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 <email@example.com>
The song sung by the POWs in the theatrical revue towards the film's end, "I Belong to Colditz", is a parody of one of Will Fyffe's signature songs, "I Belong to Glasgow." The sequence also parodies Flanagan and Allen's double-act, including the song, "Underneath the Arches" [Refer - Bud Flanagan and Chesney Allen]. 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 »
[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.
And his life as well!
The fact that he's dead hasn't escaped me, Pat!
That sentry didn't kill him!
Watch your tongue or get out!
We knew he ...
[...] See more »
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 »
British pluck, resourcefulness and courage, exemplified by John Mills
The Colditz Story was one of a number of movies the British made during the Fifties which relived the victories and bravery of their armed services during WWII. Often these movies starred John Mills. The Colditz Story is based on fact. Colditz Castle in Germany was used to imprison the most incorrigible prisoners-of-war, those who persistently made escape attempts. British, French, Polish and Dutch officers were sent there. Unfortunately for the Germans, they wound up trying to keep inside men dedicated to escaping, and who had skills they now could share. The result was that more prisoners of war escaped from Colditz than from any other prisoner of war camp in either the First or Second World Wars.
The movie is based on the memoirs of Pat Reid (John Mills), who served as an escape officer at Colditz and then was one of the first to break out and make it back to England. While the movie is a bit dated, it also is a dramatic and efficient telling of escape attempts, ruses played against the German captors and, of course, of the unfailing courage and good spirits of the British officers. Take the film for what it is, a demonstration for British audiences of the pluck and courage of their military during a horrendously threatening war which they won, and you won't be disappointed.
If you're fond of old British movies, you'll recognize, among others, Eric Portman, Lionel Jeffries, Bryan Forbes and Ian Carmichael.
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