Thrilling, Epic WWII Drama!
Scotman | Mt. Shasta, CA | 07/20/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Based on a true story of escape from an officer POW camp, touted by the Nazis as being inescapable, an all star cast do their best to do just that!
Imagine being locked up in a high security camp, run by the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) where American and British airmen are sent, and trying to escape without being spotted. Tough call.
Charles Bronson plays a guy who is scared of tight spaces and this creates problems when he attempts an underground tunnel launching. Actually three tunnels are launched, named Tom, Dick and Harry.
The whole idea is to demoralize and create diversions for the Nazi's. And escape of 200 or more men should do the trick.
The first part of the film runs a bit slow, with the men working out the logistics and problems of digging tunnels, keeping them hidden and being one step ahead of their Nazi masters. With the buildings on brick foundations and open to the air, this is not an easy task.
The second half of the film is the escape itself, the various situations the 76 escapees take to escape. Most get recaptured, and many are killed in the process. But the demoralization is successful, though the men themselves wonder at the cost in human life!
All star cast, well played. Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Steve McQueen, (great motorcycle scenes) James Garner, Richard Attenborough, and more!
It's a must-see classic. Reminded me in some ways of Stalag 13 and its TV comedy spin-off Hogan's Heroes, and though The Great Escape has its sense of humor, it's played serious, not slapstick.
Other Movies by Director Sturges:
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
The Magnificent Seven (Special Edition)
Ice Station Zebra