Another Dirk Bogarde film for you tonight in which he stars in a biopic of the experiences of Sgt Major Charles Coward who as the film says was ‘an ordinary man who stands out from the crowd’.
Coward, played by Bogarde is a prisoner in a Nazi POW camp and makes it his business to attempt to escape or try to humiliate his German guards at every opportunity. He escapes a forced march, hides but gets wounded. He is then mistaken for a German war hero and whilst in hospital awarded the Iron Cross. He is recognised as a British solider and shipped off, along with other captured Allied service personnel to a prison camp where he again helps to organise attempts to escape.
Coward and his fellow prisoners are at the centre of a whole host of shenanigans from bribing Nazi guards, blackmailing senior German officers and taking part in vandalism of the camp along with more escape attempts. Although this is a film set in a German POW camp it’s not all grind and struggle, there are light hearted moments such as the way that Coward manages to manipulate his captors and indulges in little arson in the camp for good measure.
It’s a reasonably pacey and well written film with drama, pathos and humour and one that I have enjoyed in the past and I hope you enjoy it too.