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4.5 out of 5 stars70
4.5 out of 5 stars
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The Colditz Story was one of a number of movies the British made during the Fifties which relived the victories and bravery of their armed services during WWII. Often these movies starred John Mills. The Colditz Story is based on fact. Colditz Castle in Germany was used to imprison the most incorrigible prisoners-of-war, those who persistently made escape attempts. British, French, Polish and Dutch officers were sent there. Unfortunately for the Germans, they wound up trying to keep inside men dedicated to escaping, and who had skills they now could share. The result was that more prisoners of war escaped from Colditz than from any other prisoner of war camp in either the First or Second World Wars.

The movie is based on the memoirs of Pat Reid (John Mills), who served as an escape officer at Colditz and then was one of the first to break out and make it back to England. While the movie is a bit dated, it also is a dramatic and efficient telling of escape attempts, ruses played against the German captors and, of course, of the unfailing courage and good spirits of the British officers. Take the film for what it is, a demonstration for British audiences of the pluck and courage of their military during a horrendously threatening war which they won, and you won't be disappointed.

If you're fond of old British movies, you'll recognize, among others, Eric Portman, Lionel Jeffries, Bryan Forbes and Ian Carmichael. The DVD I saw has a picture and audio in very good shape considering the age of the movie.
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on 26 May 2000
A gripping yarn that provides a smjorgasbord of Colditz escape stories. The events portrayed are generally accurate, the acting is first-class (well, just look at the cast!) and the viewer is left with a feeling of "Well done, chaps! That's one on the nose for Jerry!"
Although I had seen this movie when it was a theatre release, this was purchased after I watched the recent TV "mini-series" on Colditz done by the BBC. The film is as enjoyable now as it was all those many years ago.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 November 2015
Guy Hamilton directs and co-adapts the screenplay with Ivan Foxwell from the P.R. Reid novel of the same name. A story based on actual facts, it stars John Mills, Lionel Jeffries, Bryan Forbes, Anton Diffring, Richard Wattis, Ian Carmichael and Eric Portman. Music is by Francis Chagrin and cinematography by Gordon Dines.

The story essentially follows the repeated escape attempts by allied prisoners held at Colditz Castle. It shows the hard luck stories, the bonds that are formed between the men, the regime and day to day life they lived by, and of course it builds to the historical finale.

It's structured with great balance by the makers, who manage to wring out a number of tense sequences whilst also ensuring that humour shines brightly. It gives the pic the requisite feel of stiff upper lippery, imbuing the characters with justifiable heroism in the face of being a POW, which all told plays as inspirational stuff.

Acted with aplomb by a notable cast, this delightful pic harks back to a a grand time of British film making, while simultaneously doffing its cap towards the real life allied soldiers who wound up in war prison establishments. 8/10
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on 28 December 2012
This is a very good film,and very faithfull to the book that was written by Pat Ried.The blu ray transfer is excellent considering the age of this movie 1955.The director Guy Hamilton does a great job with this,by the way he went on to do Goldfinger and Live and let die to name but a few.The documentary on this is also excellent,plus you get a comparrison of before and after HD upgrade.All in all a very good blu ray,well worth adding to your collection,may i also recommend the definative colditz series the BBC did that series is amazingly good.
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on 11 June 2012
Wonderful film that depicts the great resilience of spirit to overcome apparently impossible obstacles and spiritual despair from captivity.
Most of the escape attempts shown end in failure but the great imagination; perseverance and grim humour are superbly outlined. As Prince Philip once said: 'one gets on with it'!
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on 29 August 2013
A good movie which, for those that know, squeezes alot of escape attempts into a mere 90 minutes - so, all is a bit rushed. The acting however is good if a bit dated. This is a classic in the order of the Dambusters and Battle of Britain.
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on 18 July 2009
I saw this when I was about 10, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Seeing it again last night, I now realise that 10 is about the right age for the audience. 'The Colditz Story' is really a ripping yarn straight out of the pages of the Eagle comic, when the Second World War was depicted as a Great Adventure, in which the gallant Brits kept their upper lips stiff, and no-one swore, or was tortured, or maimed or died painfully.

Everyone in Colditz behaves as if they're still in school, with the naughty but likeable pupils cooking up daring japes and wheezes, while the German schoolmasters bumble around ineffectually, handing out detention slips when they catch the truants. The worst punishment is 'solitary confinement' which is neither solitary (the prisoners share cells) nor confined (they get allowed out for exercise). Despite the guards vowing to kill everyone who is caught escaping, only one POW is actually shot (tastefully, in the distance, no blood here!).

The Germans are portrayed as comic caricatures - mostly overweight, slightly inept and the officers sporting handlebar moustaches or monocles. It's the perfidious French who are the real enemy in this film, and not to be trusted with any secret escape plans.

Despite all of the above, it's still pretty enjoyable. Who's going to pass up the chance of watching such stalwarts as John Mills, Ian Carmichael, Lionel Jeffries and Bryan Forbes strutting their stuff? But don't kid yourself that German POW camps were anything like this. This is war portrayed as a game of cricket or rounders, with only the Brits playing by the rules, knocking Jerry for six, and running up a tally of successful 'home runs'.

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on 24 November 2012
I collect the Older British War Films and this is quite a good one and being John Mills it always has a class of it's own. And being based on a true story, shows how keen the prisions were to annoy their captors.
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on 15 January 2013
It had been a long time since we'd see this but it is still a good film, but the extra footage about the real people in Colditz and the making of the film was excellent.
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on 9 February 2016
Great film, good price! A lot of old black and white film DVD's to my mind are overpriced these days on amazon. Great to find a good film at a fair and decent price.
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