Cross tells the story of seven men who escape from a concentration camp, and it follows the death or capture of six of them. Upon their escape the camp’s commandant has ordered seven trees stripped and crosses nailed to them. It is his plan, as each fugitive is caught, to pinion them to the crosses and let them die of exposure.
And so this becomes the story of the seventh cross – the one that was never occupied. It is the story of George Heisler, who makes good his escape amid a web of almost unbelievable circumstances. The sheer fancy, as he eludes the Gestapo at every turn, is gripping drama.
This is a film of fine performances. There are one or two characterizations that might possibly eclipse that of the central one, played by Spencer Tracy, who, as usual, underplays and gives one of his invariably creditable portrayals.
1944: Nomination: Best Supp. Actor (Hume Cronyn)