IMDb > The Great Escape (1963)
The Great Escape
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Great Escape (1963) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 165 | slideshow) Videos (see all 4)
The Great Escape -- In the role that made him a superstar, Steve McQueen leads an all star cast in this "stunning" (The Film Daily) epic adventure about a group of Allied POWs that attempts one of the largest and most daring breakouts in history
The Great Escape -- Trailer for The Great Escape
The Great Escape -- Clip: Tunnel
The Great Escape -- Clip: Baseball


User Rating:
8.3/10   150,946 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
No change in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Paul Brickhill (book)
James Clavell (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Great Escape on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 July 1963 (USA) See more »
put a fence in front of these men...and they'll climb it... See more »
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:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 4 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Not just great, simply magnificent more like! See more (291 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
John Sturges 
Writing credits
Paul Brickhill (book)

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

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)
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:
172 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System) | Mono
Australia:PG | Australia:G (original rating) | 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:Approved (PCA #20399) | West Germany:12 (f)

Did You Know?

There are six different languages spoken or sung in the movie: English, German, French, Russian and one word in Spanish as well as two words of Latin "Lanius Nubicus" when Flight Lieutenant Blythe is describing the masked shrike or butcher bird in the forgery scene. There is also a song in a light Scots dialect where Ives and MacDonald are singing "Wha Hae the 42nd" in the 4th of July scene just before "Tom" is discovered.See more »
Anachronisms: During the escape, there is a brief shot of a bridge spanning a river. This bridge is very obviously a post-war construction.See more »
Danny:Oh, Hendley. I need a pick. Big, heavy one.
Hendley:Only one?
Danny:Two would be better.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Tropic Thunder (2008)See more »


What is a "mole" escape?
Is this movie based on a book?
Are any of the men still alive?
See more »
10 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Not just great, simply magnificent more like!, 4 March 2008
Author: Spikeopath 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

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (291 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Great Escape (1963)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Luftwaffe Camps jjk50
Is this the worst Australian accent ever? kneecapboy
Why didn't they wait for another chance to escape later on? Strongnoah
One of the best escape movies ever. bicentennialmanforever
Paul Royle 17 January 1914 - 23 August 2015 doug65oh
I just noticed that... darcila86
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Defiance The Dirty Dozen La Grande Illusion Rescue Dawn The McKenzie Break
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb top 250 movies IMDb Adventure section
IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.