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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Great Escape (Blu-ray) 50th. Anniversary Edition
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...
Published 13 months ago by J. A. Bradford

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor Video Transfer For A Classic Film
Poor video treatment for one of the best loved films of all time :(
For such a major catalogue release you would expect some love from a major studio like MGM, but this Blu Ray is a major dissapointment. Sound is crisp and better than every (very little surround sound as you would expect), but the picture is washed out and lacking detail with no evidence of...
Published 13 months ago by Mr Lee


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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Great Escape (Blu-ray) 50th. Anniversary Edition, 6 Jun 2013
By 
J. A. Bradford "JAB review" (Sussex England) - See all my reviews
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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? They appear in the top left-hand part of the TV screen ONLY! It doesn't matter how you might try to expand the image, the top left-hand part of the screen is where they remain! What's that all about?! In conclusion, my review is based on viewing the film on a 40" screen. It looks better on a smaller screen, but that's not the point! Great film! poor transfer! The Great Escape [Blu-ray] [1963]
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Purchase!, 26 Jun 2011
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Great Con, 22 Sep 2011
By 
Mr. Michael Smith (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film great music great performances, 20 July 2008
By 
Peter Wade (Colchester England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just a different thought on the Escape..., 18 July 2012
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.

The reason for casting an American as the central character in the Great Escape? To appeal to the audience the film was being aimed at; in order to sell the film. Orwell's 1984 showed Winston Smith altering historical records in order for the Party to control the people's perceptions of the past, Hollywood does that in a far more subtle & seemingly less sinister way; it's not always for a political agenda (although that isn't uncommon), it's mainly for commercial reasons, they alter history based on what they think will sell best to the audience they're aiming at. Either way, the reality of the past is changed for huge numbers of people.

Buy it, you'll love it... but keep in mind it's not really about the reality it implies that it is.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor Video Transfer For A Classic Film, 8 Jun 2013
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Poor video treatment for one of the best loved films of all time :(
For such a major catalogue release you would expect some love from a major studio like MGM, but this Blu Ray is a major dissapointment. Sound is crisp and better than every (very little surround sound as you would expect), but the picture is washed out and lacking detail with no evidence of remastering or film restoration.

A Great Shame.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissappointed., 10 Jun 2013
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I pre-ordered and awaited with great expectation WOW was I disappointed agree with the poor transfer and as for Amazon's description of film being backed up by interesting extras WHAT extras none nothing nada where did they go is this the cheap release is there another better BD version out there?
To say it's a shame is an under-statement this is a classic movie and deserved better I have others Sound Of Music G.W.T.W CASABLANCA AND THE WIZARD OF OZ to name a few,picture quality is superb and extras numerous will keep as steelbook (the region free version even has a better inner picture)DISSAPPOINTED big time.No extras I ask you.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing picture quality !, 8 Jun 2013
By 
Rob H (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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If you've already got the DVD, I wouldn't bother with "upgrading" to this BluRay version. I've found the picture quality to be no different from the DVD. Definetly not a showcase for BluRay. Very disappointing.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great film. Terrible Blu-Ray, 3 Aug 2013
I was really looking forward to seeing this in HD for this first time: it's a classic film with a great (mostly true) story and an stellar cast.

Unfortunately this HD transfer is SO bad that it's left me wanting my money back.

From the opening faded scenes with it's over emphasized red/blue colour correction, to the blurry later scenes which had me reaching for my lens cleaner, this release could only have come about as a result of very careless restoration and poor source material.

This Blu-Ray is not a well deserved HD restoration of a classic war movie: it's a disaster movie.
And I'm SO disappointed to say that.

Avoid this 50th Anniversary Edition like the plague and hope that a better version is issued for the 51st anniversary.

It's hard to imagine any release which would not be better than this.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Great Escape Blu Ray, 11 Jun 2013
By 
Terence Phillips (UK) - See all my reviews
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I read that the Blu Ray edition was supposed to be restored, however the picture has a lot of grain about it and I can't help but think the transfer could and should have been done far better. When it was shown on SKY HD it looked far better than this Blu Ray. I know the film was made a long time ago but the whole point of Blu Ray is a much improved sharper picture. Personally I would buy the dvd and not this poor quality offering, the showing on Sky HD was much better than this so why the Blu Ray is worse I don't know.
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