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 <email@example.com>
One day, the police in the German town where the film was shot set up a speed trap near the set. Several members of the cast and crew were caught, including Steve McQueen. The Chief of Police told McQueen "Herr McQueen, we have caught several of your comrades today, but you have won the prize [for the highest speeding]." McQueen was arrested and briefly jailed. See more »
The film shows the executions being carried out by uniformed German troops using a Spandau machine gun. In reality, the executions were done by Gestapo agents who used pistols at close range. See more »
Hold on to yourself, Bartlett. You're twenty feet short.
What do you mean, twenty feet short?
You're twenty feet short of the woods. The hole is right here in open. The guard is between us and the lights.
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The Great Escape should be a movie every one has seen. It's the definitive P.O.W. movie -- and all other films in the genre fail to compare. It should be noted that this isn't just a Steve McQueen movie (although he is bound to be everyone's favorite character), but this is an ensemble piece with great performances by Richard Attenborough, James Garner, James Coburn, Donald Pleasence, and Charles Bronson. Wonderful build-up, great middle, and a terrific ending. This film is classic.
One of the best scores of all time.
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