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The Wooden Horse (1950)

 -  Drama | History | War  -  16 October 1950 (UK)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 661 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 4 critic

True story of three British POWs and their attempt to escape from Nazi Germany.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writer:

(novel)
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Title: The Wooden Horse (1950)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Flt. Lt. Peter Howard
...
Phil Roe
Anthony Steel ...
Capt. John Clinton
...
Nick Bennett
...
Nigel
Patrick Waddington ...
Group Capt. Wardley (Senior British Officer)
...
Robbie
...
Pomfret
Bryan Forbes ...
Paul
Dan Cunningham ...
David
...
Australian in Hospital
Philip Dale ...
Bill White
Russell Waters ...
W / C 'Wings' Cameron
Ralph Ward ...
Adjutant
Franz Schafheitlin ...
Camp Commandant
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Storyline

In a POW camp, the Nazis have placed the huts far from the boundary so that any escape tunnel would have to be a long one. One British officer has the idea of starting a daily gynmastics routine using a vaulting horse: they can place it near the boundary and start a tunnel from under it. He and two others do escape the camp by this means and plan to make for neutral Sweden. To do that, they'll not only have to move around without arousing any suspicions, but also find a stranger from a neutral or occupied country who'll be willing and able to help them. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

escape | tunnel | camp | sweden | germany | See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

16 October 1950 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Campo 111  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The events on which the film is based took place at the same prisoner of war camp (Stalag Luft III) and at the same time as the events in the much better-known film of the same genre, The Great Escape (1963). The escape committee of prisoners that was planning the latter decided that other escape activity had to be going on at the same time so that life in the camp would appear normal to the Germans. It was the Wooden Horse tunnel that fell into this category. See more »

Goofs

Whilst the escape is in progress there is a quick shot of a German guard near the compound fence. His rifle has a British pattern webbing sling,the upper brass buckle can be seen clearly. See more »

Quotes

[Doctor, visiting prisoners in hospital, hears they are listening to music by Beethoven]
Doctor: Ah, Beethoven. He is a good German.
Prisoner: [calls out from the background] Yes. He's dead.
See more »

Crazy Credits

It is the constant hope of nearly every prisoner-of-war - if not, indeed, his duty - to escape and rejoin his unit. This film shows how three British officers carried out an actual escape from a German camp in the last war. It was made mostly in Germany and Denmark, with the help of the British War Office and Air Ministry and of Danish and German civilians. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Colors (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 6 in F major,
Pastoral", Op. 68" (uncredited)
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
See more »

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User Reviews

 
True story told well
16 April 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw a documentary about this true story and was very impressed, so I looked forward to the film and wasn't disappointed.

The Wooden Horse is about officers attempting to escape a prison camp. This is actually a pretty decent camp - beds, exercise yard, and cooking facilities. The men have one tunnel started in their barracks, but they realize it's going to take too long to dig until they get under the wire fence. So they come up with another plan. They make a wooden exercise horse which they bring outside, closer to the fence. Someone hides inside who then digs a tunnel while the men leap over the horse and do various exercises. At the end of the exercise day, the person inside uses boards to cover the hole and then puts dirt over it as a camouflage.

That's the first part of the film. The second part has to do with escaping to Sweden. It's all very suspenseful and engrossing and sports good performances from Leo Genn, Anthony Steel, and David Tomlinson.

Really a great story, all the more amazing because it's true. A good watch.


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