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The Great Escape (1963)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, History | 4 July 1963 (USA)
Allied prisoners of war plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II.

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Top Rated Movies #125 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Robert Graf ...
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

the great adventure! the great entertainment! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

4 July 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gran escape  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)|

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The tunnel sets were were constructed of wood and skins filled with plaster and dirt and open on one side with a dolly track running the length of the set in order to shoot scenes of prisoners scooting along through them. See more »

Goofs

As the prisoners arrive in Stalag III, many are carrying their belongings in duffle bags or suitcases which is pure nonsense. They may have received some extra clothing like socks and underwear from the Red Cross but luggage would not have been needed or supplied. Almost all of the prisoners taken by the Nazi's in 1943 were airmen who had been shot down and parachuted to safety and eventual capture. The airmen did not pack overnight bags for their missions. See more »

Quotes

Bartlett: Hilts, how do you breathe?
Hilts: Oh, we got a steel rod with hinges on it. We'll shove it up and make air holes as we go along.
[to Ramsey]
Hilts: G'night, sir.
[Walks out]
MacDonald: Why didn't anyone think of that before? It's so stupid, it's positively brilliant!
[face falls]
MacDonald: Oh, but it'll bring every goon in the camp down on top of us!
Bartlett: I don't know. Perhaps we're being too clever. If we stop all the breakouts, it will only convince the goons we must be tunneling.
Ramsey: I hope it works. If it doesn't, those two will be in ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Inspector George Gently: Gently Through the Mill (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Outstanding Entertainment
11 February 2004 | by (Oregon USA) – See all my reviews

Credit should be given to the brilliant score by Elmer Bernstein. If you listen to it closely, it literally is a battle between the Allied Prisoners (flutes & woodwinds) and the Germans (tubas). The escape scenes with the little boat on the scenic german river is evocative of Wagner and his heroic Germanic Operas. The scenery of the German countryside and the Alps is breathtaking. I believe that the scriptwriters emphasized the heroism, humor, and character of the prisoners to make an uplifting statement of what is essentially a cruel and tragic story. As a child growing up in the seventies, our 7th grade glass was reading the Paul Brickhill book and we had the opportunity to meet a former (American) Stalag Luft III prisoner from that era. He had arrived at the camp after the Great Escape, but was placed on the monument detail for the 50 executed men. He said that few men seriously contemplated escape after this incident and the emphasis was on surviving the war and going home alive.


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