You all know the story. It’s World War II and the Germans have brought together all of their most troublesome POWs in the newly constructed maximum security prison Stalag Luft III.
Putting “all of the rotten eggs in one basket” was just asking for trouble – and the Germans get just what they asked for….the greatest WWII escape attempt ever made.
Based on the true events depicted in Paul Brickhill’s novel The Great Escape, this star-studded film of the same name was a smash from the off and has remained a classic ever since, earning its rightly deserved TV slot every Christmas.
Brickhill, himself a POW in the infamous Stalag Luft III at the time of the escape attempt, naturally depicts the times emotionally and accurately and John Sturges portrayed these to screen admirably.
As soon as those opening credits roll and the Bernstein classic kicks in you know you’re with a real favourite, an old friend whose company warms you.
The casting was perfect for the film, and there are so many wonderful characters that are subtly built up within minutes of the opening credits. McQueen as the one and only “Cooler King” Hilts, Garner as the ever resourceful Scrounger and Attenborough as “Big X” Bartlett all excel, as do the rest of the cast.
This is one of the greatest war films ever made and it has remained a benchmark for many more of its ilk.
This film is an emotionally charged classic full of tragedy and drama but with a defiant touch of humour, and is a nice tribute to the fifty good men who lost their lives in the escape attempt.
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