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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
1,776 ( 163)
Top Rated Movies #130 | 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)

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

The newspaper that Ashley-Pitt (David McCallum) reads on the train is the "Völkischer Beobachter", a real newspaper produced for twenty-five years by the National Socialist German Workers Party. It served as a propaganda sheet for the Nazis, and helped bring Adolf Hitler to power. At its height, it had a circulation of approximately 1.4 million. The headline for the issue seen in this movie translates roughly to "Day after day, the Soviets have high, bloody losses." Given that the escape in this movie occurs in the summer of 1944, this too can be viewed as propaganda. The Nazis had transferred hundreds of thousands of troops to Normandy to stop the Allied advances after D-Day, allowing for the Soviets to launch Operation Bagration on June 22, which pushed the Nazis back into Poland by the beginning of July 13 and sparked the Warsaw uprising. In all, the Soviet advance caused German losses of approximately six hundred seventy thousand dead, missing, wounded, and sick, including one hundred sixty thousand captured. Although the date of the escape is unclear, given the green pastures around the Alps that the escapees encounter, one can easily surmise that the newspaper was putting a positive spin on the battles in the east. See more »

Goofs

Motorcycles change in close-up shots. See more »

Quotes

Hilts: I'm going... out.
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 José Mota presenta: Gra bendito (2016) 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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