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  1. #1
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    Just saw "The Password is COurage" about a Sgt. Charles Coward's experience as POW during WWII, based on a true story. The movie reminded me so much of an American movie "The Great Escape" from the early 70's(maybe). Is "The Great Escape" a re-make of the Courage movie?

  2. #2
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    Both films were made about the same time: The Password is Courage (1962),The Great Escape (1963).



    The Password is Courage is based on Coward's actual experiences whilst The Great Escape, from the novel by Paul Brickhill, is a a fictionalised account of a real event.

  3. #3
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    But we know that The Great Escape actually happened and people got killed.



    The book that "The Password is Courage" is based on is the only source for this supposed autobiography.



    The description of the final escape by the tunnel is just too similar to the tunnel in The Great Escape for it to be coincidence. Remember that "The Password is Courage" was based in an "other ranks" camp so it wasn't the same tunnel.



    I have long thought (& said) that either the book or the film "borrowed" the story of The Great Escape.



    Pual Brickhill's book isn't the only source for The Great Escape (even though it's the only one cited for the film). Other sources (books by others involved and a great one by the man who tracked down the murderers) also describe the tunnels & the escape in detail.



    BTW it may have been an American movie but in reality all the Americans had been moved out before the escape took place. Steve McQueen's character was total fiction for the film.

  4. #4
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    As a young boy I remember seeing Charlie Coward on "This Is Your Life". I showed such interest that my dad brought me his biography. The book is bleaker than the film which is a bit "boys own adventurish". The two train wreaks and burning down of the timber yard are done to good cinematic affect but a bit too much "laughing in the face of dangerish". He also had to work with Jewish prisoners which is not portrayed in the film and where the book is bleaker. The ways he helped Jewish prisoners to escape or smuggle in explosives to blow up the death showers are heart-rending. Not filmable in the sixty's but worthy a revisit now if not at the cinema on t.v. as a mini series. A very brave and humane man who warrants more recognition in history than Mr.Stones film.

  5. #5
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    That'd explain it, if they took a few events from the book but many others from other POW escapes and put them all together as the one film. It does seem to much - even for Dirk Bogarde :)



    Thanks Hackett

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    Why do they insist on showing this film without the concentration camp drawings?. They are not lurid or sordid but an intricate part of Cowards storey.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Just watched The Password Is Courage and for a while I was convincing myself the town scenes were shot in Britain,unitl I looked in my Halliwell's Film Guide and discovered the film was made by the Americans Andrew and Virginia Stone.

    They made the Robert Stack film,The Last Voyage,in which an old ship bound for the scrap yard was bought and used for the sinking scenes. Their taste for authenticity made a Hollywood wag to quip "If they made On The Beach,no one would be alive to watch it".

    So on that,I must say the shooting of TPIC was pretty authentic.

    Two questions:

    Was it based on a true story?

    Did I see Colin Blakely as a German guard?

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Marky B@Aug 19 2005, 03:09 PM

    Was it based on a true story?



    Yes, Charles Coward, and if I recall don't the credits involve Midlands Railways?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    This is from Wikipedia



    The Pasword is Courage is a 1962 World War II film, directed and written by Andrew L. Stone. The film is a lighthearted take on the true story of Sergeant-Major Charles Coward, and the screenplay is based on the biography of the same name by John Castle.



    Plot

    Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

    Charles Coward (played by Bogarde) is a British officer who is incarcerated in the POW camp Stalag VIII-B. He encourages his fellow inmates to escape, and tries to humiliate the German guards at every opportunity.



    He first attempts to escape by masquerading as a wounded German soldier. He is taken to hospital, where his identity is revealed. He then digs a tunnel, and, using a map he has obtained from the Polish Resistance, escapes with fellow prisoner Bill Pope (played by Lynch). They are captured.



    After the failure of the tunnel, they then attempt to escape by using a fire engine. Their plan works, and they drive the vehicle to freedom.



    Tagline: The only man ever awarded the Iron Cross by the enemy!!!

  10. #10
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    Watched this film the other day - I couldn't stand much more than 30 minutes of it. If it was supposed to be factual, then I wonder that the Germans ever made it as far as France!! It depicted the German guards in the prison camps as buffoons and the civil railway guards as even worse!!



    I can usually sit through anything with old Bogarde in it, but this was very suspect!!!



    Did anyone else see this film and shoud I have persevered with it?

  11. #11
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    I didn't watch it this time round, but have done many times before.



    Give it a chance, Jim. Its mean't to be funny!

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by mysteriesofedgarwallace@Aug 22 2005, 12:46 PM

    I didn't watch it this time round, but have done many times before.



    Give it a chance, Jim. Its mean't to be funny!
    Oh! OK mysteries, I'll give it another go, but I really thought it was a serious film - ah well! when it said 'a true story' I thought 'serious'.

  13. #13
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Originally posted by JIM@Aug 22 2005, 03:30 PM

    Oh! OK mysteries, I'll give it another go, but I really thought it was a serious film - ah well! when it said 'a true story' I thought 'serious'.
    It should say "very loosely based on what might or might not be a true story"



    Steve

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: England Harbottle's Avatar
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    This film is usually described as a comedy drama, Reginald Beckwith as a Nazi officer is a bit of a give away. I rather like it and finally captured it to DVD the other day.

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by Harbottle@Aug 22 2005, 06:19 PM

    This film is usually described as a comedy drama, Reginald Beckwith as a Nazi officer is a bit of a give away I rather like it and finally captured it to DVD the other day.


    I think the Nazi officer you are thinking was Richard Marner,ie Coloonel Kurt Von Strohm in Allo Allo and Doring in The Boys From Brazil.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: England Harbottle's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Marky B@Aug 22 2005, 07:11 PM

    I think the Nazi officer you are thinking was Richard Marner,ie Coloonel Kurt Von Strohm in Allo Allo and Doring in The Boys From Brazil.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B
    Nope I was thinking of Reginald Beckwith in The Password is Courage


  17. #17
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Marky B@Aug 22 2005, 08:11 PM

    I think the Nazi officer you are thinking was Richard Marner,ie Coloonel Kurt Von Strohm in Allo Allo and Doring in The Boys From Brazil.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B
    Richard Marner had a good role in the operetta Oh... Rosalinda!! where he was the junior Soviet officer and was seen poring over the atlas painting various countries red. He hovers his brush meaningfully over the US of A...



    Steve

  18. #18
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    I sit by my computer corrected on that one. A thousand apologies to dispute your wisdom on that one,Harbottle

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob M.,Apr 9 2004, 09:00 PM

    I thought The McKenzie Break was a dramitisation of the events at Camp 21 in Scotland?

    Execution at Camp 21




    Hi, I watched the Makenzie break on TV a few nights ago, quality stuff. I thought that the defiant singing of the german pows was particularly good and added greatly to the film..

    Could anyone tell me what is that tune they were singing as they drummed their mugs and spoons. Is it Deutchland uber alles in another form?. I would like to download it if possible. Any help greatly appreciated.

  20. #20
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    I watched Andrew and Virginia Stone's The Last Voyage yesterday. Forty five years old,it still is a very good film. Although at times,the officers running up to the captain (George Sanders) briefing him on events surrounding the sinking and then running away again,reminded me of another Robert Stack movie Airplane. However,on the whole it was still a suspenseful film as Stack tried to get help to save his wife,Dorothy Malone and the final moments as himself,Edmund O Brien,Woody Strode and Malone finally fled the fated ship was quite gripping. Dare I say it, I actually thought it was better than Titanic.

    I looked on the IMDB about the English actor who played Third Officer Osborne and I found out that George Furness and Andrew Hughes (the radio operator) were both sent out to Japan in 1946 to defend some of the Japanese war criminals. They later worked on a lot of Japanese films.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

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