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The Great Escape
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The Great Escape (1963) More at IMDbPro »

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The Great Escape -- Trailer for The Great Escape
The Great Escape -- Clip: Tunnel
The Great Escape -- Clip: Baseball

Overview

User Rating:
8.3/10   125,446 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Paul Brickhill (book)
James Clavell (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Great Escape on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 July 1963 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
put a fence in front of these men...and they'll climb it... See more »
Plot:
Allied P.O.W.s plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Not just great, simply magnificent more like! See more (286 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
John Sturges 
 
Writing credits
Paul Brickhill (book)

James Clavell (screenplay) and
W.R. Burnett (screenplay) (as W. R. Burnett)

Produced by
John Sturges .... producer
James Clavell .... producer (uncredited)
Walter Mirisch .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Elmer Bernstein 
 
Cinematography by
Daniel L. Fapp (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Ferris Webster 
 
Art Direction by
Fernando Carrere 
 
Set Decoration by
Kurt Ripberger 
 
Makeup Department
Emile LaVigne .... makeup artist
Jay Sebring .... hair designer: Steve McQueen, James Garner (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Allen K. Wood .... production supervisor
Hubert Fröhlich .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jack N. Reddish .... assistant director
John Flynn .... assistant director (uncredited)
Robert E. Relyea .... second unit director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Frank Agnone .... property
 
Sound Department
Wayne Fury .... sound effects editor
 
Special Effects by
A. Paul Pollard .... special effects (as Paul Pollard)
 
Stunts
Bud Ekins .... stunt double: Steve McQueen, motorcycle jump (uncredited)
Tim Gibbs .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Hayward .... stunts (uncredited)
Roy Jenson .... stunts (uncredited)
Robert E. Relyea .... stunt pilot (uncredited)
Roy N. Sickner .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Lothar Winkler .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Bert Henrikson .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Don Tomlinson .... assistant film editor
 
Music Department
Richard Carruth .... music editor
Jack Hayes .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leo Shuken .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
John Franco .... script supervisor
Robert E. Relyea .... assistant to producer
Wally Floody .... technical advisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
172 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System) | Mono
Certification:
Australia:PG | Brazil:12 | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:K-16 | Iceland:12 | Japan:G (2009) | Netherlands:12 | Netherlands:14 (orginal rating) | New Zealand:PG | Norway:16 | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | South Korea:12 | Sweden:15 | UK:U (passed with cuts) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1986) (1993) (2002) (2013) | USA:Unrated | USA:Approved (PCA #20399) | West Germany:12 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Richard Attenborough was an RAF air gunner/photographer who served in the RAF for three years unlike his character, based on Squadron Leader Roger Bushell who was a Spitfire Pilot in 92 Squadron in the early years of World War Two.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: In the scene in Hendley and Btlyhes room, when Bartlet is telling Blythe he can't go. During close ups or the view is from the door there is an ashtray hanging on the side of Hendley's bunk. When the scene is viewed from across the room the ashtray is not there.See more »
Quotes:
Bartlett:Gentlemen, no doubt you've heard the immortal words of our new commandant: devote your energies to things other than escape, and sit out the war as comfortably as possible.
Sedgwick:[derisively] Ha!
Bartlett:Well, that's exactly what we're going to do. We're going to devote our energies to sports and gardening, all the cultural pursuits as far as they're concerned. In fact, we're going to put the goons to sleep. Meanwhile, we dig. Now, even a superficial look at the compound shows us that Huts 104 and 5 are closest to the woods. The first tunnel goes out from 105, directly east under the vorlager, the cooler, and the wire.
Willie:But that's over three hundred feet, Roger!
Bartlett:Did you make a survey, Dennis?
Cavendish:Only a temporary one, sir. I make it just over three hundred and thirty-five feet.
Bartlett:Let me know when you've got an exact one. Willie, this time we'll dig straight down thirty feet before we go horizontal. That'll rule out any question of sound detection or probing.
Willie:All right, Roger. But did you say "the first tunnel"?
Bartlett:I did. There will be three. We'll call them Tom, Dick, and Harry. Tom, as I said, goes out directly east from 104. Dick goes north from the kitchen, and Harry goes out parallel to Tom from 105. If the goons find one, we'll move into the other.
MacDonald:How many men do you plan to take out, Roger?
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

Is this movie based on a book?
Are any of the men still alive?
What is a "mole" escape?
See more »
8 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
Not just great, simply magnificent more like!, 4 March 2008
Author: JohnRouseMerriottChard from United Kingdom

"Wait a minute, you aren't seriously suggesting that if I get thru the wire and case everything out there, and don't get picked up, to turn myself in and get thrown in the cooler for a couple of months so you can get the information you need"

Smart, witty and directed with adroit hands by John Sturges, The Great Escape is standing the test of time as a joyous multi cast family favourite. Based on the real accounts of allied soldiers escaping en mass from a German POW camp back in 1942, the film is involving from start to finish, due in the main to the wonderful array of characters on show. We follow them from the moment they arrive at the camp right thru to the stunning climax, and it is with great joy I say that none of the cast lets the side down, they all do great work for the astute and undervalued Sturges. A number of great set pieces allied with Elmer Bernstein's fabulous score never lets the blood settle, and in amongst the cute slices of humour is palpable tension to make this simply one of the best films of it's type, in fact one of the best films ever.

Sturges and his writers, James Clavell & W.R. Burnett, adapt from the book written by Paul Brickhill, someone who speaks from experience having been one of the prisoners of super POW camp Stalag Luft III, which of course is what The Great Escape is born from. Sturges was fascinated by the story and after trying without fail for over a decade to get it onto the screen, he finally succeeded. The success three years earlier of his star ensemble Western, The Magnificent Seven, enabled Sturges to realise his vision, the result of which is still enthralling new generations with each passing year.

The cast is made up of notable thespians and iconic heroes. Steve McQueen (enticing the American audience in one feels), Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson, James Donald, Donald Pleasance, James Coburn, James Garner, David McCallum, John Leyton and Gordon Jackson. Which of course is a pretty tidy roll call, but it shouldn't be understated the input of Hannes Messemer as the Camp Commandant, Colonel Von Luger. His scenes have a humanistic quality that shows a softer side of Germany to the one ruled by a certain despot (the finale here offering up the counter opposite of the war), the writers smartly, and rightly, not tarring a nation with the same old brush.

A wonderful involving movie that puts characteristic heart in bed with its action and suspense laden plot. 10/10

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