6.9/10
363
12 user 6 critic

Breakout (1959)

Danger Within (original title)
Drama set in an Italian prisoner of war camp during World War 2, where a group of British soldiers find their plans for escape thwarted by a mysterious traitor in their midst.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Desert Patrol (1958)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Sent to destroy a Nazi petrol dump in the North African desert, a British commando team unexpectedly discovers a large Nazi tank unit and must inform the HQ in time.

Director: Guy Green
Stars: Richard Attenborough, John Gregson, Michael Craig
Jet Storm (1959)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Richard Attenborough plays Ernest Tilley, a man who lost his daughter in a hit-and-run accident. He tracks down the man responsible for the accident and boards the same plane, threatening ... See full summary »

Director: Cy Endfield
Stars: Richard Attenborough, Stanley Baker, Hermione Baddeley
Kidnapped (1971)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

In 18th century Scotland, during the Jacobite Rebellion, David Balfour claims his inheritance from his uncle who has him shanghaied on a ship where David meets fugitive Jacobite rebel Alan Breck.

Director: Delbert Mann
Stars: Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Lawrence Douglas
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A big-city private detective travels to the Deep South to help out an old girlfriend who is being blackmailed.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Stars: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Anthony Franciosa
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1942, a group of British soldiers is sent on a mission in the Malaysian jungle and gets lost into the Japanese controlled zone.

Director: Leslie Norman
Stars: Richard Todd, Richard Harris, Laurence Harvey
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

John Wilson is troubled with pain and and an inability to sleep. He tries to light the gas-fire and seeks held from another lodger, artist Nicholas, who is spending the night with his model... See full summary »

Director: Don Chaffey
Stars: Bernard Lee, Richard Attenborough, Donald Houston
Hell in Korea (1956)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In 1951 during the Korean War retreat a small British re-con group is surrounded by Chinese troops and holds out in a lonely temple atop a hill.

Director: Julian Amyes
Stars: Stephen Boyd, Ronald Lewis, George Baker
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Forced by circumstances,Confederate POWs and Union soldiers join forces against Indians but old animosities resurface during their fragile alliance.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Joseph Cotten, Linda Darnell, Jeff Chandler
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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
The Key (1958)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

During World War II, tug boats conduct what are called salvage missions - picking up disabled ships. Not well equipped with weaponry, the tugs are sitting ducks for enemy fire. As such, the... See full summary »

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: William Holden, Sophia Loren, Trevor Howard
The Third Key (1956)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Police drama. The sleuths of Scotland Yard try to solve a series of burglaries.

Director: Charles Frend
Stars: Jack Hawkins, John Stratton, Dorothy Alison
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A German agent in Libya is allowed to get back to Rommel with false information.

Director: John Llewellyn Moxey
Stars: James Robertson Justice, Adrian Hoven, Niall MacGinnis
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lt. Col. David Baird, M.C.
...
Lt. Col. Huxley
...
Major Charles Marquand
...
Capt. 'Bunter' Phillips
...
Capt. Rupert Callender
...
Capt. Roger Byfold
William Franklyn ...
Capt. Tony Long
Vincent Ball ...
Capt. Pat Foster
Peter Arne ...
Capitano Benucci
Peter Jones ...
Capt. Alfred Piker
...
Lt. Meynell, 'The Sewer Rat'
Terence Alexander ...
Lt. Gibbs
Andrew Faulds ...
Lt. Comdr. 'Dopey' Gibbon, R.N.
Steve Norbert ...
Lt. Pierre Dessin
Cyril Shaps ...
Lt. Cyriakos Coutoules
Edit

Storyline

Drama set in an Italian prisoner of war camp during World War 2, where a group of British soldiers find their plans for escape thwarted by a mysterious traitor in their midst. Written by Jonathan Broxton <j.w.broxton@sheffield.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Could 400 men escape in broad daylight ? See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 January 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Breakout  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The character played by Richard Attenborough is nicknamed "Bunter" - a nickname Attenborough had in real life, bestowed on him by this film's scriptwriter, his close friend (and future producing partner), Bryan Forbes. See more »

Goofs

In the final scene, when Capitano Benucci realized an escape is happening, he is seen running around the camp with his pistol in his hand. The pistol is an automatic, but when he shoots the "traitor" hidden behind the blanket, the closeup shows a revolver. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: North Italy Summer 1943 See more »

Connections

Referenced in Two Way Stretch (1960) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Superior British war film.
26 February 2001 | by (dublin, ireland) – See all my reviews

A rare bright spot in a benighted genre, this British POW drama avoids familiarity not only by avoiding stiff upper lip and grey morality in favour of wit, tension and Hollywood stereotype, but also by a clever use of the metaphors of theatre. Most British war films parade their stifling docudrama-style 'realism'; this is often an excuse for imaginative paucity. 'Danger Within' uses the idea of play to question some of the received myths about the British Second World War.

Part of the novelty lies in its North Italian setting - we're so used to nefarious Nazis and brutal Japanese. Not that it makes much difference - the main villain, Capitano Benucci, is a Nazi-trained sadist, who imagines he's suavity incarnate with his sophisticated cigars, laidback walk, time goatie, and clipped, ironical speech. But the blanching sun makes a nice change, giving a parched, sandy feel, and the notorious stereotype of Italian incompetence makes the various plot points believable.

What makes this narrative absorbing is not the usual will-they-or-won't-they escape plot, but a kind of detective story. No matter how ingenious the efforts of the escape committee - and there is a brilliant one here involving sewers, light-switches, misplaced cigarettes and rugby posts- there is always the same welcoming committee of armed fascists ready to mow them down. It's clear there's an informer, but who?

The obvious culprit is a shifty-looking Greek. This is the film's first daring piece of iconoclasm. There is a lot of anti-Italian racism throughout, but that can be attributed to understandable wartime emotionalism, where contempt for what Fascism stands for is expressed in xenophobia. But the Greek's only obvious credentials for being an informer is the fact of being a Greek, a little small, sweaty, oily, you know, naturally sneaky. When his name is called at roll-call, a wit hurls a dead rat at the officer; we remember Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda that used similar analogies.

This is a strangely unideological war these men are fighting - there is no rhetoric about liberty and democracy; this is a prison film in which the criminals, all professionals, want to escape. Everything centres on the job in hand, with loyalty vouchsafed for anyone who agrees. This lack of sentimentality is refreshing an a genre stuffed with secular piety.

Even better is the working of the theatrical metaphors. The brilliant opening scene features a prisoner disguised as the commandant - their fatal meeting creates a mirror effect that echoes in the following narrative about, not only duplicity, but also people who don't seem to be what they are, including old fops who turn out to be very brave men. Of course, this is a situation where the Law are murderous criminals, and the prisoners are democratic saviours, ambiguous enough in itself. It creates a world where you don't know who to trust, especially dangerous in a situation where loyalty and trust need to be givens. This idea of acting and pretending (extending to the Capitano) culminates in the attempted escape during 'Hamlet', with the immortal Dennis Price in a mop wig as the Prince. It's a shame they couldn't have picked a more apposite play - King Lear, perhaps? - or worked it in better, with a play-within-a-play scene, for instance, to reveal the murderer. But that would have been silly, contrived, arty, and no British war film would ever be that. Michael Wilding is a bizarre sight in this testosterone heavy atmosphere; even more surprising is how excellent he is with his old queen patter and reserves of steel.


18 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Breakout (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?