After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.
Based on a true story, a group of allied escape artist-type prisoners-of-war (POW's) 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Donald Pleasence's character was based partly on London-born John Cordwell, later a Chicago architect and then proprietor of the Red Lion Pub on the city's N. Lincoln Avenue. Cordwell died in 1999. Stories about him and the Red Lion are told from various points of view in the collection "Tales from the Red Lion" (Chicago: Twilight Tales, 2007, ISBN 0977985623). See more »
Sedgwick is shown reading "Liberation", a newspaper not published during the German occupation of France. See more »
"The Great Escape" is a rousing blend of suspense, action and ultimately tragedy, bolstered by an all-star cast, terrific music and beautiful European locations. A few fellow reviewers have cited the unbelievably "pristine" prison conditions, but the German authorities did try to uphold the Geneva Convention for Western Allied POWs. The characters in this film left their well-run 'stalag' anyway, and many paid the ultimate price. While entertaining its viewers, "The Great Escape" effectively depicted the tragic consequences.
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