Arguably the best World War II adventure film ever made, John Sturges's dramatisation of the true story of a group of British, American, and Canadian POWs who executed a massive escape from Stalag Luft III in Upper Silesia in March 1944, stars Steve McQueen as the rebellious Virgil Hilts. The German high command has filtered out all the most talented escape artists of the Allies' and placed them in a POW camp specifically designed to foil any unwanted departures. Of course, as soon as they arrive, the prisoners begin work on a series of tunnels under the direction of Roger Big X Bartlett (Richard Attenborough). He assigns the POWs to jobs according to their specialties: Bob Scrounger Hendley (James Garner) steals necessary items, Eric Dispersal Ashley-Pitt (David McCallum) hides the soil being dug from the tunnels, and Danny the Tunnel King Willinski (Charles Bronson) and Colin the Forger Blythe (Donald Pleasence) have self-explanatory handles. For more than a year, 600 prisoners, most of whom won't be leaving, work toward an escape that will temporarily disrupt the operations of the German army. The host of big-name stars meshes beautifully in this meticulous re-creation of the legendary escape. Although this is a film about courage, Sturges wisely takes a low-key approach, leavened with humour, rather than allowing the cast to indulge in macho antics. However, McQueen's memorable motorcycle stunts could be said to fit in that category. THE GREAT ESCAPE, based on the book by Paul Brickhill, is quite simply one of the grandest war films ever made, featuring many key scenes (McQueen's motorcycle chase, McQueen tossing the baseball against the cell wall, Bronson sliding on his chest in the tunnel) that are unforgettable.
Return To The Great Escape Making Of Documentary, Original US Theatrical Trailer, Booklet, Interactive Menu, Chapter Search
Release Date: 02 January 2001
Certificate: PG - Parental Guidance
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Full Frame\2.35 Wide Screen
Running Time: 172 minutes
Production Year: 1963
Main Language: English
Dubbed Languages: French\German\Italian\Spanish
Hearing Impaired Languages: English\German
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Classic War Movie
Every boy should be made to watch this film as it is the all time clasic war story. Very loosely based on a true story of a mass escape from a German prisoner of war camp and it features an all star cast. My favorite bit of the film is where Steve McQueen hacks along on a motorcycle trying to escape the pursuing German masses.