• The Great Escape (1963)

The Great Escape

Release Date: 1963

DVD Release Date: March 31st, 1998

Not Yet Rated |2 hr 52 min

Plot Summary

Imprisoned during World War II in a German POW camp, a group of Allied soldiers are intent on breaking out, not only to escape, but also to draw Nazi forces away from battle to search for fugitives. Among the prisoners determined to escape are American Captain Virgil Hilts (Steve McQueen) and British Squadron Leader Roger Bartlett (Richard Attenborough). Outwitting their captors by digging a tunnel out of the prison grounds, the soldiers find the stakes much higher when escape becomes a reality.

Cast: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson, James Donald, Donald Pleasence, James Coburn, David McCallum

Director: John Sturges

Genres: Drama , War

Production Co: Mirisch Company

Keywords: Engaging, Prison, Suspenseful, Pursuit, Spirited, Escape, Deception, Soldier, Quest, 1940s, Cheeky

Ratings & Reviews

  • 100
    Empire

    The final act of The Great Escape is a masterfully sustained piece of action and tension as the various escapees struggle for freedom via train, bicycle, motorbike, row boat and hitchhiking. The Great Escape should always be seen. It reminds us of a history that is all too quickly forgotten. show more

  • 88
    Chris CabinSlant Magazine

    The Great Escape is that rare war film that doesn’t fully indulge in assumed nationalism, save for the fact that everyone speaks English. Sturges never touches on the essential hollowness and cruel pageantry of war, but he does the next best thing by depicting an international effort where victory, no matter how short-lived, depends on the cooperation of myriad talents, rather than the gruff can-do attitude of an unbreakable chosen one. show more

  • 70
    Time Out

    Uneven but entertaining World War II escape drama, which even when it first appeared seemed very old-fashioned. Worth seeing the last half hour, if nothing else, for one of the best stunt sequences in years: McQueen's motor-cycle bid for freedom. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com

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Awards

Nominated Film Editing
Nominated Best Motion Picture - Drama