THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963) C widescreen 173m dir: John Sturges

w/Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, James Donald, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence, James Coburn, David McCallum, Gordon Jackson, John Leyton

A fine, big blockbuster of a movie about Allied prisoners attempting a daring escape from a POW camp during WWII. The entire cast is top-notch, and the action builds from the very beginning to the exciting climax. Watch for McQueen's mad motorcycle dash for safety, one of the most hair-raising action sequences ever filmed.

From The Movie Guide: "Expertly directed and written [by James Clavell and W.R. Burnett from the book by Paul Brickhill] with an infectious undercurrent of wry humor, this classic WWII POW escape yarn features an all-star cast of hardened Allied prisoners who the Germans have thrown together in a special 'escape-proof' camp. Naturally, the first thing they set about doing is planning their escape --- not just any escape, but one so massive that thousands of German troops will be kept away from the front in the effort to track them down. ...

"Based on a book detailing a real-life mass escape of Allied troops in 1942, producer-director John Sturges's film is involving throughout, due mainly to the excellent performances of its stellar cast, particularly McQueen in a breakthrough performance. Elmer Bernstein's exhilarating score is perfectly suited to the film's non-stop tension. A hit with the critics and at the box office, THE GREAT ESCAPE is for many the great 'escape' film."

THE GREAT ESCAPE was nominated for an Oscar for Best Editing (Ferris Webster).