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The Birdmen (1971)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama | History | War  -  18 September 1971 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 182 users  
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During World War II, American soldier Harry Cook is sent to Norway to aid in the defection of a scientist working on the atomic bomb for the Germans. Before they can escape Europe, they are... See full summary »

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Title: The Birdmen (TV Movie 1971)

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Cast

Cast overview:
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Major Harry Cook
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Halden Brevik / Olav Volda
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Schiller
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Tanker
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Colonel Morgan Crawford
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Focus Flaherty
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...
Davies
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Donnelly
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Orville Fitzgerald
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Storyline

During World War II, American soldier Harry Cook is sent to Norway to aid in the defection of a scientist working on the atomic bomb for the Germans. Before they can escape Europe, they are captured and sent to a POW prison camp in a high alpine castle on the German-Swiss border. Cook must find a way to escape with the scientist before the Gestapo discover the Norwegian's true identity. Cook convinces the other prisoners to build a two person glider that can fly to Switzerland. The race is on to complete the glider before the German guards discover the plane, and the Gestapo catch up with Cook and the scientist. Written by Jeff Popp <jeff.popp@attws.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They used to boast there were only two ways to escape from Hitler's Beckstadt prison... to die...or to sprout wings

Genres:

Drama | History | War

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Details

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Release Date:

18 September 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Colditz: Escape of the Birdmen  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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(Technicolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was loosely based on a true story. Allied prisoners-of-war held at Colditz Castle constructed a similar glider under the noses of their captors, but did not complete the aircraft until after D-Day. Rather than use the glider to escape, the prisoners determined to use it to coordinate their actions with Patton's forces. As it turned out, the German garrison surrendered to the Americans without firing a shot. See more »

Goofs

The only POW camps remotely near Switzerland were Rottweil and Memmingen. No POW camp would have been built within visual sight of neutral Switzerland. See more »

Quotes

Schiller: Major, I'm afraid we are both in a great deal of trouble.
Cook: Why don't you break out the scotch first? My leg is killing me!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Chicken Run (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Die Gedanken Sind Frei
(uncredited)
Nineteenth Century German Folk Song
Sung by the Cast
Performed at the funeral of a slain prisoner of war
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A WWII Escape movie with heart
1 January 2001 | by (Houston, TX) – See all my reviews

This TV-movie adaptation of "Escape from Colditz" manages to pack all the action and intelligence from the book, fine pacing, and unforgettable emotional characterizations into 75 minutes of run time. Terrific pacing, unforgettable musical score -- another rarity for a TV movie. The best kind of history lesson -- well-told, well-acted, truly representative, and thoroughly enjoyable. See it if you get the chance.


5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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