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Sika’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time! 94. The Great Escape (1963)

June 28, 2011

94. The Great Escape [DVD](1963)

Plot: After wasting time and money on recapturing Prisoners of War (POWs) during World War II, the Germans move the most determined escapees to a new, high-security POW camp.

The commandant, Luftwaffe Colonel von Luger (Hannes Messemer) is confident “There will be no escapes from this camp.”

The prisoners have a different opinion though.

Starring: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence and James Coburn.

Directed by: John Sturges
Length: 172 min

Budget: $4,000,000 (estimated)
Gross Revenue: $5.5 million (US)
Revenue/Minute: $31,977

Review: These days I get scared when I see a DVD-cover containing a bunch of famous actors. Sure, it could turn out to be an Oceans 11 and I will like it, but it could also end up being an Oceans 13.

Back in the good old days that was not the case. When you (I’m guessing since I wasn’t born yet for ten years or so) looked up at that “The Great Escape” poster and read the names of Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence and James Coburn you knew it wasn’t going to suck. And it didn’t. It was like the escape. Great.

But it isn’t a great movie just because it’s “based on a true story” (which in my book doubles a movies likeability) or because it has perhaps the greatest bunch of actors sharing the screen at the same time.

It also is great because it makes you want to ride a motorcycle and do a 60ft jump over a fence. And no movie (other than Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997), but in that case for a totally different reason) has done that to me.

Vroom Vroom!

Oscar Count:

1 Nomination: Best Film Editing (Ferris Webster)

I was also going to warn all you non-whistlers out there to stay away from this movie because it will disappoint you not being able to whistle along.

But then I realized I was thinking of The Bridge on the River Kwai and its catchy tune. So never mind, it’s safe to see this one. And even without whistling, the score in the movie is great.

Favorite Quote:

Hilts: What do they call a mole in Scotland?
Archibald “The Mole” Ives’: A mole.

Sequels/Prequels/Remakes: A fictional, made-for-television sequel, The Great Escape II: The Untold Story, appeared years later. It starred Christopher Reeve with Donald Pleasence as an SS villain.

Previous on the list: 96. As Good as It Gets (1997)

Explain to me why movie companies request YouTube channels to disable embedding on movie trailers?? Isn’t trailers a way to sell the movie and the more it spreads, the better?? And don’t get me started on music videos… Anyway, this is the only trailer I found which I could embed, it’s made by a kid for an editing assignment.

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