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The Colditz Story (1955)

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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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Christopher Rhodes ...
'Mac' McGill
...
Harry Tyler
...
Jimmy Winslow
Guido Lorraine ...
Polish Officer
Witold Sikorski ...
Polish Officer
A. Blichewicz ...
Polish Officer
B. Dolinski ...
Polish Officer
...
Fischer
...
Richard Gordon
...
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

Taglines:

The stirring, amazing adventure of how British, French, Dutch, Polish and Canadian POW's escaped from Germany's 'escape-proof' castle ! 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

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

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 prologue: GERMANY

1940 See more »

Connections

Referenced in Commandos 2: Men of Courage (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

I Belong to Colditz
Written by Will Fyffe (uncredited)
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

 
Cheaper to Exchange them
16 April 2011 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

People who watch The Colditz Story have probably seen The Great Escape as well and should bear in mind the fact that that camp where Steve McQueen, James Garner, and the rest was built to house all the big escape artists. Those really persistent offenders got incarcerated at the castle called Colditz. Those that is that didn't get summarily executed by the Gestapo as we well remember from The Great Escape.

What an incredible waste of manpower, but those guards had to be lucky because they could be at the Russian front. In The Colditz Story there are more guards than prisoners. When you think about it, it would have been easier for the Nazis to let this bunch be exchanged.

The protagonist of the story is later historian Pat Reid and he's played here by John Mills. Mills's character is the official British escape officer, there are French, Dutch, and Polish officers among those nationalities. Getting international cooperation here is about as easy as the alliance that defeated Nazi Germany with all the cracks and fraying in that endeavor.

There are two other standout characters, the senior British officer Eric Portman and Scot's Guard Christopher Rhodes. Rhodes had an interesting career, he and Stanley Baker probably were up for a lot of the same parts in British cinema. He played some very rough characters on film, some outright villains. Here he's just an incorrigible prisoner who's very rebelliousness endangers the escape plans of many. His is the best performance in The Colditz Story.

Made over 50 years ago, The Colditz Story holds up very well for today's audience. No flamboyant heroics like in The Great Escape, but some real situations in a story told simply and well.


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