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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> June 2000 >> The Great Escape

The Great Escape

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
4 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
June 2000
IMDB Name:
Great Escape, The (1963)
John Sturges
action, adventure, suspense
MPAA Rating:
Unrated (predates MPAA ratings)


The Great Escape really happened at some point. Allied soldiers pooled their resources to bust out of a POW camp during WWII. The semi-fictional recreation of their story makes quite a movie, and one that isn't restrained by Hollywood's usual plot requirements. The arrival of the escape artists takes some time, but we are then treated to their extensive preparations. When they do make the break, there is still plenty of time left to go so that we can find out what happened to those who almost made it. The caper aspects and character development are interesting enough that I found myself wanting an epilogue in the style of Animal House to find out what happened to everyone. Even after almost three hours of the movie, I was ready for more!

The cast for Great Escape is loaded with big names. I was born more than a decade after the film's release, so I don't know most of them for the usual reasons, but I have no complaints about their acting here. Richard Attenborough is known to me mostly as John Hammond of Jurassic Park. James Coburn is strongest in my mind as one of the bad guys in Payback, although I vaguely remember his involvement with Hudson Hawk. Our Man Flint is on my list now to get a better understanding of his fame. Donald Pleasence I recall primarily as Blofeld in You Only Live Twice. Thomas Crown Affair was still five years off when he starred in The Great Escape, but Steve McQueen fit into both with almost exactly the same persona, so I'll think of him more as Crown.

Copyright 2000-2002 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.