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The Great Escape 1963

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This is one of the first movies my father showed me, when I was about 12 years old. That was over 30 years ago. To this day it is one of my favorite movies of all time. It is also the first movie I remember that made the specific point that not all German soldiers were Nazis. And there was quite some animosity between the military branches like the German Air Force towards the SS and Gestapo. There is this neat little scene in the office of the camp leading officer and it's awesome to see how he really doesn't even care about the Hitler salute. As a teenager that was an important distinction and it is sad that to this day a lot of people still don't know that a lot of German soldiers actually hated the Nazis and only kept on fighting for patriotism. The German officer even says he just hopes he can survive the war together with the prisoners as comfortably as possible. This was made in 1963. To this day not many WWII care to make a distinction between SS and other German military. For me this is the greatest triumph of this movie.

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This movie is pretty spectacular. And boy howdy is that Steve McQueen a bad ass. Him barreling through the hills on the motorcycle...His coolness holds up. Two questions though:

  1. If they found the hole, why were they allowed to still stay in those bunks?

  2. No way he'd be allowed to take a ball and mitt in the hole right? No way.

Anyway, great movie, and it really picks up in the third hour. Which makes sense considering we just spent 2 hours watching them plan and prepare. Hey, the theme is the whistled tune in River Kwai right?

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Very engaging, but at the same time could have easily be close to an hour shorter than it was. I hadn't seen this in almost 20 years and revisited for the remastered Criterion release.

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Wonderfully engaging and keeps things entertaining throughout a long runtime. Knockout cast helps keep things tense, yet fun.

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"It looks, after all, as if you will see Berlin before I do."

First time rewatching the Great Escape and I must say, it did not disappoint. It still is a long movie but that didn't bother me. The pace is simply brilliant. From the first escape attempt at the prison camp to the 4th of July part and the discovery of "Tom", to every time Hilts (Steve McQueen) and Ives (Angus Lennie) have to go to the cooler, to the escape itself and the suspense if everyone will really escape and the amazing motorcycle chase.

John Sturges just did one hell of a job and crafted this legendary film with such an epic cast just to name a few: Donald Pleasence, Charles Bronson, Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Richard Attenborough and James Garner. Just epic all around. And how about that legendary tune? Love it!

The Great Escape is one of those timeless movies that will never get old. It might not be one that you will rewatch every year but it is one you will not look away from when it's on the telly.

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Steve McQueen embroiders his role as a Nazi prisoner.

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