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



(novel), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »
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This grim and claustrophobic drama chronicles the lives of the prisoners in Colditz Castle from the arrival of the first British prisoners after Dunkirk until the liberation of the castle ... See full summary »

Stars: David McCallum, Richard Heffer, Paul Chapman


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
Richard Wattis ...
Richard Gordon
Robin Cartwright
Colonel Richmond
Frederick Valk ...
Leo Bieber ...
German Interpreter
Denis Shaw ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

escape | nazi | guard | subterfuge | stage | See All (21) »


Excitement ! Suspense ! Action ! See more »


Drama | History | War


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| | |

Release Date:

26 February 1955 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

The Colditz Story  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


£136,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The character portrayed by John Mills, Capt. Patrick Reid, is based on P.R. Reid, author of the novel on which the film was based. Reid, imprisoned at Colditz 1940-42 until his successful escape, also was technical consultant on the film. The German security officer, Paul Priem, also is portrayed (by Denis Shaw) under his actual name. Priem had died in 1943. All the other character names were invented for the film. See more »


According to the calendar on the Kommandant's desk during his interview with Colonel Richmond about moving the Polish prisoner, the date is "Dienstag Oktober 4" (Tuesday October 4). October 4 did not fall on a Tuesday at all during WW2, although it did in 1955, the year of the film's release. See more »


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 ...
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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 »


Featured in War Stories (2006) See more »


I Belong to Colditz
Written by Will Fyffe, parodied from the late Will Fyfe's famous "I Belong to Glasgow"
by kind permission of Mrs. Will Fyffe
See more »

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User Reviews

A classic of the genre
19 December 2007 | by (the big screen) – See all my reviews

Shot in stunning B&W Colditz is exactly what you'd want from a 1950s British war film - horrible conditions, very stiff upper lips, and lots of self-deprecation and self-deprecating humour.

THe surprise is how well it is directed and the acting - all of which are classic for its genre. Now overshadowed by bigger productions like the fictional Guns Of Navarone, Colditz is actually probably one of the truest to its source material, and is a rewarding view.

For this viewer it is notable because it is at times an uncomfortable watch - it really did try to understand what being in Colditz meant - and yet it is exciting, human, and full of wonderful moments.

Highly recommended.

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