The Colditz Story (1955)

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Allied prisoners of various nationalities pool their resources to plan numerous escapes from an "escape-proof" German POW camp housed in a Medieval castle.



(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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True story of three British POWs and their attempt to escape from Nazi Germany.

Directors: Jack Lee, Ian Dalrymple
Stars: Leo Genn, David Tomlinson, Anthony Steel


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 ...
Richard Wattis ...
Richard Gordon
Ian Carmichael ...
Robin Cartwright
Eric Portman ...
Colonel Richmond
Frederick Valk ...
Leo Bieber ...
German Interpreter
Denis Shaw ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

escape | nazi | guard | subterfuge | stage | See All (21) »


Excitement ! Suspense ! Action ! See more »


Drama | History | War


See all certifications »




| | |

Release Date:

26 February 1955 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

The Colditz Story  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


£136,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Anthony Faramus, billed here as a "British Officer" prisoner, actually was a prisoner of Germany during World War II, though not at Colditz. He was arrested in the Channel Islands early in the war, as a saboteur. He spent the remainder of the war in various German prisons, including Buchenwald and Mathausen concentration camps. He wrote about his ordeals in the book "The Faramus Story." He was also closely associated with British double agent Eddie Chapman. See more »


Christopher Rhodes is listed as "Chistopher Rhodes" in the opening credits. See more »


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 »


Featured in War Stories (2006) See more »


I Belong to Colditz
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

Not as flamboyant as "The Great Escape" but a sturdy study of escape artists...
16 April 2011 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

THE COLDITZ STORY takes artistic license with facts and the sequence of events, as noted in the foreword, but manages to hold interest when it concentrates on the fortunes of its chief escape officer, JOHN MILLS, and his various experiences with the prisoners and their national rivalries with each other.

Aside from some stereotyped Nazi humor at the expense of stupid guards and the usual assortment of prisoners, the story maintains humor and suspense in equal measure as the men try to tunnel their way to freedom while under the scrutiny of their German captors. Characters are not deeply explored, but ERIC PORTMAN does a standout job as Colonel Richmond and JOHN MILLS is excellent as the real-life escape prisoner Pat Reid.

BRYAN FORBES, IAN CARMICHAEL and LIONEL JEFFRIES are fine in support. Unfortunately, ANTON DIFFRING has little to do as officer Fischer nor does THEODORE BIKEL as one of the POWs.

As escape films go, this POW film is taut with suspense toward the last escape try but a bit flabby in the telling for the most part. Other such films have managed to cover the same territory with more excitement and suspense.

You might call it a low-key story based on true incidents given a rather routine treatment despite some fine performances.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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