The Great Escape [Blu-ray] 
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In 1943, the Germans opened Stalag Luft III, a maximum-security prisoner-of-war camp designed to hold even the craftiest escape artists. In doing so, however, the Nazis unwittingly assembled the finest escape team in military history--brilliantly portrayed here by Steve McQueen, James Garner, Charles Bronson and James Coburn--who worked on what became the largest prison breakout ever attempted. One of the most ingenious and suspenseful adventure films of all time, The Great Escape is a masterful collaboration between director John Sturges (The Magnificent Seven), screenwriters James Clavell (Shogun) and W.R. Burnett (Little Caesar), and composer Elmer Bernstein. Based on a true story, The Great Escape is epic entertainment that “captivates, thrills and stirs” (Variety).
Rightly revered as an all-time war movie classic, The Great Escape finally gets a long overdue Blu-ray upgrade. And it proves to be worth the wait.
The film itself is a regularly-rewatched classic, although the version that gets played almost on loop on television never looks this good. Based on a true story, it tells the story of a group of prisoners of war, who plan an ambitious breakout from a Nazi prison camp in the midst of World War II.
It's a long, patient, gripping piece of cinema, expertly directed by John Sturges. And what really, really lifts it further is one of the best ensemble casts in the history of film. Where else would you find Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn and James Garner alongside the likes of Richard Attenborough? Furthermore, it's one of McQueen's most iconic performances, and considering the rest of his CV, that's no small feat.
The Blu-ray works hard to pull the most out of the picture quality, and while the 1080p transfer isn't reference quality, it's still very good. Furthermore, Elmer Bernstein's classic score has rarely sounded better. Backed up by an interesting package of extra features, The Great Escape Blu-ray is a fittingly strong disc for an excellent piece of cinema. --Jon Foster
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Top Customer Reviews
Yet, under the direction of "Big X" Bartlett (Richard Attenborough in what, for me, was his most memorable role), seething with rage at ill-treatment from the Gestapo who threatened "You will be shot" if he escaped again and was caught, these "rotten eggs" managed to conjure up one of the most daring prisoner-of-war breakouts in military history, whose story was recounted by Paul Brickhill, the author also responsible for the book which had inspired the film, "The Dam Busters" (1955).
Attenborough is joined by a cast of well-known British stars like Gordon Jackson (of ITV's "Upstairs Downstairs" fame), Angus Lennie (who memorably blows a raspberry at the kommandant for his comment that British and German people "understand" each other), David McCallum (playing the only naval officer in the movie), and Donald Pleasance (who was no mean "twit" with his understanding of birds - yes, it is a pun!), plus, of course, big-name American stars James Garner, Charles Bronson and Steve McQueen.
Garner plays Handley "The Scrounger", a volunteer with the American-crewed RAF "Eagle" fighter squadrons, Bronson plays Danny, "The Tunnel King", a Polish volunteer with the RAF, while McQueen plays Hilts, a U.S.Read more ›
The Germans open the 'Stalag Luft 111' camp in 1943 putting 'all the bad eggs in the one basket' -so to speak.
The high security camp built to house the most persistent escapee's with little or no realistic chance of escaping,
however from the outset many of the new inmates are already assessing the best way to do so..
The senior Officer among the P.O.W's 'Ramsey' (James Donald) 'Cooler-King' 'Hilts' (Steve McQueen) one of the
early occupants of the 'Cooler' along with 'Ives' (Angus Lennie) after an attempt on the first day, 'Hilts' always with
baseball and gloves to hand.
When 'Big X' 'Roger Bartlett' (Richard Attenborough) arrives, he quickly realizes that many of his old team have
been placed at the camp, he immediately along with his Intelligence Officer 'Macdonald' (Gordon Jackson) begin
to plan a mass escape to cause the Germans maximum disruption..........his intention, to take 250 out of the camp
in one night.
He has to put together his team, 'The Forger' - 'Blythe' (Donald Pleasence) who despite rapidly loosing his sight
will keep at it, preparing the documentation necessary for all prospective escapee's.
'The Scrounger' 'Hendley' (James Garner) who's job it is to acquire equipment needed to assist the escape, 'The
Mole' 'Danny' (Charles Bronson) who along with 'Willie' (John Leyton also known for his early recording success)
and 'Eqipment-Manufacturer and Mole' 'Sedgwick' (James Coburn) are in charge of the tunnelling, 'Danny' had in
other P.O.W Camps already dug 17 tunnels in earlier camps.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wouldn't give it one star. I opened the case and put the DVD in the player. Only subtitle options and special features available. No main feature. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Eamonn Wilson
An absolute classic film, brilliant actors, great script, good soundtrack, loads of classic moments and the best motorcycle chase ever in a filmPublished 2 months ago by KMH
Arrived with no postage paid so I had to go to the sorting office and pay £2 - annoying. Quality of film not very good, nowhere near as good as if it had been on TV. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jeff