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The Great Escape (1963)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama, History | 4 July 1963 (USA)
Trailer
2:42 | Trailer
Allied prisoners of war plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II.

Director:

John Sturges

Writers:

Paul Brickhill (book), James Clavell (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
1,034 ( 249)
Top Rated Movies #135 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve McQueen ... Hilts 'The Cooler King'
James Garner ... Hendley 'The Scrounger'
Richard Attenborough ... Bartlett 'Big X'
James Donald ... Ramsey 'The SBO'
Charles Bronson ... Danny 'Tunnel King'
Donald Pleasence ... Blythe 'The Forger'
James Coburn ... Sedgwick 'Manufacturer'
Hannes Messemer ... Von Luger 'The Kommandant'
David McCallum ... Ashley-Pitt 'Dispersal'
Gordon Jackson ... MacDonald 'Intelligence'
John Leyton ... Willie 'Tunnel King'
Angus Lennie ... Ives 'The Mole'
Nigel Stock ... Cavendish 'The Surveyor'
Robert Graf Robert Graf ... Werner 'The Ferret'
Jud Taylor ... Goff
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Storyline

Based on a true story, a group of allied escape artist-type prisoners-of-war 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 movie 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 planes, trains, and boats to get out of occupied Europe. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What went into these few seconds ... The Hell...the heroism...the high adventure ... Make for the screen's great entertainment! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | French | Russian | Spanish

Release Date:

4 July 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Great Escape See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$227,940
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)| Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One day, the police in the German town where this movie 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 »

Goofs

When Steve McQueen, James Gardner and their bunk mate are testing the moonshine they're making, Steve tilts the cup as he would if drinking it all down. Notice, however, how little the other two tilt the cup that should be empty. See more »

Quotes

Herr Kuhn: We have reason to believe this prisoner is the mastermind behind numerous criminal escape attempts.
Von Luger: [sarcastically] Squadron Leader Bartlett has been three months in your care! And the Gestapo has only "reason to believe"!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some TV versions edit the scene in which Ives is shot and killed for trying to escape over the fence. See more »

Connections

Referenced in That Mitchell and Webb Look: Episode #2.3 (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Of action and tragedy
17 April 2000 | by angilbasSee all my reviews

"The Great Escape" is a rousing blend of suspense, action and ultimately tragedy, bolstered by an all-star cast, terrific music and beautiful European locations. A few fellow reviewers have cited the unbelievably "pristine" prison conditions, but the German authorities did try to uphold the Geneva Convention for Western Allied POWs. The characters in this film left their well-run 'stalag' anyway, and many paid the ultimate price. While entertaining its viewers, "The Great Escape" effectively depicted the tragic consequences.

-Tony


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