The Blockhouse

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The Blockhouse
Directed by Clive Rees
Produced by Edgar Bronfman Jr.
Antony Rufus Isaacs
Written by Jean-Paul Clébert (book)
John Gould
Clive Rees
Starring Peter Sellers
Charles Aznavour
Music by Stanley Myers
Cinematography Keith Goddard
Edited by Peter Gold
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Cannon Films
Release date
Running time
93 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Blockhouse is a 1973 film, based on a novel by Jean-Paul Clébert. It was directed by Clive Rees and starred Peter Sellers, in a rare dramatic performance, and Charles Aznavour. It was filmed entirely in Guernsey in the Channel Islands and was entered into the 23rd Berlin International Film Festival.[1]


On D-Day, a mixed group of forced labourers held by German forces take shelter from the bombardment inside a German bunker, but are then entombed when the entrances are blocked by shelling damage. By coincidence, the bunker is a storehouse, so the prisoners have enough food and wine to last them for years. However, they are trapped not for years but permanently, and the film analyzes how they deal with their underground prison, with their relationships, and with death.



The book and film appear to have been inspired by a possibly true story: On 25 June 1951, Time magazine reported that two German soldiers claimed to have been trapped for six years in an underground storehouse in Babie Doły, Poland.[2][3]


TV Guide states that "the film tries to study men in a terrible, claustrophobic setting, but it never reveals the true nature of the characters or a metaphysical reason for their predicament. A worthy idea that sadly goes nowhere."[4] However, the film does currently hold a 73% approval rating (based on 126 reviews) on Rotten Tomatoes.[5]


  1. ^ " Awards for The Blockhouse". Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  2. ^ "Buried Alive For Six Years". Eugene Register-Guard. 18 June 1951. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  3. ^ "In Babie Doly". Time magazine. 25 June 1951. 
  4. ^ "The Blockhouse". TV Guide. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 26 May 2016. 
  5. ^ "The Blockhouse". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 

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