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Return to The Great Escape (1993)
*** 1/2 (out of 4)
If you pick up MGM's Special Edition of THE GREAT ESCAPE you're going to find a second disc containing seven different documentaries. This here is the final one but it's actually the one that most focuses on the film as the others also spend time on the real escape. David McCallum, Donald Pleasance, James Garner, Jud Taylor, Robert Relyea, James Coburn and Neile McQueen Toffel are among the people interviewed about the making of the film and we also get an audio interview with director John Sturges. Fans of the film are certainly going to enjoy seeing the cast and crew again. All of them offer up some very good stories about the making of the film but the most interesting part comes when they discuss Steve McQueen and how he stormed out of an early viewing of the film, which wasn't even complete at the time. They talk about how unhappy he was with his part and apparently Garner and Coburn had to talk him back to the set. Other great stories include the motorcycle chase sequence and how it was actually done and we also hear about how there were eleven different screenplays. Fans of the film will certainly want to check this out after viewing the movie.
This is one of a ton of documentaries that are included on the bonus disc for the collector's edition of "The Great Escape". At first, I thought "Return to 'The Great Escape'" was unnecessary, as I'd already seen 6 other documentaries on this disc. However, I was happy to see that this film was much more of the background for the making of the film than the other documentaries (which focused more on the real-life events). So, it WAS a nice addition. However, on the negative side, the film was not all that long--and I really wanted much more information, as what they did give was great! A really nice little film--especially considering that it was made about three decades after the fact! By the way, I enjoyed the one James Garner interview later in the film when he talked about Steve McQueen. McQueen had a reputation as a difficult guy and a bit of a scene-stealer--and I thought it was funny listening to Garner try to frame things so diplomatically!
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