British Universities Film & Video Council

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Danger Within

Alternative title
Breakout
Synopsis
Feature film adapted from Michael Gilbett’s 1952 novel ‘Death in Captivity’, based on his experiences as a POW in Italy during the Second World War. In the book the play being produced is Rudolf Brasier’s ‘The Barretts of Wimpole Street’. A group of British prisoners in an Italian prisoner-of-war camp are planning to escape by tunnel, but realise that one of their number is a traitor. It is decided that the escape will take place under cover of a performance of Hamlet, with Callender (Dennis Price) in the title role. The play is seen in rehearsal (I v 161-8, IV ii 4-6) and during the escape. The actors continue their performance in front of a steadily diminishing audience with much use of the noise machine to simulate audience applause. There is no plot parallel beyond the inclusion of the gravedigger’s scene though at the climax the traitor is killed in error by being shot through a curtain, paralleling the death of Polonius, stabbed through a curtain while spying on Hamlet.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Film
Technical information
Black-and-white / Sound
Year of release
1959
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
Italy; Shakespeare, William (1564-1616); World War II; Rehearsals

Credits

Director
Don Chaffey
Producer
Colin Lesslie
Cinematographer
Arthur Grant
Screenplay
Bryan Forbes
Music
Francis Chagrin
Cast
Bernard Lee 
Dennis Price 
Michael Wilding 
Richard Attenborough 
Richard Todd 

Production Company

Name

British Lion

Name

Colin Leslie Productions

Archive

Name

BFI National Archive

Web
http://www.bfi.org.uk/archive-collections/searching-access-collections/research-viewing-services External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7255 1444
Fax
020 7436 0165
Address
21 Stephen Street
London
W1T 1LN
View this record on the Shakespeare site for additional details

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