Robert Bresson’s A Man Escaped is an all-time favorite. It’s really the perfect movie for what it is. A member of the French resistance has been put in prison by the Nazis. He probably will be executed. All he wants is to escape. It becomes an obsession. And that’s the movie.
Of course, prison is a great setting for movies both because of the power dynamics at the heart of them and the tight spaces that create the perfect set. There are many excellent prison movies. There are several excellent World War II prison movies for that matter. But none are better than A Man Escaped. It’s one of those singular idea movies that create a perfect movie world and Bresson, being a genius, delivers big time with perhaps the finest film of his career.