bringing the essence of a true World War 2 story to film with an all-star cast,
The Colditz Story is a witty and dramatic movie revealing the experiences
of allied prisoners-of-war as they plan resourceful escape routes from a supposedly
DEEP IN THE HEART OF GERMANY, the austere and notorious Colditz Castle was
believed by the Germans to be a totally escape-proof fortress where they could
confine World War 2's high-risk prisoners, VIPs and those who had made repeated
attempts to escape from other camps.
As well as British POWs, the inhospitable Colditz also held captured French,
Polish and Dutch military, all of whom had just one thought in mind
how they could escape from the Germans and their sometimes macabre sense of
of-war escape adventure,
The Colditz Story
offers a highly-
entertaining, witty and
dramatic film with a
brilliant and sympathetic
the arrival in 1940 of Captain Pat Reid (John Mills: Ice Cold In Alex; Scott
Of The Antarctic), who had been caught during an earlier escape just as
he reached the Swiss frontier, senior British officer Colonel Richmond (Eric
Portman: The 49th Parallel) has found an excellent liaison officer to
exchange information about planned escapes with the other captives.
Situated high above a river on a rocky outcrop, Colditz did indeed seem an impossible
place from which to escape. But the Germans had not reckoned for the sheer ingenuity
and determination of the prisoners, who turned escape into an art form by disguising
themselves as Hitler Youth, clinging onto the underside of delivery vans, vaulting
over the wire and digging their way out…
Seeing each failure as a further challenge, the prisoners brave a number of
setbacks and face possible death when they are discovered by the Germans. While
escapees take their route to their longed-for freedom, others find ways of distracting
the guards, including a fine music hall production.
Although the Kommandant (Frederick Valk) warns that escape is verboten
on punishment of death, the war-weary POWs will not understand the warning
even if it is said in plain English.
Cheeky and chirpy, Reid and his fellow prisoners-of-war make the best of a bad
job as far as their miserable existence is concerned and the film gives a much
lighter side to the stark reality of being held captive by the Germans in the
Second World War.
On 14/15 October seventy years ago (1942), Major Pat Reid (13 November 1910-22
May 1990) escaped from Colditz Castle along with four other British officers
to make his way to freedom via Switzerland.
The ultimate prisoner-of-war escape adventure, based on Reid's best-selling
1952 novel about his time in the camp and his escape, The Colditz Story
was originally released in 1955 to great critical and commercial success and
offers a highly-entertaining, witty and dramatic film with a brilliant and sympathetic
Celebrating British ingenuity, perseverance and an indomitable spirit, the classic
film The Colditz Story forever assures the castle's place in history.
Despite its reputation, Colditz experienced more frequent and successful escape
attempts than almost any other prisoner-of-war camp.
A Renaissance castle, Colditz sits above the town of the same name near Leipzig
and was once a royal hunting lodge. It is now open to the public and houses
a war museum and meeting rooms: schloss-colditz.com.
The Colditz Story also features: Christopher Rhodes as "Mac" McGill;
Lionel Jeffries (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) as Harry Tyler; Bryan Forbes
as Jimmy Winslow (Writer: I Was Monty's Double; The Angry Silence; Whistle
Down The Wind); Ian Carmichael as Robin Cartwright; Richard Wattis as Richard
Gordon; Theodore Bikel as Vandy; Eugene Deckers as La Tour; Anton Diffring as
Fischer; Denis Shaw as Priem; Leo Bieber as German Interpreter; and Rudolph
Offenbach as Dutch Colonel.
Music is Composed and Conducted by Francis Chagrin and Played by The Goldsborough
Orchestra; Art Director is Vetchinsky; Director of Photography is Gordon Dines,
FRPS; Written by (Adaptation and Script) Guy Hamilton, Ivan Foxwell and (Dialogue)
William Douglas Home; Based on the novel by P R Reid; Produced by Ivan Foxwell
and Directed by Guy Hamilton (Goldfinger; The Man With The Golden Gun).
Filmed in black and white in 1955, The Colditz Story has now been restored
in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the original escape and it is released
on DVD and Blu-ray, courtesy of StudioCanal, on 10 December 2012.
DVD Total Running Time: 93 Minutes Approximately | Catalogue Number:
OPTD2354 | RRPP: £15.99.
Blu-ray Total Running Time: 97 Minutes Approximately | Catalogue
Number: OPTBD2354 | RRPP: £19.99.
Extras Colditz Revealed: Brand new documentary featuring interviews
with last surviving British POWs | Restoration Comparison | Hard of Hearing
"The Colditz Story… offers a highly-entertaining, witty and dramatic
film with a brilliant and sympathetic all-star cast" Maggie