Von Ryan's Express
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Von Ryan's Express

Directed by Mark Robson

Written by Wendell Mayes, Joseph Landon

Cast: Frank Sinatra as Col. Ryan, Trevor Howard as Maj. Fincham, Raffaella Carra as Gabriella, Edward Mulhare as Costanzo, Adolfo Celi as Battaglia

American Colonel Ryan assumes seniority command among those held at a POW camp during WWII. When he initially demands cooperation with the camp leaders, he is dubbed 'Von Ryan' by the mostly British prisoners. When Italy falls to the Allies and the Germans assume command of the camp and plan to move them all into Germany, Ryan decides it is time to break out and take the transport train to Switzerland.

Note: There are a couple of interesting differences between the book and the movie. One is the fact that while in the book Ryan is a career officer with a considerable amount of experience leading a large group of men, in the movie he claims he is a 90-day wonder. The ending is also quite a bit different.