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Customer Review

42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Great Escape (Blu-ray) 50th. Anniversary Edition, 6 Jun. 2013
This review is from: The Great Escape [Blu-ray] [1963] (Blu-ray)
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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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Jun 2013 22:47:30 BDT
Angela Ward says:
I 100% agree with this review. Frankly I am totally disappointed with the transfer. MGM should be ashamed of themselves. IT WAS NOT carefully restored at all. I was so looking forward to seeing it on Blu ray and now I wish I hadn't bought it. Its a true classic and deserved much better for its fifty year anniversary. Compare this to the wonderful work that was done to restore JAWS. You cheated us MGM, thanks a lot!!

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jun 2013 15:51:57 BDT
JAB/Angela,
THANKS for the honest reviews,for me there is no point in reviewing this CLASSIC Film,we all know the story,Blu-ray picture quality is what we want reviewed!!!!and the two of you have given us the truth!!!
When you think of The Searchers/Zulu on blu-ray we,re talking reference level,The Great Escape should be up there!!!!
Recently I watched the dvd of TGE,gearing myself up for the blu-ray,and the pq was good,then I was lucky enough to read blu-ray.com review of TGE,and it was not too complimentary,to say the least,I read your reviews,as customers,and that,s good enough for me,I,ll "maybe" buy it when it drops below a fiver,for curiousity,The Great Escape should have been transferred with RESPECT,quite sad that it wasn,t,again,THANKS.
Davy Cairns,Scotland.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jun 2013 21:18:28 BDT
M. Stewart says:
Great review i myself bought the steelbook which is great but the blu-ray transfer isn't the best.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2013 17:24:00 BDT
Last edited by the author on 15 Jun 2013 17:57:26 BDT
Al Baker says:
MGM has nothing to do with this Blu-ray. The Great Escape was a United Artists release and although UA eventually became part of MGM the home video rights are currently with 20th Century Fox.

Posted on 15 Jun 2013 17:27:06 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 15 Jun 2013 17:27:20 BDT]

Posted on 22 Jun 2013 15:38:31 BDT
Mrs. FILM says:
Thanks for a brilliant and detailed blu-ray review..
It must be pointed out that MGM are not entirely to blame for this disappointing and over all shoddy release. They , as a film company entrust there film stock to be kept safe and protected given the values of these priceless old original prints , and if stored poorly they will rot and never retain the quality they had when processed over 50 years ago. No amount of technology can fix what time has taken away and what it boils down to is , if you do not have a good source to begin restoration on , your end product will never look very good. Yes the new 1080 scan of JAWS looks sharp as United Artist kept their film stock well and it shows on all of their releases , most notably the Bond collection , as do the Twentieth Century Fox title's like Star Wars , ALIEN and many older films from the same time period of The Great Escape.
It in unlikely we will ever see this classic as pristine and stunning as "Cleopatra" now looks , and for me is one of the best titles to be seen in newly full 1080 , which is a shame..
With luck , their maybe a hidden , lost or discovered print found in a vault somewhere as crisp as the day it was developed in its hay-day and from that a Blu-ray of unbelievable quality will be scanned and released..Until then this is the best we will ever see or enjoy in the decades ahead.
A second note also must be said depending on what settings your blu-ray player has ..you may be able to enhance your picture manually , and again depending if you have LCD , Plazma or an LED type screen , it will vary in what you see...

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2013 15:42:06 BDT
Mrs. FILM says:
Hello Angela , it was good to read your review.
It must be pointed out that MGM are not entirely to blame for this disappointing and over all shoddy release. They , as a film company entrust there film stock to be kept safe and protected given the values of these priceless old original prints , and if stored poorly they will rot and never retain the quality they had when processed over 50 years ago. No amount of technology can fix what time has taken away and what it boils down to is , if you do not have a good source to begin restoration on , your end product will never look very good. Yes the new 1080 scan of JAWS looks sharp as United Artist kept their film stock well and it shows on all of their releases , most notably the Bond collection , as do the Twentieth Century Fox title's like Star Wars , ALIEN and many older films from the same time period of The Great Escape.
It in unlikely we will ever see this classic as pristine and stunning as "Cleopatra" now looks , and for me is one of the best titles to be seen in newly full 1080 , which is a shame..
With luck , their maybe a hidden , lost or discovered print found in a vault somewhere as crisp as the day it was developed in its hay-day and from that a Blu-ray of unbelievable quality will be scanned and released..Until then this is the best we will ever see or enjoy in the decades ahead.
A second note also must be said depending on what settings your blu-ray player has ..you may be able to enhance your picture manually , and again depending if you have LCD , Plazma or an LED type screen , it will vary in what you see...
I hope this has made you feel a little less cheated as I agree with what you said..
xx

Posted on 24 Mar 2014 18:52:13 GMT
Thanks for that was just about to purchase it on DVD, pity as it is one of the best movies ever! Cheers Les

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Mar 2014 20:07:08 GMT
Hi Leslie, not quite sure what to make of your post, are you wishing to purchase this great film on DVD? If so, I would recommend it to you, as the DVD transfer of THE GREAT ESCAPE is, in my opinion, quite satisfactory, and should not disappoint! My review was purely aimed at the Blu ray release, which to all those out there like myself, who are bona fide Blu ray buffs, is a big deal when a new Blu ray is released!(We like our Blu rays to look and sound just right!) So I would say to you, please! Don't be put off by my review, and buy yourself the DVD, as stated by myself earlier, it's a perfectly fine transfer of the film to disc, and I'm sure you'll find it looks fine on a medium sized telly! Sincerely, John from JAB Review!

Posted on 29 Mar 2014 12:05:27 GMT
The companies are just releasing anything and calling it 1080p Blu Ray, There are a lot of bad quality Blu Rays films out there. I had the steelbook edition but sold it because the film itself was awful quality. People are being ripped off with these unregulated so called High definition transfers. Buyer Beware!
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