movie film review | chris tookey

Great Escape

United Artists - all rights reserved
  Great Escape Review
Tookey's Rating
10 /10
Average Rating
8.76 /10
Steve McQueen , James Garner , Richard Attenborough
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Directed by: John Sturges
Written by: James Clavell, W.R. Burnett from Paul Brickhill's book

Released: 1963
Origin: US
Length: 163

Prisoners plan mass break-out from prisoner-of-war camp. Some make it, others don't. Donald Pleasance breaks glasses. Was it worth it? Don't know.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Based on an improbable true story, this is one of the most exciting action adventures ever made, helped along by Elmer Bernstein's stirring score, Daniel Fapp's excellent cinematography, a very strong cast, and a screenplay which skilfully mixes action, character and comedy.

It took a far more upbeat approach than previous prisoner-of-war pictures, such as Stalag 17 (1953) and King Rat (1965), but still managed to generate suspense and pathos (Donald Pleasance is especially memorable as the prisoner losing his sight). The most interesting character in the film - and the key to its commercial success - is Hilts (Steve McQueen, pictured), a Sixties anti-hero transported to a 1940s setting. Oddly enough, he doesn't jar, and gives the more orthodox heroes an additional, almost pathetic dimension as the last of a dying breed.

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