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The Great Escape (1963)

Trailer
2:41 | Trailer
Allied prisoners of war plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II.

Director:

John Sturges

Writers:

Paul Brickhill (book), James Clavell (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
2,098 ( 105)
Top Rated Movies #128 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve McQueen ... Hilts 'The Cooler King'
James Garner ... Hendley 'The Scrounger'
Richard Attenborough ... Bartlett 'Big X'
James Donald ... Ramsey 'The SBO'
Charles Bronson ... Danny 'Tunnel King'
Donald Pleasence ... Blythe 'The Forger'
James Coburn ... Sedgwick 'Manufacturer'
Hannes Messemer ... Von Luger 'The Kommandant'
David McCallum ... Ashley-Pitt 'Dispersal'
Gordon Jackson ... MacDonald 'Intelligence'
John Leyton ... Willie 'Tunnel King'
Angus Lennie ... Ives 'The Mole'
Nigel Stock ... Cavendish 'The Surveyor'
Robert Graf Robert Graf ... Werner 'The Ferret'
Jud Taylor ... Goff
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Storyline

Based on a true story, a group of allied escape artist-type prisoners-of-war are all put in an "escape proof" camp. Their leader decides to try to take out several hundred all at once. The first half of the movie is played for comedy, as the prisoners mostly outwit their jailers to dig the escape tunnel. The second half is high adventure as they use planes, trains, and boats to get out of occupied Europe. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Hours ago... Minutes ago.... These men were behind barbed wire. See more »


Certificate:

12 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | French | Russian | Spanish

Release Date:

19 September 1963 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

El gran escape See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$12,100,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)| Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steve McQueen also personally attempted the jump across the border fence, but crashed. The jump was successfully performed by Bud Ekins. See more »

Goofs

Throughout the film actors are seen wearing rings and watches. No allied POW would have been allowed to keep anything remotely this valuable, or useful, for themselves. And if they were, lower grade guards and administrators would have targeted them for abuse and/or theft. See more »

Quotes

Bartlett: It's possible for one man to get out through the wire, even get away, but there are in fact a considerable number of people besides yourself in this camp who are trying to escape.
Hilts: I appreciate that.
[pauses, looks at Bartlett]
Hilts: Something's coming. I can feel it, and it's coming right around the corner at me, Squadron Leader!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some TV versions edit the scene in which Ives is shot and killed for trying to escape over the fence. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Huo shao dao (1990) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The greatest of escapes.
15 December 1998 | by Peach-2See all my reviews

The Great Escape is THE prison escape movie. The film is rich with characters and the direction by John Sturges is great. Steve McQueen is the man and the rest of the cast are terrific. This movie is heroic and shows the bravery of men in the second world war. I escape into this movie whenever I feel really down, it's a great spirit lifter and one of the greatest films of all time.


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