MovieRob’s Birthday Bash of Favorites 2021 (#15 of 48) – The Great Escape (1963) – Encore Review 5


January is my birthday month, so I decided that I would try and do something quite unique and special for this milestone in my life. I will be turning 47, so I decided to watch 48 (47+1 for good luck) of my all time favorite movies in a random order over the course of this month.  I have reviewed every one of these films already, but I will now give new perspectives on them all. Every one of these films received a 10/10 scoring from me.  Some of these reviews will contain spoilers so if you have never seen them before, I recommend that you read some of my previous reviews of the film that were spoiler free before reading on…

Hope you enjoy!

This is film # of the 48.

Let’s continue with… 

Initial Viewing Memories – I can’t even recall the first time I saw this on video in the 80’s because I saw it so often, yet I am always so amazed by the story, the characters and the way that things unfold.

“I will not take action against you, now. This is the first day here and there has been much stupidity and carelessness… on both sides! ” – Stratwitch

Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (cable, video, DVD, 15 May 2001, 29 Oct 2013, 1 Jan 2015, 11 Jan 2018, 26 Sep 2019, 20 Apr 2020 and 10 Jan 2021)

Link to original reviewHere, Here, Here, Here and Here

Brief Synopsis – The Germans decide to put all 250 POW’s in a camp together in order to try and curtail their escape efforts, but this move just gives them more of a reason to plan a mass escape.

My Take on it – Superb film that is s fascinating to watch over and over. The cast is amazing and this story is a true definition of an ensemble film. Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough and James Garner lead an all star cast here. They easily convey the various tasks of each of these characters as they all work together towards a similar goal. The story is peppered with some great moments of humor that help alleviate the tense pressure of the overall story. The choice to present things with a lighter tone enhances the story because it always feels very uplifting no matter what is happening. The music by Elmer Bernstein adds so much to the story and keeps things moving along at a great pace. The antics of these characters are extremely fun and poignant to watch because we get to see how they all work together as a well oiled machine as they seek a way to perpetrate a mass escape from the POW camp. The fact that this is based on real events also makes things even more enjoyable to watch because we know that this is based on events that really happened. Such an amazing film to watch unfold. Highly Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Some aspects of the escape remained classified during production, and were not revealed until well afterward. The inclusion of chocolate, coffee, and cigarettes in Red Cross packages is well documented, as is their use to bribe Nazi guards. Other materials useful for escaping had to be kept secret, and were not included in the book or screenplay. Also not revealed until many years later, was the fact that the prisoners actually built a fourth tunnel called “George”. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10) (no change from original review)

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