on 8 May 2009
This is a great example of Ealing Studios finest. A British prisoner of war assumes the identity of a dead soldier having himself escaped from a Concentration camp. He has to write letters home (to the wife of the dead man) because the Germans were suspicious of his lack of correspondence to his family. Inevitably his true identity is exposed, and he attempts to escape from the camp. When he is eventually returned back to good old Blighty, the lady with whom he has corresponded is waiting for her husband to appear from the crowd, but our hero (michael Redgrave) has to tell her the truth. With Jack Warner, Basil Radford and Mervyn Johns, it's a great cast for a very British story.
on 12 April 2009
This film tells the story of a man who has to change his identity in order to hide amongst POW's in a camp. The film also follows past stroies of fellow inmates and it follows them through when the men are released.
There is a great sense of all the prisoners pulling together and getting on with it.
It is also a super love story, I have watched it again and again.
on 24 January 2014
This superlative British film, made in 1946 and directed by the excellent Basil Dearden is the story of English prisoners in a German POW camp. The wild card in the pack is a Czech officer, Captain Karel Hasek (Michael Redgrave) who has previously escaped from the Gestapo and now assumes the identity of a dead British officer. To keep up the pretence, he writes to the dead officer's wife, (Rachel Kempson) purporting to be her husband, much to her surprise since their relationship had become estranged and now a romance develops between them.
This all sounds fairly fanciful but the sheer weight of the acting carries it off wonderfully well and there's a very strong supporting cast, including Jack Warner, Jimmy Handley and Mervyn Johns, all of whom provide the basis for interesting and believable sub-plots.
It really is the last couple of minutes which, with a minimum of dialogue but with Douglas Slocombe's brilliant cinematography and Alan Rawsthorne's evocative music, brings this momentous film to a terrific conclusion.
Worth five stars of anybody's money.
on 9 December 2013
This is a heart-rending and poignant film, based on a true story and with the superb Michael Redgrave in the lead role.
Watching a film like this makes you realise the misery suffered by not just those held captive in prison camps all over Europe but also of the people left behind in England, and for that matter other countries.
My father was Czech and one of the few who flew for the RAF during World War II so here is something particularly touching about this story. I challenge the hardest man not to had a tear in his eye at the ending of this film.
on 13 January 2016
A marvellous POW picture from the Ealing Stable. Great cast of British stars playing their roles too perfection, and I particularly enjoyed the flashbacks to life before the war, how the family, friends of the prisoners were also coping with the war. Like all the great POW films the touches of humour that interplayed with the trials and tribulations of life within the camp were deftly handled. I am amazed that this was the first time I had seen the film and if you have not seen it and are a fan of the genre, do not miss the chance!