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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 »
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Popularity
362 ( 507)
Top Rated Movies #137 | 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:

Hours ago... Minutes ago.... These men were behind barbed wire. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The tunnel sets were were constructed of wood and skins filled with plaster and dirt and open on one side with a dolly track running the length of the set in order to shoot scenes of prisoners scooting along through them. See more »

Goofs

At the start of the escape sequence Capt. Hilts, the "cooler king", is wearing a dark top and white trousers and can easily be seen against the background. It seems implausible to attempt to escape through tunnel dirt in the middle of the night dressed in white. See more »

Quotes

Bartlett: Hilts, how do you breathe?
Hilts: Oh, we got a steel rod with hinges on it. We'll shove it up and make air holes as we go along.
[to Ramsey]
Hilts: G'night, sir.
[Walks out]
MacDonald: Why didn't anyone think of that before? It's so stupid, it's positively brilliant!
[face falls]
MacDonald: Oh, but it'll bring every goon in the camp down on top of us!
Bartlett: I don't know. Perhaps we're being too clever. If we stop all the breakouts, it will only convince the goons we must be tunneling.
Ramsey: I hope it works. If it doesn't, those two will be in the ...
[...]
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 Get Smart: The Not-So-Great Escape: Part 2 (1969) See more »

User Reviews

Great Movie
30 December 2003 | by toonnnnnSee all my reviews

This film does take a few libertys with facts, there were no Americans involved in the escape, though some helped plan it, and where transferred to another camp at the last moment.This film though is about heroes and the spirit of freedom.T he film belongs to McQueen who is just fantastic to watch the camera loved him and I believe one day he will jump that fence.The rest of the cast are particurlarly good, the scene where the forger is told he can't escape is moving especially when James Garner volunteers to look after him.The James Garner character is roll model for me I always try to scrounge things.Simply watch and enjoy a truly great movie you will laugh and then feel down. I give this movie 8/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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

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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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