The Captive Heart


Directed By

Basil Dearden


Produced by Ealing Studios, starring Michael Redgrave and his wife Rachel Kempson and directed by Basil Dearden mere months after the end of the war, The Captive Heart is one of the first films to be made about British POWs. The film was shot in a real British POW camp, Marlag and Milag in Germany, where co-screenwriter Guy Morgan had been held, and features actors who had been POWs themselves.

In 1940, Czech soldier and POW Capt. Hasek (Michael Redgrave, The Lady Vanishes, The Dam Busters) is being pursued by the Nazi secret police. To conceal his true identity, he pretends to be a dead British soldier named Capt. Geoffrey Mitchell. But to keep the lie going, he must also write to Mitchell’s wife, Celia (Rachel Kempson,  Out of Africa, Tom Jones), as her dead husband, from the camp where he’s imprisoned.Meanwhile, Hasek’s fellow prisoners are beginning to suspect that he is not who he claims to be, so he must convince them that he’s not a spy.

The Captive Heart is a fiercely realistic WW2 drama from Ealing Studios where an unlikely romance is sparked through the sending of letters.

Michael Redgrave, Rachel Kempson
Other Credits

Written by Guy Morgan

Release Date
4 January 2016
  • Short film showing evacuation of liberated british prisoners from Marlag & Milag North Camp, 29th April 1945
  • Archive audio interview with War Artist John Worsley, a POW held In Marlag & Milag North Camp with Guy Morgan
  • Stills Gallery
  • English SDH
Restoration Details

The Digital Film restoration was funded by STUDIOCANAL in collaboration with the BFI’s Unlocking Film Heritage programme (awarding funds from the National Lottery).

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