A Man Escaped

Director: Robert Bresson
Year Released: 1956
Rating: 4.0

Exquisite example of Bresson's focus and intensity: an imprisoned member of the French Resistance constructs a plan to escape from prison, and seeks advice from other disillusioned inmates and a priest. The take on religion seems to be that simply praying is not enough, but prayer in combination with austere devotion to the task at hand and self-control is the best route (as one character says, if God did everything for us our lives would be too easy). The Escape-From-Prison genre is unusually flooded with masterpieces - The Great Escape, Le Trou, The Shawshank Redemption, Grand Illusion - perhaps because the situation is inherently dramatic and shows man as both inventive and determined (although the title is a giveaway that the man gets away, that's barely the point and the overall intensity is hardly diminished).