The Great EscapeDirector: John Sturges
The Great Escape is based on the true story of a group of Allied prisoners of war who managed to escape from an allegedly impenetrable Nazi prison camp during World War II. At the beginning of the film, the Nazis gather all their most devious and troublesome POWs and place them at a new prison camp, which was designed to be impervious to escapes. Immediately, the prisoners develop a scheme where they will leave the camp by building three separate escape tunnels. Richard Attenborough is the British soldier who masterminds the whole plan, and who commands his motley squad--featuring Charles Bronson as a Polish trench-digging expert, James Garner as an American with a talent for theft, Donald Pleasence as a masterful forger, and Steve McQueen as an American rebel--through the construction of the tunnels and, eventually, their escape. An epic adventure film, The Great Escape runs nearly three hours, featuring a rousing Elmer Bernstein score and exciting action sequences -- including a notorious motorcycle chase between McQueen and the Nazis -- the likes of which had never been seen before in Hollywood productions.
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Cast & Crew
|Steve McQueen||"Cooler King" Hilts|
|James Garner||"The Scrounger" Hendley|
|Richard Attenborough||"Big X" Bartlett|
|James Donald||Senior Officer Ramsey|
|Charles Bronson||Danny Velinski|
|James Coburn||"The Manufacturer" Sedgwick|
|David McCallum||Ashley-Pitt "Dispersal"|
|Donald Pleasence||"The Forger" Blythe|
|Gordon Jackson||MacDonald "Intelligence"|
|John Leyton||Willie "Tunnel King"|
|Angus Lennie||"The Mole" Ives|
|Nigel Stock||Cavendish "The Surveyor"|
|Robert Desmond||"The Tailor" Griffith|
|Hannes Messemer||Von Lugar "The Kommandant"|
|Robert Graf||Werner "The Ferret"|
|Karl Otto Alberty||Steinach|
|Elmer Bernstein||Score Composer|
|Fernando Carrere||Art Director|
|Daniel L. Fapp||Cinematographer|
|Bert Henrikson||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Jack N. Reddish||Asst. Director|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I found this DVD in my stocking this year. Santa must know that I like war movies and this is a great one. The plot is intense and makes your pulse race from the opening shot. The most fun part is seeing ALL of the tremendous actors who are part of this film: James Garner, Charles Bronson, and all those British guys you know their faces, but not their names. I find it odd that Steve McQueen is given top billing. It seems to me that he had more of a cameo or walk-on than a starring role. Watch the documentary and you'll know why. I can't beleive that this movie was to be shot in California! This movie would not have been half as good if it had not been shot in Europe. The Polish set is amazing! It just goes to show that ''they don't make em' like they used to''.
While McQueen's character is more or less a composite, the basic story of Tom, Dick and Harry at Stalag Luft III is true. My father was a ''penguin'', one of many POWs who assisted in the real life escape plot, and he still bears the scars of his captivity today. ''The Great Escape'' is one of his favorite movies, too.
The Great Escape is a must for all war movie lovers. Hey it's a must for all movie lovers. About 300 POWs find themselves in a camp which is filed 'escape-proof'. The Nazi's put all of their most troublesome escape artists in one camp, or as the commandant puts it ''All of the rotten eggs in one basket.'' Well let me tell you, these men are not going to stand by quietly and sit out the war as comfortablely as possible, as the commandant puts it. They are going to dig! And they don't plan to take out three or a dozen, how about more like 200. Based on a true story, the Great Escape is a wonderful movie for all. With the escape exactly as it happened in real life, it will keep you gripping the arms of your chair. Oh, and don't forget the awesome motorcycle chase with Steve McQueen. With great music by Elmer Bernstein, and great actors like Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Garner, Charles Bronson, James Coburn and many more, you can't afford to miss this movie. Made with just the right amount of laughter and action, it's a movie that you will cherish forever.