Movie Break - The Colditz Story (1955)



The Colditz Story (1955) (B/W) (British) (at my Dad's)

I'm in Calgary and this is the first movie I watched with my Dad, also my first movie of the year.  Dad let me choose the movie but he has sooooo many DVD's that I said something either epic, war movie or British.  So he brought over a 5-pack of British war movies.  Since I'd heard of this book, I picked this movie.  I usually end up watching a lot of war movies whilst I'm here.  I really enjoyed the movie.  I'm not up on British actors but have seen a lot of British movies so I recognized a lot faces without knowing who the actors were.  Based on a book of a true story of a German POW prison for allied POW's who were prone to escaping this prison was lauded as being escape-proof.  Colditz is famous for being the one prison with the most successful escapes during both world wars combined.The tale tells of the many unsuccessful escape attempts of the prisoners and their morale defeating return to base until eventually they have a success.  The movie ends with the second (assumed) successful escape underway.  Not your usual war movie; no action, blood or killing.  There's a bit of shooting but no war scenes; the entire movie takes place at the Colditz prison.  This is a character tale, with a good story and lots of dry British humour.  One thing I really appreciated about it's production was the use of foreign language.  The prison had prisoners from the UK, France, Denmark & Poland and of course the German guards.  There were many scenes in which the POWs of various nationalities spoke with themselves in their language with no subtitles, only a few select characters of these nationalities spoke English and at the 'meetings' they had, there was a translator for each group.  This made the movie so much more realistic and is not something often found in old movies (or even in newer movies) where we just have to assume they are speaking in their language.  A well done piece of work but would probably be found slow for those looking for the usual 'war movie" fare.

 

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