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The Great Escape (1963)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama, History | 4 July 1963 (USA)
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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
1,724 ( 75)
Top Rated Movies #129 | 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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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

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

Richard Harris was originally cast as Roger Bartlett, but dropped out because filming This Sporting Life (1963) was behind schedule, and he was displeased with the diminished role of "Big X" after script changes had been made. See more »

Goofs

There are 3 instances in the movie when the German MG-42 machine gun is fired - first when Hilts is testing the blind spot by the fence, 2nd when Ives is shot on the fence, and finally, when Roger and the others are executed. The sound of the machine gun is that of a US or British gun (maybe a Browning or Vickers) which had a rate of fire of about 600 rounds per minute. The German MG42 fired between 1500 and 1800 rounds per minute, over twice as fast. During World War II, American G.I.s called the German MG42 machine gun "Hitler's buzz saw". See more »

Quotes

Sorren: Roger, who's going to handle security for this lot?
Bartlett: You are.
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 Ocean's Eleven (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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