The Colditz Story (1955) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Colditz Story (1955)





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Movie Info

During World War II, the impenetrable Colditz castle in Germany was selected as the site for a POW camp. The Germans reason that, since Colditz has been virtually impossible to get into or out of for centuries, it is ideal for housing the most contentious allied prisoners. British officer John Mills doesn't agree, and leads an escape through a subterranean tunnel. Only three of the prisoners (Mills included) survive the escape; the next step is to get out of Germany itself. Colditz Story is based on the reminiscences of P. R. "Pat" Reid, the real-life English officer portrayed in this film by John Mills. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


John Mills
as Pat Reid
Eric Portman
as Colonel Richmond
Lionel Jeffries
as Harry Tyler
Frederick Valk
as Kommandant
Ludwig Lawinski
as Franz Josef
Carl Duering
as German Officer
Keith Pyott
as French colonel
Rudolf Offenbach
as Dutch Colonel
Rudolph Offenbach
as Dutch Colonel
Arthur Butcher
as Polish colonel
Douglas Argent
as British officer
Terence Brook
as British Officer
Leo Bieber
as German interpreter
Eric Corrie
as British officer
Guy Deghy
as German soldier
Claude Le Sache
as French interpreter
Guido Lorraine
as Polish officer
Kenneth Midwood
as British officer
Peter Myers
as British officer
Frederick Schiller
as German soldier
John Heller
as German guard
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Critic Reviews for The Colditz Story

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Audience Reviews for The Colditz Story

Damn fine POW film, by jove

Marcus Woolcott
Marcus Woolcott

Super Reviewer


"The Colditz Story" starts with Reid(John Mills) and McGill(Christopher Rhodes) being shown their accommodations at a castle by German soldiers in 1940 after their vacation to the Swiss frontier was cut short when they were recaptured. There they are joined by two of their own countrymen, Tyler(Lionel Jeffries) and Winslow(Bryan Forbes), along with many other soldiers from France, Poland and the Netherlands. Even with Colonel Richmond(Eric Portman) relaying orders from the Kommandant(Frederick Valk) to not attempt escaping or else risk being shot, this does not stop Reid for a second. What does hold him up is the simultaneous efforts of soldiers from the other countries. So, Richmond holds a conference whereby he assigns escape officers, one of whom is Reid, to coordinate plans. "The Colditz Story" is an entertaining movie that focuses on the light side of escapology during wartime(almost like it's all fun until somebody gets hurt), avoiding the grimness of wartime for the most part. What's surprising about the movie is how well it works as a microcosm of the polyglot Allied war effort in World War II. Instead of the English simply taking charge until the Americans accepted their invitation to the dance, everybody has to find a way to work together. As based as this is on a true story, it is a little disappointing that the 2001 Doctor Who audio drama "Colditz" was more detailed, stating clearly that Colditz was a receptacle for the more escape prone, time paradox and all. And "The Great Escape" also framed POW escapes in the context of the greater war effort.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

One of a rash of WWII escape stories from the fifties, this is the classic tale of stiffer upper lips headed by the ever reliable John Mills. It lacks the drama of Bridge Over The River Kwai and the action of The Great Escape, but it has a simple honesty that is probably the product of it's roots as an adaptation of true life memoirs. It's also is happy to give screen time to the French, Dutch and Polish prisoners (something Hollywood would've been well served to take note of) and is even not entirely unsympathetic towards the German captors. A solid escape story all round.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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