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The Great Escape [DVD] [1963]

Steve McQueen , James Garner , John Sturges    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
Price: £6.70 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

The Great Escape [DVD] [1963] + The Bridge On The River Kwai [DVD] [2000] + Where Eagles Dare  [1968] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence
  • Directors: John Sturges
  • Writers: James Clavell, Paul Brickhill, W.R. Burnett
  • Producers: John Sturges, James Clavell, Walter Mirisch
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, French, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, Polish, Dutch
  • Dubbed: Italian, Spanish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Feb 2000
  • Run Time: 165 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CYXR
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,136 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

During World War Two, a collection of hardened Allied prisoners are kept in an 'escape-proof' German camp. Led by the 'Big X' (Richard Attenborough), the men formulate a plan for a mass breakout, digging three tunnels - Tom, Dick and Harry. The team behind the escape includes a near-blind forger of passports (Donald Pleasance), a claustrophobic tunnel-digger (Charles Bronson) and the independent American 'Cooler King' (Steve McQueen). With men like that on their side, how can they fail?


The Great Escape image of Steve McQueen (as "The Cooler King") astride his motorcycle has entered silver-screen iconography, alongside Brando on his bike from The Wild One. Based on a true story about a group of POWs who mount a daring breakout from a supposedly inescapable Nazi prison camp, this rousing and suspenseful World War II epic features an all-star cast, including James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence, James Coburn, and David McCallum. --Jim Emerson

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Purchase! 26 Jun 2011
By Steve
The Great Escape - Special Edition is well worth every penny of the asking price. The Special Edition 2 disc set complete with an interesting 8 page booklet gives this timeless 'movie' classic another angle to the tale of POWs trying to escape from Stalag Luft 3. As good as the film is, the real gem for me, is with the inclusion of the second disc which features the brilliant documentry -'The Untold Story'. The untold story largely tells the story of the events that unfolded after POWs escaped from the camp and were now on the run trying to escape Germany itself. Interviews with actual escape POWs who were there at the time are included and needless to say, their version of the events differ somewhat to the movies rather 'colourful' interpretation of events! The movie itself undoubtfully had a touch of 'Hollywood' added to the mix, however for most of the part, the movie stays fairly acurate to what really happend (ableit on a smaller scale). Where the movie differs greatly from the real truth is after the breakout from the camp. Don't get me wrong, it's a great film, just not an entirely accurate one.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Finally released on Blu ray, I was hoping for something good in the transfer department, but felt a slight trepidation concerning some of the reviews already circulating on Amazon regarding the shortcomings of this important films transfer to 1080p. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the other reviews seem to be correct in their observations! The film titles start off looking soft in appearance, but I accepted this because optical overlays are always involved with titles in older films,(the laying of one film element over another, then re-filming the two elements together) This is not true Blu ray. BUT after the titles finish, THEN you should be able to judge the true picture quality. But it was still soft!!! The film then proceeded, intermittently, to remain soft in its appearance, harsh grain was evident in some scenes but not others. Strangely, when Steve McQueen starts to pour his bootleg alcohol out for the whole camp to drink, the transfer quality suddenly becomes very good, but only for a short while, thereafter becoming very soft indeed, as other reviewers have pointed out. I thought this may have been a conscious choice of the D.P. or Director to add a soft-focus filter to the scene to suggest a mood of intoxication amongst the camp members, but the softness still continued! Steve McQueen's famous motorcycle chase sequence is especially noteworthy as being inconsistent in it's transfer quality! It's like no effort appears to have been made to use modern software tools to make this film shine! The Sound of Music Blu ray transfer is a good example of how a similarly shot film CAN look! Both films were made in a similar period, 1963 and 1965 respectively, both by 20th. Century Fox. Both shot in De Luxe Colour! But The Sound of Music is a true marvel to behold! Also, what happened to the extras? Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film great music great performances 20 July 2008
By Peter Wade VINE VOICE
Is it possible to watch The Great escape too many times ?

I have just finished watching it for the umpteenth time and it is as good as ever.

A great cast of British and US actors with a classic and iconic performance by Steve McQueen. Even if you know nothing else about the film you will remember the motorcycle jump of the first border fence by McQueen.

It is easy to forget that it also portrays a war crime by the Germans in murdering 50 of the escapees. They show the machine gun but not the bodies afterwards.

The film is usually portrayed as a war time romp. In Colditz they spend their time organising concerts and escaping in the Great escape they spend their time digging tunnels and escaping.

It is not possible to praise this film too much . It is up there with Zulu , 633 Squadron, the Longest Day.Bridge too Far, Dirty Dozen.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Great Con 22 Sep 2011
The DVD cover has a list of 9 "Special Features"...but there are only 2 on the Disc. Just a short documentary with Cast Members. No Booklet included, no Trivia Test, certainly not a REAL Virgil Hilts Documentary. I think this advertised as the revelations that McQueen played more than his own role and that a stunt double was involved for the more famous parts... including the plastic barbed wire.

Otherwise it is a decent wide-screen version - as is necessary I suppose.

Just search for the best price.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just a different thought on the Escape... 18 July 2012
By Dr D
You can't help but enjoy the Great Escape, Sturges' produced a genuine piece of art, there's no doubt it is a truly great film... but I wonder how it changes our perception of reality. Most of us know the film is "based on real events" but which of the events it shows are real & which are fiction? A lot of people I know have seen the Great Escape, but very few know much about the historical reality.

The Escape took place in nice weather in the film, it actually took place in one of the coldest winters Poland had for decades & the weather hampered escapees more than anything else. Many were wearing light clothes, many came close to frostbite & were forced to sleep in obvious shelters, increasing their risks of being captured. The Great Escape wasn't unique, there were some 11 mass breakouts before it but the increase in security after these attempts made mass breakouts less likely to succeed, in fact, a German in Stalag Luft III even advised PoWs to escape in twos or threes to improve their chances. The idea that the escape caused huge problems for the Germans wasn't true either. No German troops were withdrawn from the frontline, they only used existing capacity inside the Reich, what the Escape did do because of the large-scale hunt was result in thousands of other escaping PoWs, regular prisoners & absent foreign workers being rounded up in the trawl as well. But maybe the obvious myth of the film was American PoWs escaping, US airmen had been moved to a different compound several months before the Escape & none were involved. The motorbike scene in the film is glorious & iconic but also proved such a gross misrepresentation that it was actually booed by former PoWs when they were first shown the film.
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Release date The Greate Escape (1963) blu-ray 4 1 Jun 2014
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