Synopsis by Paul Brenner
Fred Zinnemann directed this World War II drama, considered one of the best anti-Nazi dramas produced by Hollywood during the war years. The story concerns seven prisoners in a Nazi concentration camp who manage to elude the guards and the Gestapo. The commandant, in a rage over their escape, nails crosses to seven trees, planning to crucify each of the prisoners as they are captured. Gradually six of the prisoners are discovered by the Gestapo and crucified. The one remaining escapee, George Heisler (Spencer Tracy), has become embittered and cynical after his years in the concentration camp. But as an assortment of friends and strangers help him elude the Gestapo, Heisler finally makes it to neutral Holland, his faith in mankind restored. Jessica Tandy had her first screen appearance as Liesel Roeder, the wife of Paul Roeder (Hume Cronyn, Tandy's real life husband), one of the friends who helps Heisler make his way to freedom.
concentration-camp, betrayal, captive, captor, chase, crucifixion, escape, friendship, Nazism, POW/MIA, prison, pursuit, refugee