The Birdmen (1971)

TV Movie   |    |  Drama, History, War

The Birdmen (1971) Poster

During World War II, American soldier Harry Cook is sent to Norway to aid in the defection of a scientist working on the atomic bomb for the Germans. Before they can escape Europe, they are... See full summary »



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User Reviews

18 January 1999 | BYellin
Historical perspective
This movie's not bad for a TV movie, but it's interesting to note it's historical basis. Colditz Castle was 'Supermax'; the German repository for Allied 'Escape Experts'. Every prisoner in residence had at least one close-to-successful escape attempt from another facility under his belt.

Colditz had the distinction of being the only German POW camp where the guards outnumbered the prisoners. Even so, successful escapes were made.

The most daring plan involved the building of the glider in this movie.

It was actually built, but never used. They were ready to go a month or two before the end of the war, but all prisoners were ordered through the intelligence network by London to sit tight because the Germans had begun shooting escapees. The Colditz gang decided to follow their orders and save the glider to be used in case the Germans starting murdering prisoners and a quick, sure way was needed to get someone 'over the wire' to alert the oncoming Allied forces.

The camp was liberated without incident and the glider was shown around for a few weeks as a morale booster to repatriates of other camps. It was then boosted back up into the attic, but disappeared over the winter of 1945-46; probably destroyed by Russian officers billetted there and used as firewood against the unusually severe winter.

For more info read P.R. Reid's "ESCAPE FROM COLDITZ".

Critic Reviews


Release Date:

18 September 1971



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