Today is my 44th Birthday and I can think of no better way for me to spend this day than to rewatch some of my all-time favorite films. So sit back and enjoy reviews of some of my all-time favorites.
Let’s continue with…..The Great Escape
Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (cable, video, DVD, 15 May 2001, 29 Oct 2013, 1 Jan 2015 and 11 Jan 2018)
Brief Synopsis – During World War II, the German build a prisoner of war camp to hold the most dangerous allied officers who see it as their duty to attempt to escape and open a new front against the Nazis.
If you have never seen this movie, I urge you to stop reading this post, read both of my original non-spoiler reviews (linked Here and Here), watch the movie and finally after you’ve seen it, absorbed it and even cheered a bit (I did every time that I’ve watched it) then come back here for a review and analysis full of spoilers.
This is such a brilliant film because it takes an ensemble cast of mostly British actors and throws them all together. None of them get a ton of screen time but the story works because of the teamwork used by all of these men in order to try and escape the prison camp that they have been trapped in for years.
They made the right decision to keep thing on a lighter note instead of making the film extremely dark especially given the fact that more than 50 of the prisoners are eventually killed following the escape.
The cast is amazing and I’m still shocked that they were able to get so many famous actors to take part in this very ensemble film.
Richard Attenborough, Donald Pleasence, James Garner, James Donald, Charles Bronson, John Leyton, James Coburn, David McCallum, Gordon Jackson and Nigel Stock are all superb here.
Steve McQueen tho was able to steal every scene that he appears in and will always be known for this role because it was probably his best one or at least very close to that.
It’s quite surprising that a film like this has no female parts yet still was able to work so well.
The music is superbly chosen and keeps things somewhat upbeat through the entire film.
I know that I’ll be humming the theme tune for days after having now seen this again.
Check it out here:
The story remains thrilling throughout even if you know what will eventually happen.
The message is quite uplifting and when one thinks about the fact that this story is based on men who were at some of the worst points in their lives while in captivity were able to find the strength to work together and find a way to keep their sanity while constantly finding new and innovative ways to try and escape to freedom.
The stories of these characters are amalgams of some of the real tales of some of the men who were part of the real “Escape” yet, they changed the names and the characters in order to make the film even more entertaining.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Several cast members were actual P.O.W.s during World War II. Donald Pleasence was held in a German camp, Hannes Messemer in a Russian camp and Til Kiwe and Hans Reiser were prisoners of the Americans. (From IMDB)
Rating – Oscar Worthy (no change from original review)
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