. More of the gaol's edifice is brought into the frame.

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The picture sweeps across walls built to hold French prisoners during the first decade of the 19th Century.

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In his cell, former RAF squadron leader recalls events that caused him to be incarcerated. HM Prison Dartmoor stands in Princetown, Devon.

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At Hendley Aerodrome, Rodgers (Cyril Cusack) and Titch (Peter Croft) prepare for Matt's landing.

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After a day at the races, Matt runs from the bar when he sees a bus heading back to town. Peter Brown, always a good bet when it comes to racecourse identification, places this as The Jubilee pub, Staines Road East, Kempton Park. The curved timber arches and distinctive turned posts remain. (RL)

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Matt manages to jump aboard the number 90. Whilst there have been significant changes over the years to Kempton Park racecourse and trees can now be seen across the road from The Jubilee public house the general layout is clearly identifiable from the Google Earth satellite image of Staines Road East, Kempton Park. Peter Brown further advises that the horse trough was moved to Chester Market in 1948, its whereabouts now unknown since the Ring Road was built in the 1960's. (RL)

A change of route later and Matt alights at Hyde Park Corner. This is a very dim shot of Knightsbridge with the walls of St. George's Hospital just visible to the right.

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The road is wider these days and Peter took this shot through the glazing of the present bus shelter.

Matt makes his way past the entrance to Hyde Park Underground station. Looking towards Piccadilly with Duke of Wellington Place to the right . . . somewhere.

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A simplified roundel graces the station entrance in Peter's modern daylight view.

Soon after Matt enters Hyde Park, he strikes up a conversation with a Woman. Apsley House stands in the background.

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Peter's clearer image of Apsley House.

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Crowds flock to buy newspapers reporting the trial after Matt is arrested and charged with manslaughter following an altercation in the park when the Woman is almost arrested for soliciting. Now named The Queen's Walk, this is the Thames side thoroughfare outside County Hall in SE1.

The accused is sentenced to three years penal servitude. The Central Criminal Court City on Old Bailey, London EC4. The building is also seen in 'Hostile Witness', 'Seven Days to Noon' and 'Appointment with Crime'.

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Peter provides this modern shot in glorious colour.

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Believing it an unjust punishment, Matt takes the opportunity to escape from prison in the fog and makes his way across the moors.

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Matt Denant (Rex Harrison) comes to a stand as a hunt approaches.

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Falling from her horse near where Matt was hiding, Dora Winton drives home.

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The young woman draws onto the driveway of the house that, later, Matt approaches.

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Given a coat and hat by Dora, Matt completes the outfit by stealing a pair of trousers.

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In the fictional village of Moorside, the escaped convict hides in a lane as a couple leave their house.

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Having phoned his pals at the airfield, the Mrs. Pinkem the Postmistress (Marjorie Rhodes) calls to Matt to pay sixpence for the call.

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Matt runs when a Policeman is alerted.

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Constable Beames (Frank Pettingell) blows his whistle as Matt escapes from view.

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With dogs barking and the whistle blowing Policeman not far behind, Matt checks before venturing onto the main road.

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Needing transport, Matt approaches a garage. Harbertonford in Devon with the church of St. Peter standing in the right background.

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The Constable attempts to stop the car that Matt drives from the garage. A wider view of Harbertonford.

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As Matt speeds away, Constable Beames takes up the pursuit. The corner of Old Road in Harbertonford.

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The fugitive is followed from the village. Old Road seen from Harbertonford Bridge over the Harbourne River in Harbertonford.

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With her Sister, Dora drives up as Matt tries to fix his broken down vehicle on the moors.

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Managing to re-start the car and travelling with Dora to avoid suspicion, Matt drives through the village.

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While Constable Beames is phoning Inspector Harris, the couple pass the Post Office without being recognised.

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The camera follows the car as Matt drives past.

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As Dora Winton (Peggy Cummins) tells Matt about her life the journey is halted at a level crossing... Nappers Crossing, on the Totnes to Ashburton South Devon Railway, a line still open as a preserved route, but only as far as Buckfastleigh. The steam loco is a 4500-series 2-6-2T of which one is preserved on the line, meaning that a 'now' photo should be a good one to recreate. With thanks to Jonathan Horswell. (SJ)

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Arriving in Moorside, Inspector Harris (William Hartnell) asks Constable Beames where he thinks they should start looking for the runaway.

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After the train passes, Matt drives on leaving Dora agreeing to make her way home on foot.

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Matt arrives at the aerodrome to make his escape by plane.

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Arriving at the airfield too late, the Inspector and a Constable throw themselves to the ground as Matt attempts to take off down wind.

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The morning after the light aircraft crashes into a tree, shepherd Jim (Patrick Troughton) and his mate George discover an injured Matt lying in a gateway.

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Farmer Browning (George Woodbridge) fires at Matt as he escapes.

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After Inspector Harris calls, Dora sees Farmer Browning and his men searching for Matt.

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On the run again after hiding out in an outhouse, Matt takes cover beneath a bridge.

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A Police Car approaches the bridge.

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Farmer Browning halts his men as Inspector Harris gets out of the car.

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Matt makes his way to a church. St. Leonard's church in Sheepstor, Devon.

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Tired and injured, the convict makes his way inside where he finds the Minister.

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Having been persuaded to give himself up, Matt leaves the church with Dora and Inspector Harris.

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The Inspector takes his prisoner back to complete is sentence.

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The car approaches the remote prison. Facing north on Tavistock Road in Princetown.

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The entrance to Dartmoor Prison on Tavistock Road in Princetown, Devon.

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