Escape (1948): Mankiewicz’ Thriller, Starring Rex Harrison and Peggy Cummins

Joseph L. Mankiewicz. directed Escape, a British-American thriller, starring Rex Harrison.

Escape FilmPoster.jpeg

Theatrical release poster

The tale centers on Royal Air Force World War II veteran (Harrison), who goes to prison and then escapes and meets a woman who persuades him to surrender.

The screenplay by Philip Dunne was based on the 1926 play Escape by John Galsworthy, which had previously been filmed in 1930.

The Premise:

A former RAF squadron leader, Matt Denant, goes to Hendley, England to visit an airfield run by his friend Titch. Rodgers, an employee at airfield, asks Matt to do him a favor by making a large wager on a horse. But when the horse loses, Rodgers promises to repay him.

While strolling through Hyde Park, a woman strikes up a conversation with Matt, but Penter, a detective, charges her with unlawful soliciting. Matt intervenes on her behalf, but when the two men fight, Penter knocks his head on a park bench and is mortally wounded.


Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Produced by William Perlberg
Screenplay by Philip Dunne, based on the play “Escape” by John Galsworthy
Music by William Alwyn
Cinematography Freddie Young
Edited by Alan L. Jaggs
Distributed by 20th Century Fox

Release date: March 1948 (London); July 30, 1948 (Los Angeles)

Running time: 78 minutes