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The Colditz Story (1955)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,366 users  
Reviews: 22 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) (as P. R. Reid) , (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 All (21) »

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

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

Featured in Hitler: The Comedy Years (2007) 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

 
Very well done film
7 April 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I don't think The Colditz Story is the best of the PoW films, but it is still a very well done film all the same. I don't think the film is flawless, I think it could have been longer to give more depth to the characters(though there is evidence of that) and the film could have focused a bit more on the psychology of imprisonment like the TV series did.

Any faults aside, what I did love about The Colditz Story was the action. The Colditz Story has a carefully-constructed story about the daring escapes of the prisoners, and the action that forms this story is very well played, with a perfect balance of being tense in some scenes and music-hall jolly in others. The dialogue is thoughtful and quite literate, while Guy Hamilton who went on to greater projects since(primarily Goldfinger, my personal favourite of the Bond films) does a solid job directing.

The Colditz Story is beautifully shot and has the suitably foreboding German prison of the title to add to any authenticity, and there is a stirring and evocative music score too and the pacing ensures that there is very rare a dull moment. The acting is very strong, John Mills is perfectly cast, and Eric Portman also gives a performance worth of note. Ian Carmichael, Bryan Forbes and Lionel Jeffries successfully portray their heroic prison inmate characters too.

All in all, a very well-done film that despite any small imperfections deserves to be better known. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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