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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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
...
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 All (21) »

Taglines:

Excitement ! Suspense ! Action ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

26 February 1955 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

The Colditz Story  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

£136,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Colditz Castle is a Renaissance castle in the town of Colditz near Leipzig, Dresden, and Chemnitz in the state of Saxony in Germany. 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

Referenced in The 100 Greatest War Films (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
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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