This Great Escape: The Case of Michael Paryla

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9781927428337: This Great Escape: The Case of Michael Paryla

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What the hell kind of great escape is this? No one escapes!”
L.B. Mayer, on the 1963 film

He had fifty-seven seconds of screen time in the most lavish POW film Hollywood ever produced. He was blond. A Gestapo agent. Sauntering down the aisles of a speeding train, he speaks in terse German to Richard Attenborough, Gordon Jackson, David McCallum. The film is The Great Escape (by John Sturges, starring Steve McQueen); the actor, though uncredited, is Michael Paryla. He was part Jewish. Shortly after filming he died.

In This Great Escape, Andrew Steinmetz tenderly reconstructs the life of a man seen by millions yet recognized by no one, whose history from childhood flight from Nazism to suspicious death twenty years later intersects bitterly, ironically, and often movingly with the plot of Sturges’s great war film. Splicing together documentary materials with correspondence, diary entries, and Steinmetz’s own travel journal, This Great Escape does more than reconstruct the making of a cinema classic: it is a poignant and moving testament to the complexity of human experience, a portrait of a family for whom acting was a matter of survival, and proof that our most anonymous, uncredited, and undocumented moments can brush against the zeitgeist of world history.

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From the Back Cover:

"What the hell kind of great escape is this? No one escapes!" - L.B. Mayer, on the 1963 film He had fifty-seven seconds of screen time in the most lavish POW film Hollywood ever produced. He was blond. A Gestapo agent. Sauntering down the aisles of a speeding train, he speaks in terse German to Richard Attenborough, Gordon Jackson, David McCallum. The film is The Great Escape (by John Sturges, starring Steve McQueen); the actor, though uncredited, is Michael Paryla. He was part Jewish. Shortly after filming he died. In This Great Escape, Andrew Steinmetz tenderly reconstructs the life of a man seen by millions yet recognized by no one, whose history - from childhood flight from Nazism to suspicious death twenty years later - intersects bitterly, ironically, and often movingly with the plot of Sturges's great war fi m. Splicing together documentary materials with correspondence, diary entries, and Steinmetz's own travel journal, This Great Escape does more than reconstruct the making of a cinema classic (now celebrating its 50th anniversary): it is a poignant and moving testament to the complexity of human experience, a portrait of a family for whom acting was a matter of survival, and proof that our most anonymous, uncredited, and undocumented moments can brush against the zeitgeist of world history. Praise for Andrew Steinmetz "He's an astute observer who doesn't miss much ... He's eloquently subtle too ... Steinmetz has the writer's pitiless eye and worrying heart. Expect more good things from him." - The Globe & Mail "[Steinmetz's] writing is fresh and alive." - The National Post "Absolutely compelling." - CBC Radio, Sunday Edition "[Steinmetz's] observations are sharp, sympathetic and oddly comforting, and he knows his way around a metaphor." - Toronto Sun

About the Author:

Born in Montreal, Andrew Steinmetz is the author of a memoir (Wardlife: The Apprenticeship of a Young Writer as a Hospital Clerk) and two collections of poetry (Histories and Hurt Thyself). His novel, Eva’s Threepenny Theatre, tells the story of his great-aunt Eva who performed in one of first touring productions of Bertolt Brecht’s masterpiece The Threepenny Opera, in 1928. An unusual fiction about memoir, Eva’s Threepenny Theatre won the 2009 City of Ottawa Book Award and was a finalist for the 2009 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Steinmetz is also the founding editor of Esplanade Books, the fiction imprint at Véhicule Press.

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Book Description BIBLIOASIS, Canada, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. SHORTLISTED FOR THE $60,000 HILARY WESTON WRITERS TRUST PRIZE FOR NONFICTION What the hell kind of great escape is this? No one escapes! --L.B. Mayer, on the 1963 film He had fifty-seven seconds of screen time in the most lavish POW film Hollywood ever produced. He was blond. A Gestapo agent. Sauntering down the aisles of a speeding train, he speaks in terse German to Richard Attenborough, Gordon Jackson, David McCallum. The film is The Great Escape (by John Sturges, starring Steve McQueen); the actor, though uncredited, is Michael Paryla. He was part Jewish. Shortly after filming he died. In This Great Escape, Andrew Steinmetz tenderly reconstructs the life of a man seen by millions yet recognized by no one, whose history--from childhood flight from Nazism to suspicious death twenty years later--intersects bitterly, ironically, and often movingly with the plot of Sturges s great war film. Splicing together documentary materials with correspondence, diary entries, and Steinmetz s own travel journal, This Great Escape does more than reconstruct the making of a cinema classic: it is a poignant and moving testament to the complexity of human experience, a portrait of a family for whom acting was a matter of survival, and proof that our most anonymous, uncredited, and undocumented moments can brush against the zeitgeist of world history. Bookseller Inventory # AA99781927428337

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Book Description BIBLIOASIS, Canada, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. SHORTLISTED FOR THE $60,000 HILARY WESTON WRITERS TRUST PRIZE FOR NONFICTION What the hell kind of great escape is this? No one escapes! --L.B. Mayer, on the 1963 film He had fifty-seven seconds of screen time in the most lavish POW film Hollywood ever produced. He was blond. A Gestapo agent. Sauntering down the aisles of a speeding train, he speaks in terse German to Richard Attenborough, Gordon Jackson, David McCallum. The film is The Great Escape (by John Sturges, starring Steve McQueen); the actor, though uncredited, is Michael Paryla. He was part Jewish. Shortly after filming he died. In This Great Escape, Andrew Steinmetz tenderly reconstructs the life of a man seen by millions yet recognized by no one, whose history--from childhood flight from Nazism to suspicious death twenty years later--intersects bitterly, ironically, and often movingly with the plot of Sturges s great war film. Splicing together documentary materials with correspondence, diary entries, and Steinmetz s own travel journal, This Great Escape does more than reconstruct the making of a cinema classic: it is a poignant and moving testament to the complexity of human experience, a portrait of a family for whom acting was a matter of survival, and proof that our most anonymous, uncredited, and undocumented moments can brush against the zeitgeist of world history. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9781927428337

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