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The Captive Heart (1946)

Approved | | War , Drama | 29 April 1946 (UK)
In 1940, a concentration-camp escapee assumes the identity of a dead British officer, only to become a prisoner of war.

Director:

Basil Dearden

Writers:

Angus MacPhail (screenplay), Guy Morgan (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Redgrave ... Capt. Karel Hasek
Rachel Kempson ... Celia Mitchell
Frederick Leister Frederick Leister ... Mr. Mowbray
Mervyn Johns ... Pte. Evans
Rachel Thomas Rachel Thomas ... Mrs. Evans
Jack Warner ... Cpl. Horsfall
Gladys Henson Gladys Henson ... Mrs. Horsfall
James Harcourt James Harcourt ... Doctor
Gordon Jackson ... Lieut. Lennox
Elliott Mason Elliott Mason ... Mrs. Lennox (as Elliot Mason)
Margot Fitzsimons Margot Fitzsimons ... Elspeth McDougall
David Keir David Keir ... Mr. McDougall
Derek Bond ... Lieut.Harley
Jane Barrett Jane Barrett ... Caroline Harley
Meriel Forbes Meriel Forbes ... Beryl Curtiss
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Storyline

After the evacuation at Dunkirk, June 1940, some thousands of British prisoners are sent to German P.O.W. camps. One such group includes "Capt. Geoffrey Mitchell," a concentration-camp escapee who assumed the identity of a dead British officer. To avoid exposure, "Mitchell" must correspond with the dead man's estranged wife Celia. But eventual exposure seems certain, and the men must find a way to get him out. If he reaches England, though, what will his reception be? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Would you forge love letters to save your life?

Genres:

War | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

29 April 1946 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Corazón cautivo See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ealing Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Larry Taylor. See more »

Goofs

Capt. Hasek states that he escaped from Dachau. Nobody ever successfully escaped from this concentration camp, except Hans Beimer in 1933. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Jim Grayson: I wonder how Jane is getting on these days?
Capt. Karel Hasek, alias Geoffrey Mitchell: Who's Jane? Your girl?
Capt. Jim Grayson: No, no. *The* Jane. The strip in the "Mirror".
Capt. Karel Hasek, alias Geoffrey Mitchell: [realizing he's made a mistake] Oh, yes, the strip in the mirror.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: France - June 1940 See more »

Connections

Featured in Arena: Cinema (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Land Of Hope And Glory
(uncredited)
Music by Edward Elgar
See more »

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User Reviews

We all have to help each other....
12 March 2002 | by shrbwSee all my reviews

The prison camp is, in many ways, a metaphor for wartime Britain and its postwar hopes and aspirations. 'All sorts and conditions of men' are herded together in the camp, and despite the underlying tension, the boredom, and the self doubts, they must try and get along with each other. Indeed, it goes far deeper than that - they must try and look out for each other and protect each other.

And so they encourage the blind lad in his efforts to learn brail and come to terms with his blindness. A young 'tearaway' (a pre-war thief)comes to realise that even he has something to contribute. As the others try and think up a way of protecting the identity of a Czech hiding amongst them, he confesses that he knows how to open a safe, and can break into the orderly office and destroy the incriminating evidence.

There are little touches of humanity in terrible situations. The order is issued to manacle the prisoners as a reprisal for some Allied slight (this actually happened), and the elderly German reservist guard tries to indicate to the blind prisoner that he is only 'obeying orders' and doesn't want to do it. The invalid wife of a prisoner is told, back in England, that it is too risky to have her husbands baby, but she sacrifices herself in the hope that he will have a child to come home too. The blind lad tries to put off his girlfriend because he doesn't want to be a burden to her.

Some people find the main plot line a little contrived, but it is fascinating to see two strangers fall in love through a pretence.

And so wartime Britain entered the postwar world with all its hopes and fears. Sadly, with no visible common enemy to unite them, many of these hopes of a common caring humanity were not to be realised.


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