The Wooden Horse

Watch The Wooden Horse

  • 1950
  • 1 hr 41 min
  • 6.9  (1,580)

The Wooden Horse is a 1950 British war film directed by Jack Lee and starring Leo Genn, David Tomlinson, and Anthony Steel. It is based on the book of the same name by Eric Williams, which tells the true story of a group of Allied prisoners of war who successfully escaped from a German prison camp during World War II. The movie opens in a German POW camp in 1943, where British prisoners Peter (Tomlinson), John (Steel), and Phil (Peter Leggatt) are trying to pass the time and evade boredom. John, an Australian officer, suggests that they build a wooden vaulting horse as a way to keep busy and stay in shape. As they work on the project, Phil gets the idea that they could use the horse as part of an escape attempt.

Eventually, the three men recruit other prisoners to help them dig a tunnel to escape. They carefully plan and prepare for the escape, using the wooden horse as a cover for their activities. They construct the horse in such a way that it can be disassembled and reassembled quickly, allowing them to use it as a disguise for their tunnel digging.

As their tunnel nears completion, the prisoners must decide who will be the first to attempt the escape. They draw lots and Peter is chosen. He crawls through the tunnel and emerges outside the camp, but he must avoid being seen by the guards and make his way to safety before he can alert the others that they can follow him.

The rest of the movie follows the tense and thrilling escape attempt as the prisoners use the wooden horse as a cover to get out of the camp undetected. Along the way, they face numerous challenges, including unexpected setbacks and close calls with the German guards. They must also navigate a variety of terrains, from crawling through tunnels to scrambling over fences to creating makeshift rafts to cross a river.

The Wooden Horse is a suspenseful and engaging film that captures the tension and danger of the escape attempt. The acting is strong, particularly from Genn, Tomlinson, and Steel, who bring depth and nuance to their roles. The setting and cinematography are also noteworthy, as the film was shot at the actual POW camp where the events took place and uses real locations to create an authentic and vivid wartime atmosphere.

One of the aspects of the film that sets it apart from other war movies is its emphasis on collaboration and teamwork. The prisoners work together to build the horse, excavate the tunnel, and plan their escape, relying on one another's skills and abilities to make it happen. This spirit of cooperation and mutual support is a powerful theme that runs throughout the film.

Overall, The Wooden Horse is a well-crafted and suspenseful film that tells an inspiring and true story of courage, ingenuity, and perseverance in the face of adversity. It is a testament to the resilience and determination of ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances, and a reminder of the human capacity for hope and heroism even in the darkest of times.

The Wooden Horse is a 1950 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 41 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.9.

The Wooden Horse
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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 41 min
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (1,580)