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Escape to Athena (1979) Poster

Trivia

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Sir Roger Moore said that he felt miscast in this movie.
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This movie's exotic exteriors were locales filmed on the Greek Island of Rhodes.
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The action largely takes place in Stalag Luft VII Z, "somewhere in the Greek Islands 1944" (named in dialogue as Kariai). The monastery is found on Mount Athena.
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This movie is one of a handful of action-thriller movies made within a five year time-span around the time of the mid to late 1970s and early 1980s that used a mountaintop monastery in Greece. Other movies include Sky Riders (1976) and For Your Eyes Only (1981).
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The movie is notable for featuring distinctive Greek architecture. Examples include a Greek mosque, Ottoman Turkish buildings, and a mountaintop monastery.
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To evoke the Greek theme and setting, on American movie posters, instead of using the letter "e/E", the Greek alphabet's uppercase sigma symbol was used for that letter in the wording of the title.
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The title card sets this movie in 1944, but is no more specific than that. During this movie, Major Volkmann (Anthony Valentine) shows other German officers footage of V-2 rocket attacks in London, which didn't occur until September 8th of that year. This means that the story must occur no earlier than late summer of 1944.
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Second of four movies, in which David Niven and Sir Roger Moore appeared. The others being The King's Thief (1955), The Sea Wolves (1980), and Curse of the Pink Panther (1983).
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Michael Sheard states in his memoirs, he believes he was only cast because they were unable to get a star name to play Sergeant Mann.
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Philip Locke was dubbed by Michael Sheard.
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David Niven and Claudia Cardinale appeared in The Pink Panther (1963). Niven and William Holden appeared in Otto Preminger's The Moon is Blue (1953).
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This was the only movie in which Telly Savalas and Sir Roger Moore appeared. They were famous for being part of the James Bond film franchise. Savalas played Ernst Stavro Blofeld in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), while Moore played James Bond in seven movies. David Niven, also appearing in this movie, played James Bond in Casino Royale (1967).
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Final theatrical movie of Paul Stassino (Zeno's Man).
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To initially establish Sir Roger Moore's German character as being unaligned with the S.S., when the Nazi officers give him the Heil Hitler stiffed-armed salute, Moore returns it with a regular military salute.
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Sir Roger Moore was famous for playing James Bond when this movie was made. This movie was released between The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979).
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Sir Roger Moore vocally plays against type, and has a German accent in this movie.
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David Niven (Professor Blake) was the father of Producer David Niven, Jr.
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Paul Michael Glaser was originally announced as part of the cast.
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Elliott Gould and Telly Savalas appeared in Capricorn One (1977).
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Elliott Gould and Sir Roger Moore appeared in The Naked Face (1984).
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O.J. Simpson was offered the role of Judson.
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Joss Ackland was offered the role of Sergeant Mann.
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Peter Vaughn was offered the role of Sergeant Mann.
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None of the big stars or other actors and actresses are actually credited on-screen with their character names, except for "and Elliott Gould as Charlie".
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Closing credits: The characters and incidents portrayed and the names used herein are fictitious, and any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
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Cameo 

William Holden: As a cigar-smoking prisoner of war. Elliott Gould walks by Holden and asks him, "Are you still here?" This P.O.W. bit was an in-joke reference to Holden's starring role in Stalag 17 (1953). Holden was in a relationship at the time with Stefanie Powers, who appeared in this movie.
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