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:

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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

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 »

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?
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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

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

 
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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