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The Great Escape (1963)

Not Rated | | 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.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Top Rated Movies #127 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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Robert Graf ...
Werner 'The Ferret'
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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:

Hours ago... Minutes ago.... These men were behind barbed wire. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | | |

Release Date:

4 July 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gran escape  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$11,744,471, 31 December 1963
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Leyton who played Willy, the Tunneler, was one of the most popular UK pop singers in the early '60s. He recorded the title song with lyrics. See more »

Goofs

In an early scene after the prisoners are brought into the camp, Werner asks Hendley why, as an American, he fights alongside Britain, who burned down the U.S. capital in 1812. While it happened during the War of 1812, the burning of Washington actually occurred in 1814. See more »

Quotes

Danny: Willie, since I was a boy, I hate and fear little rooms, closets, caves.
Willie: But Danny, you've dug seventeen tunnels. Over seventeen!
Danny: Because I must get out! I hide the fear, and I dig. Tomorrow night in the tunnel with all those men... I'm afraid maybe this time I will lose my head and ruin the escape for everybody.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Heureux qui comme Ulysse... (1970) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Outstanding Entertainment
11 February 2004 | by 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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