The Great Escape (1963) 4.29/5 (1)


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Rating: The Good – 80.9
Genre: War
Duration: 172 mins
Director: John Sturges
Stars: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough

You know the story even if you haven’t seen it. A group of American and British POW’s particularly adept at escaping are sent to a high security prison camp in an effort to keep all the Nazi’s “rotten eggs in one basket”. Richard Attenborough plays the arch orchestrator of a plan to spring all 200 of the camps’ prisoners and is helped by various types of escape specialists including Steve McQueen (the Cooler King), Donald Pleasance (the Forger), Charles Bronson (the Tunnel King), and James Garner (the Scrounger). All do their part in making this as enjoyable a movie experience as you’ll find in the WWII genre but the most fun comes from the clever methods which the camp’s residents devise to execute their various escape plans. The Great Escape has long since ascended into the rarefied air of “classic cinema” and in truth it epitomises that term more than most.

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