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The Colditz Story (1955)

Allied prisoners of various nationalities pool their resources to plan numerous escapes from an "escape-proof" German POW camp housed in a Medieval castle.

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Writers:

(novel), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Christopher Rhodes ...
'Mac' McGill (as Chistopher Rhodes)
...
Harry Tyler
Bryan Forbes ...
Jimmy Winslow
Guido Lorraine ...
Polish Officer
Witold Sikorski ...
Polish Officer
A. Blichewicz ...
Polish Officer
B. Dolinski ...
Polish Officer
...
Fischer
Richard Wattis ...
Richard Gordon
...
Robin Cartwright
...
Colonel Richmond
Frederick Valk ...
Kommandant
Leo Bieber ...
German Interpreter
Denis Shaw ...
Priem
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Storyline

Colditz castle was used by the Nazis to hold the "bad boys", (those who regularly tried to escape from other camps). At all times the guards outnumbered the prisoners and, because some political prisoners were also held there they were *very* strictly monitored. But if you put all those people in one place and they're all trying to escape, well ... Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The stirring, amazing adventure of how British, French, Dutch, Polish and Canadian POW's escaped from Germany's 'escape-proof' castle ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

26 February 1955 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

The Colditz Story  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

£136,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Colditz Castle is a Renaissance castle in the town of Colditz near Leipzig, Dresden, and Chemnitz in the state of Saxony in Germany. See more »

Goofs

Christopher Rhodes is listed as "Chistopher Rhodes" in the opening credits. See more »

Quotes

Colonel Richmond: [discussing the death of Mac] We had a talk. I did the talking mostly. I was very unpleasant to him. I told him straight that he was too big. I told him every sentry in the camp was gunning for him - that he hadn't a hope of getting past the guards, and he agreed. I recommended him to think of standing down. There the discussion ended.
Pat Reid: And his life as well!
Colonel Richmond: The fact that he's dead hasn't escaped me, Pat!
Pat Reid: [resentfully] That sentry didn't kill him!
Colonel Richmond: [angrily] Watch your tongue or get out!
Pat Reid: We knew he ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: "Every incident in the film you are about to see is true. With the exception of the author, Major P.R.Reid,M.B.E.,M.C., who acted as technical adviser on the film, all names have been changed and certain events have been related out of their historical context. These and only these liberties have been taken with ...." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Colditz - The Legend (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Mademoiselle From Armentieres
(uncredited)
Tune - traditional; source of English lyrics unknown
Performed by the British prisoners
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cheaper to Exchange them
16 April 2011 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

People who watch The Colditz Story have probably seen The Great Escape as well and should bear in mind the fact that that camp where Steve McQueen, James Garner, and the rest was built to house all the big escape artists. Those really persistent offenders got incarcerated at the castle called Colditz. Those that is that didn't get summarily executed by the Gestapo as we well remember from The Great Escape.

What an incredible waste of manpower, but those guards had to be lucky because they could be at the Russian front. In The Colditz Story there are more guards than prisoners. When you think about it, it would have been easier for the Nazis to let this bunch be exchanged.

The protagonist of the story is later historian Pat Reid and he's played here by John Mills. Mills's character is the official British escape officer, there are French, Dutch, and Polish officers among those nationalities. Getting international cooperation here is about as easy as the alliance that defeated Nazi Germany with all the cracks and fraying in that endeavor.

There are two other standout characters, the senior British officer Eric Portman and Scot's Guard Christopher Rhodes. Rhodes had an interesting career, he and Stanley Baker probably were up for a lot of the same parts in British cinema. He played some very rough characters on film, some outright villains. Here he's just an incorrigible prisoner who's very rebelliousness endangers the escape plans of many. His is the best performance in The Colditz Story.

Made over 50 years ago, The Colditz Story holds up very well for today's audience. No flamboyant heroics like in The Great Escape, but some real situations in a story told simply and well.


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