The Captive Heart

Synopsis: After the evacuation at Dunkirk, June 1940, some thousands of British prisoners are sent to German P.O.W. camps. One such group includes "Capt. Geoffrey Mitchell," a concentration-camp escapee who assumed the identity of a dead British officer. To avoid exposure, "Mitchell" must correspond with the dead man's estranged wife Celia. But eventual exposure seems certain, and the men must find a way to get him out. If he reaches England, though, what will his reception be?
Genre: Drama, War
Director(s): Basil Dearden
Production: Ealing Studios
  1 nomination.
86 min

This film is dedicated to prisoners of war.

Their unbroken spirit is the

symbol of a moral victory

for which no bells have pealed.

And which will

not be remembered

with the battle names on

regimental colors.

It was a war in which

no decorations could be given,

but to have come out of it

with a whole spirit

is its highest honor.

These are a few of those men

captured in the summer of 1940.

They were the men who

stood on the Dial,

the Somme,

and the La Basi Canal,

who fought at Calais,

April, St. Valery,

and the vital perimeter around

the Beaches of Dunkirk,

the men who held on until the German armor

thundered past their lines.

220 miles they marched

into captivity,

through that blazing, gusty June,

through France, through Belgium,

through Holland,

to the Rhine.


Beer isn't what

it used to be.

I hope the French beer isn't what

it used to be, either.

Remember the last time, Ted?

Yeah, I remember something

better than beer, too.

Ooh, she was

a smasher.

I can see her

hair now,

blacker than coal.

Ooh, boy! She taught

me a thing or two.

Pity you kept it to yourself.

It's proud we should be married

to a couple of Don Juans.

Don't believe a girl

ever looked at him twice.

Poor old dear.

Yes, you looked twice, didn't you?

You caught me off me guard.

I was low following the flu.

Wonder what made you marry me.

You don't know?

That wicked tenor voice you have.

Leave them.

That's men tend to that.

Any more for any more?

No, thank you.

It's nearly 12:

We've got to be at the depot at 7:00.

Come on home...

we'll have 'em both back

before you can turn round.

War will be over

by Christmas.

War will be over

by Christmas?

Where have I heard

that before?

It's a shame we got to

close the business.

Why, it's just habit

we've got into,

fighting the same war

every 20 years.

Nasty habit, too.

Good night, Flo.

Good night.

See you in the morning.

All right.

She's a troubled worrier...

Shame she never had kids.

And her always wanting them so much.

They'd have took her mind off things.

Well, it's too late now, I suppose.

Are you sorry Glad and Mary are grown up?

Well, I am and I'm not,

in a manner of speaking.

What about starting

all over again, old girl?

No, thank you, Ted.

I'm too old for that kind of war work.

Ha ha ha!

Thanks, Stephen.

I liked that a lot.

The boy definitely shows promise.

Nearly 1:

May I catch a lift?

Yes, of course.

Come on, Carol.

Put your bonnet on.

Cheerio, Stephen.

See you before you embark.

Right-o, Robert.

Good-bye, Stephen, darling.

Take care of yourself.

Good night.

Well, wait for me.


Come on, Carol!

All right, Robert!






You left your scarf.

I know.

I had to come back.


What about him?

I wanted to tell you.

It's all over with Robert.

I think he understands.

I told him 3 weeks ago.

We met 3 weeks ago.

I wasn't sure until tonight.


You've only 48 hours

before you go to France.

It's nothing and it's everything.


I hope you know how

to get a special license.

And don't forget to write, David.

Yes, Mum.

And let us know if there's

anything you want.

Thank you, Mrs. McDougall.

Will you write to me, Elspeth?

David, I will.

You see, I...

Yes, David.

Good-bye, David.

Good-bye, David, my boy.

Good-bye, Mother.

Take care of yourself, David.

Yes, Mrs. McDougall.

Elspeth, you see, I...

Me too, David.

What did you say?

I love you.

Elspeth. Elspeth,

will you marry me?

Yes, David!

What's he talking about?

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Angus MacPhail

Angus MacPhail (8 April 1903 – 22 April 1962) was an English screenwriter, active from the late 1920s, who is best remembered for his work with Alfred Hitchcock.He was born in London and educated at Westminster School and Trinity Hall, Cambridge where he studied English and edited Granta. He first worked in the film business in 1926 writing subtitles for silent films. He then began writing his own scenarios for Gaumont British Studios and later Ealing Studios under Sir Michael Balcon. During World War II he made films for the Ministry of Information. One of Alfred Hitchcock’s favourite devices for driving the plots of his stories and creating suspense was what he called the MacGuffin. Ivor Montagu, who worked with Hitchcock on several of his British films, attributes the coining of the term to MacPhail. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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