Allied P.O.W.s plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
480 ( 1,562)

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Top Rated Movies #123 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

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.

Director: David Lean
Stars: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins
The Sting (1973)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In Chicago in September 1936, a young con man seeking revenge for his murdered partner teams up with a master of the big con to win a fortune from a criminal banker.

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A man refuses to conform to life in a rural prison.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Stars: Paul Newman, George Kennedy, Strother Martin
Certificate: M Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Two Western bank/train robbers flee to Bolivia when the law gets too close.

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross
Ben-Hur (1959)
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Follows a brilliant, flamboyant and controversial British military figure and his conflicted loyalties during wartime service.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn
Unforgiven (1992)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman
Platoon (1986)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A young recruit in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Two bounty hunters with the same intentions team up to track down a Western outlaw.

Director: Sergio Leone
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volontè
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Epic story of a mysterious stranger with a harmonica who joins forces with a notorious desperado to protect a beautiful widow from a ruthless assassin working for the railroad.

Director: Sergio Leone
Stars: Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale
Adventure | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason
Jaws (1975)
Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and a grizzled fisherman set out to stop it.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Hannes Messemer ...
...
...
...
...
...
Robert Graf ...
...
Edit

Storyline

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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

the great adventure! the great entertainment! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

4 July 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gran escape  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Wally Floody, the real-life "Tunnel King" (he was transferred to another camp just before the escape), served as a consultant to the filmmakers, almost full-time, for more than a year. See more »

Goofs

When Roger meets the SBO for the first time, Roger is told that the prisoners wanted to "bring out the Welcoming Committee". However, Roger was specially delivered to the camp by a Gestapo/SS detachment. The SBO and other prisoners would have had no prior knowledge that Roger was arriving. Earlier on, MacDonald notices Bartlett arriving at the camp, and goes off to pass the word onto the other soldiers. Between when Bartlett is brought into Von Luger's office, and the time he goes to see Ramsey, this would have been enough time for a small, impromptu welcoming committee to have been formed. See more »

Quotes

[the German camp commandant explains why so many incorrigible Allied prisoners were placed in the place Stalag]
Von Luger: We have in effect put all our rotten eggs in one basket. And we intend to watch this basket carefully.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Chicken Run (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A genuine timeless classic.
28 December 2003 | by (Rugby,UK.) – See all my reviews

During World War Two the Germans build a new prison camp, Stalag Luft III, for the express purpose of housing many of their most troublesome captured Allied airmen. However, all this serves to do is to pool the resources of some of the most ingenious escape artists in captivity and fill them with a resolve to engineer a mass breakout from the camp.

Based largely on real events, this film has assumed classic status over the years and its easy to understand why. Quite simply, it excells in many departments. Director John Sturges was at the height of his creative powers and he keeps a firm grip on the proceedings. Although the film runs close to three hours it never feels sluggish, while at the same time winding up the tension gradually and developing the characters. The production design is first rate, to the point where Donald Pleasance (who had been a P.O.W.) felt quite intimidated by the vast set on his arrival. Daniel Fapp's beautiful photography shows this and the picturesque German locations off to full effect. Put these virtues together with a good script, inspired casting and a classic score by Elmer Bernstein, and you have an object lesson in how to create an intelligent and exciting big budget adventure film.

On the subject of the cast; Much is made of Steve McQueen's role. While I am a huge McQueen fan, I feel that some of the other performances are equal to, if not better than his. Richard Attenborough, James Garner, Donald Pleasance, Charles Bronson and Gordon Jackson are all excellent. Good too are James Coburn, James Donald, David McCallum and Hannes Messemer as the sympathetic Commandant.

This is one of those films that I can happily watch time and time again. In September of this year a new print was screened at the NFT in London as part of an 'Attenborough at 80' season. It was a pleasure to see this on the big screen at last. For the most part the print was in very good condition. The DVD was one of the first that I ever bought some three and a half years ago, and I watched its inevitable Christmas screening on BBC2 last night. I just never tire of it. In these days of brainless, poorly executed action fodder, its a joy to behold something that hits its targets so precisely.


92 of 118 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Roger Bushell - Strong Leader or Egotistical Fool? Speranza9
I just noticed that... darcila86
Is this the worst Australian accent ever? kneecapboy
Recast a Remake tazikhay
Did the Cooler kings dodgy punch make Blythe go blind? old-skool101
ID Photos - Such a Simple Error Easily Fixed Speranza9
Discuss The Great Escape (1963) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page