The Captive Heart

The Captive Heart

The film inspired by the story


Josef Bryks


The Captive Heart is a 1946 British war drama, directed by Basil Dearden for Ealing Studios. The film was entered into the 1946 Cannes Film Festival. Set in a German POW camp after the Battle of Dunkirk in World War II, the plot centers on one of the prisoners. Captain Karel Hasek (Michael Redgrave), a Czech soldier who has escaped from a concentration camp and assumed the identity of a dead British prisoner, Captain Geoffrey Mitchell. Initially keeping to his false identity, he is soon unmasked by his fellow soldiers, suspicious of his command of the German language, but for safety, the SBO commands them to maintain the fiction.

To avoid being detected, he corresponds with Mitchell’s wife Celia (Rachel Kempson). Prior to the war, the Mitchells had a cool relationship, but the letters rekindle Celia’s love. When a Gestapo officer visits the camp, he thinks he recognises Hasek and the latter realises it is only a matter of time before he is unmasked. A plan is hatched to place Hasek’s name on a list of soldiers already approved for repatriation.

After Hasek “returns” to England, he meets Celia and breaks the news of her husband’s death. She realises that she has come to love Hasek and they decide to stay together. The film cast includes many fine character actors and many of the camp population were serving soldiers. One of the locations used was the ex-naval POW camp Marlag, near Westertimke, which had remained largely intact since the end of the war the previous year.

Starring: Michael Redgrave, Rachel Kempson, Jack Warner, Jimmy Hanley, Frederick Leicester, Mervyn Johns, Rachel Thomas
Director: Basil Dearden
Released: 1946, on DVD 2007
Running Time: 94 minutes
Format: DVD
Language: English
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1 Response to The Captive Heart

  1. Daniel Bradley says:

    For your information my father was in the army in Germany when this film was made. he and other soldiers were some of the extras seen in this film. I recognise him in several parts of the film.

  2. business review says:

    .In August 1940 a German prisoner-of-war camp receives a fresh intake.of captured British soldiers. These include Captain Hasek a.Czech soldier who after escaping from a Nazi concentration camp stole.the uniform and papers from a dead British soldier named Captain.Mitchell. This was one of the first.films to portray life in the prisoner-of-war camps and is a films such as 1955 and 1963 ..The film pays tribute to those men who spent the war years not on the.battlefields winning honours and actively serving their country in deplorable prison camps cut off from the rest of the world.and not knowing which way the war was going…The Captive Heart is a.beautifully crafted film that combines some strikingly evocative.chiaroscuro cinematography with an almost documentary-style naturalism. achieved by using a real German prisoner-of-war camp as the principal.location .

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