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The Colditz Story (1955)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,221 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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Writers:

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

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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
Edit

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

According to the film's epilogue, until the liberation of Colditz in April, 1945, there were approximately 320 attempted escapes, resulting in:- 5 Polish Home Runs 15 Dutch Home Runs 22 French Home Runs 14 British Home Runs A record unequalled in any P.O.W. camp in the two world wars. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Colonel Richmond: [watching a particularly rough game in the excercise yard] Who was it said our ancestors were apes?
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 The 100 Greatest War Films (2005) 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

 
First class prisoner of war tale - with British stiff-upper-lips to the fore
13 March 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Allied prisoners - that normal prison of war camps can't hold - are sent to a mountain stronghold that they are told is "escape proof."

Colditz Castle (in Germany) remains one of the most daunting and visited memorials of World War II. Looking a little like Count Dracula's castle from the outside the very sight of it must have made many a heart sink - especially those that didn't know if they were going to their deaths. Even when they found out that they weren't they still had to be vetted to see if they were not stool pigeons!

This was originally a book and in the fullness of time it would be turned in to this film, a TV series (and a very good one at that) and even a hit board game. The film has to scrap a great deal of the (excellently written) book and can only represent a few of the many plot lines. In truth the prisoners ran out of escape ideas near the end and had only one left - to build a glider to escape from the roof. The war ended before it was tested!

Anything with John Mills in is usually pretty good (ok - Who's That Girl, with Madonna falls short) and this is no exception. The prisoners realise that escape committee's are needed so escape attempts - between various nationalities - wouldn't cross one another. Everything here is based on a real incident, although some of the facts around it are fictionalised.

A good memorial to a tough place and some tough people that were prepared to risk machine guns and attack dogs to get over-the-wall to continue the war. While this type of movie always has many dramatic plus points built in, it is - still - one the top hundred British movies ever made and one of my top two hundred (made anywhere) films. There isn't a second of boredom in the whole movie.


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