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Featured Movie Reviews

The Great Escape

Updated: Jul 5, 2023




One of the best war thrillers every made, 1963's THE GREAT ESCAPE remains a classic, providing plenty of entertainment and suspense with every viewing.

The first two hours of the film set up a terrific bunch of allied soldiers, all captured and held by the Germans, who have built a special new prison camp to hold these select men.

All have proven to be the best as escaping, so the Nazis have "put all their bad eggs in one basket". Talk about a challenge!

James Garner is Hendley, seemingly able to find anything anyone needs at any time.

Donald Pleasance is Blythe, the ultimate document forger. Richard Attenborough is Bartlett and James Donald is Ramsey, the senior officer running the show.

James Coburn is great (bad accent not withstanding) as a clever Australian officer and Charles Bronson is surprisingly vulnerable as the best digger in the bunch, able to ferret out underground escape routes from any camp.

Last but not least is Steve McQueen as Hilts, who spends half the film in solitary and the other speeding across Germany on any motorcycle he can find. McQueen again defines cool.

The film does an incredible job of giving each of these men distinct talents and personalities and creating people you care about, upping the stakes for the last hour of the film, when the great escape takes place and they all scramble to stay free.

Written by James Clavell (Shogun) and directed by John Sturges (Ice Station Zebra, The Magnificent Seven) its perfectly constructed, funny, suspenseful and perfectly executed.

Elmer Bernstein's music score is one of his best, rousing you from start to finish.

A three hour action masterpiece, it's as good today as the day it hit theatres and became a huge hit.

GREAT indeed, ESCAPE gets an A+ and a valued spot in my all time top 100.

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