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Breakout (1959)

Danger Within (original title)
In 1943, an Italian-administered P.O.W. camp for captured Allies goes through a series of failed escapes only to culminate in a daring plan for a dramatic mass escape.


Don Chaffey


Bryan Forbes (screenplay), Frank Harvey (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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


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


SEE all the inhuman brutality of war!...the sadistic revenge of the commandant!...tortured men living like animals! See more »


Drama | War


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Release Date:

17 January 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Breakout See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Black and White (archive footage)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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


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 »


Lt. Col. Huxley: [the prisoners are discussing the corpse of a man discovered in an escape tunnel] Obviously we must report this to the Italians at once.
Lt. Col. David Baird, M.C.: Report it, aye, but do you have to tell them where you found him?
Lt. Col. Huxley: Yes, of course we do. Their doctors will prove he died under a fall of sand. That means only one thing - a tunnel.
Lt. Col. David Baird, M.C.: Well just for the record, if you tell 'em the truth, you'll be making them a present of the only tunnel in this camp with a real chance.
Lt. Col. Huxley: What alternative do you suggest?
Lt. Col. David Baird, M.C.: Put him in ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: North Italy Summer 1943 See more »


Referenced in Two Way Stretch (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

POW wow
9 April 2007 | by greenheartSee all my reviews

There's something about POW escape dramas, you rarely get a poor one. Firstly, unusual to see one set in an Italian camp. I'm not sure the harsh reality of POW camps were put across here, but that's not necessarily what the movie was trying to do. What it does have is an interesting script that moves along at a healthy pace. this is helped by a top notch cast who are all utterly believable. There are definite comedy moments but they don't detract at all from the action. This film was over in what seemed like no time & I would watch it again in a heartbeat. Two minor quibbles. I thought the informant was revealed a shade too early for me and I never felt that his motivation was sufficiently explored. Great, Boys own stuff.

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