Based on a novel by Ethel Vance, Escape stars Robert Taylor as a young American, the son of a widowed European woman (Alla Nazimova). The mother has been imprisoned in a German concentration camp, compelling her son to ignore America's neutrality and attempt a rescue. Sneaking into German-occupied Europe, Taylor is befriended by a countess (Norma Shearer) who is the mistress of a Nazi general (Conrad Veidt). Taylor isn't certain of the countess' loyalties, but she proves herself by aiding in the rescue of the imprisoned woman. Escape is distinguished by a surprisingly subtle performance from Norma Shearer, though she gives in to her tendency to "ham" in her final denunciation of her Nazi paramour.