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The Great Escape (1963)

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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 »
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Popularity
1,941 ( 136)
Top Rated Movies #127 | 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 (POWs) 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 <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)

Gross USA:

$12,100,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Mirisch Company,Alpha See more »
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

During production, Charles Bronson met and fell in love with David McCallum's wife, Jill Ireland, and he jokingly told McCallum he was going to steal her away from him. In 1967, Ireland and McCallum divorced, and she married Bronson. See more »

Goofs

When Sedgwick (James Coburn) steals the bicycle, he attaches his suitcase to the bike upside down. When he rides away, the suitcase is right side up. See more »

Quotes

[on some materials he's using for escape clothes]
Bartlett: Where in God's name did you get these?
Griffith: Hendley.
Bartlett: Well, where did he get them?
Griffith: Well, I asked him that.
Bartlett: What did he say?
Griffith: "Don't ask."
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

Spoofed in Churchill: The Hollywood Years (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
What a movie! 10/10
16 March 2002 | by The_WoodSee all my reviews

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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