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The Colditz Story (1955)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,222 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 7 critic

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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(novel), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Colditz Story (1955)

The Colditz Story (1955) on IMDb 7/10

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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
Anton Diffring ...
Fischer
Richard Wattis ...
Richard Gordon
Ian Carmichael ...
Robin Cartwright
Eric Portman ...
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

Plot Keywords:

escape | nazi | guard | subterfuge | stage | See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

26 February 1955 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Ceux de Colditz  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Fischer: There is too much noise!
Harry Tyler: [nervously, as there are Polish POWs hidden in the room] Oh, I'm sorry. We were laughing.
Fischer: Ah, laughing! Oh, I see, you have the British humor. Well, Englishmen will laugh at anything...
[Tyler smiles and nods]
Fischer: ... but most people laugh at nothing. Here you will not laugh for long! Here you will remain until the war is won - by Germany! There will be no escape unless you wish to die!
[Sarcastically as he is leaving the room]
Fischer: Now you can laugh if you wish.
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

Featured in Fifties British War Films: Days of Glory (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Bless 'Em All
(uncredited)
Variously attributed to Fred Godfrey or to James Lally (as Jimmy Hughes) and Frank Kerslake (as Frank Lake)
Performed by the British prisoners
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Colditz - the Alcatraz of WWII
28 April 2011 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Sir John Mills plays a POW who attempts to lead an escape crew out of the notorious high security German POW camp during WWII but the penultimate attempt is almost thwarted from within after the plan's conceiver (Rhodes) is dissuaded from participating by the British Colonel (Portman) due to his bulky frame. When Rhodes makes an opportunistic and futile attempt to escape, Mills feels compelled to stand down, but is persuaded by Portman to carry on regardless.

Timid account bares similarities with "The Great Escape" made almost a decade later, most notably Rhodes vis-a-vis John Leyton's character. The tunnelling method used for the final escape attempt is also an obvious source of comparison but the daring and audacity in Colditz is more pronounced (during a vaudeville theatre show put on by the prisoners to distract the guards). Distinguished cast includes future comedians Ian Carmichael and Lionel Jeffries, as well as Bryan Forbes and Richard Wattis. Frederick Valk, who plays the German commandant has a few "Hogan's Heroes" moments with Portman and his corpulent watchman (Heller, who made a career of playing this type) which contributes to the film's sometimes casual tone, lacking tension and suspense.

Satisfying conclusion and some well timed humour (the "my wife went to the West Indies of her own accord" gag still rates a chuckle) hit the high notes needed, and consequently, Colditz rates as a watchable if somewhat formula war-time prison escape fare.


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