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The Colditz Story [DVD]

4.6 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: John Mills, Eric Portman, Christopher Rhodes, Lionel Jeffries, Bryan Forbes
  • Directors: Guy Hamilton
  • Writers: Guy Hamilton, Ivan Foxwell, P.R. Reid, William Douglas-Home
  • Producers: Ivan Foxwell
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, French, German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Warner
  • DVD Release Date: 18 April 2005
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008V6YQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 49,285 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

Wartime docu-drama starring John Mills, Eric Portman and Lionel Jeffries, re-telling the experiences of Allied prisoners-of-war who were held in Colditz Castle. These POWs were strictly monitored as they were a high risk category and had constantly tried to escape whichever prison they where previously placed in. Despite being outnumbered by their guards, the prisoners of Colditz continued to achieve their goal - freedom. The film inspired the 1972 TV series 'Colditz'.

From Amazon.co.uk

During the Second World War the Germans put many of the Allied prisoners-of-war (POWs) who had proved consistent escapees together in a maximum security fortress, the very name of which became a legend. Based on the book by Colditz escapee Major Pat Reid, The Colditz Story (1957) documents the further, sometimes successful, escape attempts of these extraordinarily brave, resourceful and indomitable men. Starring John Mills, Eric Portman, Bryan Forbes and Anton Diffring, and co-written and directed by Guy Hamilton, who later made The Battle of Britain (1969), this is a sober, even-handed account, that is gripping and informative, yet not without humour. Sterling performances from the cast of stalwart actors adds up to a British cinema classic. Such is the fascination of Colditz that in 1972-3 the BBC made a very successful drama series staring Jack Hedley, Bernard Hempton, Robert Wagner and David McCallum, while in 2000 Channel 4 offered a superb three-part documentary, Escape from Colditz. In contrast to the semi-documentary feel of The Colditz Story David Lean's classic The Bridge on the River Kwai, from the same year, is an epic and powerful account of POW life in barbaric Japanese prison camps. --Gary S. Dalkin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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A must see for all John Mills fans
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Good classic film different to the colditz story from the bbc series still really good.
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Brillant film
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everything fine and ok
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By Bobby Smith TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 11 Sept. 2016
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A very much 'of its time' war movie - with a nod of deserved appreciation towards those who endured the hunger years of German incarceration. However, the modern cinema goer, I suspect, would find this film a tad boring and merely a rehash of stereotypical characters from Warlord comic (not that they would be old enough to remember that!). So, to conclude, a good film back in the 50s but one that has dated more than other great English war films, such as Dunkirk or Ice Cold In Alex.
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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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Format: VHS Tape
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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By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Nov. 2015
Format: DVD
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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