For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Ensemble Movies, here’s a review of The Great Escape (1963) by me.
Next month’s genre has been chosen by Amanda of Hollywood Consumer and we will be reviewing our favorite L.A. Films.
Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Oct by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Try to think out of the box! Great choice Amanda!
Let’s see what I thought of this movie:
Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (cable, video, DVD, 15 May 2001, 29 Oct 2013, 1 Jan 2015, 11 Jan 2018 and 26 Sep 2019)
Brief Synopsis – In order to stop Allied prisoners from escaping from their POW Camps, the Germans herd them all into one camp with the hope of being able to stop their plans, unfortunately for them the allied officers have other plans.
My Take on it – This is a movie that I fell in love with the very first time I saw it as a kid and is still among my all time favorite films.
This is a great example of an ensemble film and is able to capture the seriousness of the events depicted but also keep things light and fun in order to keep things even more enjoyable.
This film has an amazing cast that helps keep the story so fun and enjoyable from start to finish.The way that the story develops the characters works quite well and once they are all given their personal tasks for the escape early on, we already know how to differentiate between these characters.
This film’s is filled with a stellar cast and it does highlight a few of the characters along the way, it still doesn’t make it easy to claim that any one of them is the true lead.
They each have equal screen time and all have important parts in the plan of escaping from the prison.
The pacing of the film is great and despite the film being nearly 3 hours, it;s so easy to begin to care about each of them because we get to know them so well.
This is extra helpful once they are out of the POW camp and trying to make their way safely back to friendly lines.
This movie is based on a true story and despite the fact that it is obviously Hollywoodized by how the story is presented, the events that occurred were probably slightly different yet at the same time makes it that much more impactful along the way.
The music by Elmer Bernstein is so catchy and helps keep things moving really well.
Check it out here
One of the greatest films ever made IMHO.
Bottom Line – Amazing ensemble film that is able to capture the seriousness of the situation yet keep things light and fun at the same time. The characters are developed really well and early on, we get to see the various tasks each of them are assigned to in order to help make their grand escape a success. The cast is superb and although the film highlights a few of the characters, it’s very difficult to claim that any one of them is the true star since they all have equal parts to play in the grand scheme of things. The story moves along at a great pace and allows us to get more familiar with each of the characters before the escape so that we can care more about what will happen to them once they are on their own and must make it safely back to allied territory. The fact that this story is based on real events makes it even more poignant and enjoyable because we know that despite this story being Hollywoodized, the events depicted actually happened even if it was a bit different. Great music by Bernstein helps make this film so great. One of the best films ever made IMHO. Highly Highly Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – One day, the police in the German town where this movie was shot set up a speed trap near the set. Several members of the cast and crew were caught, including Steve McQueen. The Chief of Police told McQueen “Herr McQueen, we have caught several of your comrades today, but you have won the prize (for the highest speeding).” McQueen was arrested and briefly jailed. (From IMDB)
Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10) (no change from original review)
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