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The Great Escape (1963)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, History | 4 July 1963 (USA)
2:41 | Trailer

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Allied prisoners of war plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II.



(book), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2,318 ( 30)
Top Rated Movies #126 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Graf ...
Werner 'The Ferret'


Based on a true story, a group of allied escape artist-type prisoners-of-war (POWs) are all put in an 'escape proof' camp. Their leader decides to try to take out several hundred all at once. The first half of the film is played for comedy as the prisoners mostly outwit their jailers to dig the escape tunnel. The second half is high adventure as they use boats and trains and planes to get out of occupied Europe. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


From a barbed-wire camp- to a barbed-wire country! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

4 July 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gran escape  »


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)|


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Paul Brickhill, who wrote the book from which the film is based, was piloting a Spitfire aircraft that was shot down over Tunisia in March 1943. He was taken to Stalag Luft III in Germany, where he assisted in the escape preparations. See more »


When Hendley's stolen plane crashes the wings are clearly ripped completely off the fuselage. When the plane is next seen on fire the wings are still attached. See more »


[on some materials he's using for escape clothes]
Bartlett: Where in God's name did you get these?
Griffith: Hendley.
Bartlett: Well, where did he get them?
Griffith: Well, I asked him that.
Bartlett: What did he say?
Griffith: "Don't ask."
See more »


Referenced in S.W.A.T. (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Great Escape,Great movie
25 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

This must be my favorite movie of all times. Having seen it for the first time,in I guess 1987,a BBC Christmas broadcast,I was captivated by this brilliant piece of work. In the years after,I probably have seen it a "million" times,owning it on VHS and DVD,and still watching,whenever it is broadcast,in the original language. Why is it so great? This is a movie that keeps you locked to the screen,because it has everything a great movie should have. A great story,a good length,tension,it is a WW2 movie and the actors give top performances.Not just Steve McQueen,although his performance is brilliant,but also James Garner,James Coburn,Richard Attenborough,Charles Bronson and in this film,one of the greatest roles Donald Pleasance,playing the forger. It isn't historically accurate,please read the book by Paul Brickhill,but that doesn't matter a bit. This film gives you an image of POW camp,the prisoners and their guards,the Germans are also played brilliantly by German actors. I will not repeat the story here,but I can tell you,this film will capture you,all the characters are portrayed brilliantly by the actors. There is excitement,humor,tension,drama and emotion. See it,you will not regret it.

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