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The Colditz Story

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1955

The Colditz Story is a 1955 British war film that was directed by Guy Hamilton and produced by Ivan Foxwell. It is based on the book of the same name, which was written by a former prisoner of war, Major Pat Reid. The film features an ensemble cast, including John Mills, Eric Portman, and Christopher Rhodes, and it follows the story of Allied prisoners of war who were held captive at Colditz Castle during World War II.

The film begins by introducing the audience to the castle, which was notorious for being one of the toughest POW camps for the Germans to control. It was designed to hold prisoners who had already escaped from other camps, so the Germans were particularly vigilant in ensuring that no one managed to get out of Colditz. The prisoners, however, were resourceful and determined to escape, and the film focuses on their various attempts to break free.

The central character of the film is Flight Lieutenant Pat Reid, played by John Mills. Reid is a former escapee who has been recaptured and sent to Colditz as punishment. He quickly comes up with a new plan to escape from the castle, and he enlists the help of other prisoners to help him. The rest of the film focuses on their efforts to put his plan into action, and the obstacles they face along the way.

One of the major obstacles is the German officer in charge of the camp, Colonel Richmond, played by Eric Portman. Richmond is a stern, no-nonsense character who is determined to keep the prisoners under control. He is suspicious of Reid and the other escapees, and he does everything in his power to prevent them from breaking free. However, he is also impressed by their ingenuity and resourcefulness, and he eventually develops a reluctant respect for them.

Another key character is Lieutenant-Colonel Jimmy Fordham, played by Christopher Rhodes. Fordham is a senior officer who has been at Colditz for some time, and he is skeptical of Reid's plan. He warns Reid that the Germans are always one step ahead of them, and that they will never succeed in escaping. However, Reid is determined to prove him wrong, and he convinces Fordham to help him.

The film is a tense and suspenseful drama, as the prisoners work to evade the Germans and make their escape. The filmmakers do an excellent job of creating a sense of claustrophobia and confinement, as the castle walls close in around the prisoners. The cinematography is particularly impressive, as the camera captures the cavernous interiors of the castle and the bleak, windswept landscapes outside.

The Colditz Story is also notable for its attention to detail and historical accuracy. The filmmakers consulted with Major Pat Reid himself, as well as other former POWs who had been held at Colditz, and they strove to depict the conditions of the camp as accurately as possible. The result is a film that feels authentic and true to life, even as it presents a thrilling and entertaining story.

Overall, The Colditz Story is a classic war film that still holds up well today. It is a well-crafted and engaging drama that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats from beginning to end. The performances are strong, particularly John Mills as the determined escapee Pat Reid, and the production values are top-notch. For anyone interested in World War II history or classic cinema, The Colditz Story is definitely worth a watch.

The Colditz Story is a War, Drama movie released in 1955. It has a runtime of 94. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.9..

How to Watch The Colditz Story

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6.9/10
Director
Guy Hamilton
Stars
John Mills, Eric Portman, Christopher Rhodes
Genres
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