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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.

Director:

Guy Hamilton

Writers:

P.R. Reid (novel), Guy Hamilton (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:
John Mills ... Pat Reid
Christopher Rhodes Christopher Rhodes ... 'Mac' McGill
Lionel Jeffries ... Harry Tyler
Bryan Forbes ... Jimmy Winslow
Guido Lorraine Guido Lorraine ... Polish Officer
Witold Sikorski Witold Sikorski ... Polish Officer
A. Blichewicz A. Blichewicz ... Polish Officer
B. Dolinski B. Dolinski ... Polish Officer
Anton Diffring ... Fischer
Richard Wattis ... Richard Gordon
Ian Carmichael ... Robin Cartwright
Eric Portman ... Colonel Richmond
Frederick Valk Frederick Valk ... Kommandant
Leo Bieber 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:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | German | French | Polish

Release Date:

26 February 1955 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Colditz Story See more »

Filming Locations:

Colditz Castle, Saxony, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£136,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ivan Foxwell Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

According to the film's epilogue, Lt. Colonel Airey Neave, D.S.O., OBE., MC., made the first British Home Run in January 1942. Neave later served as a Conservative Member of Parliament from 1953 until he was murdered by the Irish National Liberation Army on March 30, 1979. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Colonel Richmond: [watching a particularly rough game in the excercise yard] Who was it said our ancestors were apes?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: GERMANY

1940 See more »

Connections

Featured in Fifties British War Films: Days of Glory (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Bless 'Em All
(uncredited)
Variously attributed to Fred Godfrey or to James Lally (as Jimmy Hughes) and Frank Kerslake (as Frank Lake)
Performed by the British prisoners
See more »

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User Reviews

 
First class prisoner of war tale - with British stiff-upper-lips to the fore
13 March 2004 | by Pedro_HSee all my reviews

Allied prisoners - that normal prison of war camps can't hold - are sent to a mountain stronghold that they are told is "escape proof."

Colditz Castle (in Germany) remains one of the most daunting and visited memorials of World War II. Looking a little like Count Dracula's castle from the outside the very sight of it must have made many a heart sink - especially those that didn't know if they were going to their deaths. Even when they found out that they weren't they still had to be vetted to see if they were not stool pigeons!

This was originally a book and in the fullness of time it would be turned in to this film, a TV series (and a very good one at that) and even a hit board game. The film has to scrap a great deal of the (excellently written) book and can only represent a few of the many plot lines. In truth the prisoners ran out of escape ideas near the end and had only one left - to build a glider to escape from the roof. The war ended before it was tested!

Anything with John Mills in is usually pretty good (ok - Who's That Girl, with Madonna falls short) and this is no exception. The prisoners realise that escape committee's are needed so escape attempts - between various nationalities - wouldn't cross one another. Everything here is based on a real incident, although some of the facts around it are fictionalised.

A good memorial to a tough place and some tough people that were prepared to risk machine guns and attack dogs to get over-the-wall to continue the war. While this type of movie always has many dramatic plus points built in, it is - still - one the top hundred British movies ever made and one of my top two hundred (made anywhere) films. There isn't a second of boredom in the whole movie.


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