36 user 8 critic

The Password Is Courage (1962)

Approved | | War, Comedy, Drama | 21 December 1962 (USA)
British NCO Sergeant-Major Charles Coward escapes from the Stalag VIII-B POW camp and is mistakenly awarded with the Iron Cross by the Germans.


Andrew L. Stone


Andrew L. Stone (screenplay), John Castle (based on the biography of Charles Coward by)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dirk Bogarde ... Sgt. Maj. Charles Coward
Maria Perschy ... Irena
Alfred Lynch ... Cpl. Bill Pope
Nigel Stock ... Cole
Reginald Beckwith Reginald Beckwith ... Unterofficer
Richard Marner ... Schmidt
Ed Devereaux ... Aussie
Lewis Fiander ... Pringle
George Mikell George Mikell ... Necke
Richard Carpenter Richard Carpenter ... Robinson
Bernard Archard ... 1st Prisoner of War
Ferdy Mayne ... 1st German Officer at French Farm
George Pravda ... 2nd German Officer at French Farm
Olaf Pooley Olaf Pooley ... German Doctor
Michael Mellinger ... Feldwebel


A World War II British officer named Charles Coward, having been captured by the Germans, tries everything he can to escape. In the process, among many other adventures he gets awarded the Iron Cross. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The only man ever awarded the Iron Cross by the enemy!!! See more »


War | Comedy | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »





English | German

Release Date:

21 December 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Coragem é a Senha See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The television series "Hogan's Heroes" (1965) shares many similarities to this film. The regular characters in "Hogan's Heroes" are characters straight out of this film, and many of the antics in the series are things that happen in the movie. However, there is no mention of Mr. Coward's autobiography or of this film in any of the "Hogan's Heroes" credits. See more »


The final escape as firemen is carried out in a British right hand drive Leyland fire engine. See more »


Narrator: There's a man named Charlie Coward, an ordinary soldier with an ordinary background. But sometimes there's a man that stands out from the crowd. He's more resourceful, more daring and more determined than the others. Sergeant-Major Coward was one of these - this is his story.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: Certain of the characters depicted in this photoplay are fictitious and any similarity between such characters and actual persons is purely coincidental. See more »


I've Got Sixpence
Written by Elton Box, Lawrence Hall and Desmond Cox
See more »

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User Reviews

I enjoyed it! A great light-movie to watch.
5 July 2006 | by Boba_Fett1138See all my reviews

Of course this movie is being often compared to "The Great Escape". The similarities between the story lines are striking and some of the sequences are almost exactly the same. Only keep in mind that this movie was actually released a year before the great escape and this movie its story is based on the real events as lived by Charles Coward, who also served as a consultant for this movie, while "The Great Escape" is based on a totally other true story.

The movie is not an heavy confronting WW II POW movie. Instead its more of a comedy at times with almost slapstick like events and characters. It does make the movie a bit unbalanced and silly to watch but for me it also made the movie very light and easy. I'm not really sure though what for a movie this was supposed to be; A comedy or a drama. It's too incoherent and unbalanced to really say.

The movie is obviously low-budget but they used some creative solutions to hide this, in the movie.

The main character is really fascinating. He is being played by Dirk Bogarde, who of course is always a pleasure to see as the main lead, regardless of the role he plays. The rest of the characters are a bit muddled in and simply not interesting enough. The movie also changes often of setting with as a result that new characters get introduced and old ones abandoned.

All in all its not a terribly memorable movie and certainly no classic. The movie is too incoherent for that and the most of the character too uninteresting. Nevertheless this is a great movie to kill some time with. Nothing heavy, just some good old fashioned light-entertainment, with some good moments. Worth seeing if you get the chance.



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