The Great Escape Movie Review
*POW = Prisoner of War
“The Great Escape” directed by John Sturges is a movie of high standard and excellence. This action packed adventure, released in 1963, takes place in Germany at the peak of World War II. Taking us back to 1942, The Great Escape documents the escape of 76 prisoners from a special Stalag (prison camp), designed specifically for them. By contrasting color cinematography with a classical soundtrack, the movie successfully blends the plot and art direction to fit the modern generation. The cast features an amazing line up of actors such as: James Garner as “Hendley”, Richard Attenborough as “Bartlett”, and James Donald as “Ramsey”. Although their performances were impressive, the show stealer was definitely Steve McQueen in his heroic/comedic role as Hilts “the cooler king” with his baseball ball and mitt.
The movie begins with the arrival of several hundred POW’s to a camp specifically designed to keep imprisoned the most elite of escapers. Among these prisoners are several British, American and even a few Australian officers. These POWs waste no time getting settled in on the first day, as soon as they enter the camp, the men already make several attempts of escaping, but all fail severally. The most iconic out of all the attempts is Steve McQueen’s. Steve tries to verify a blind spot between two guard towers by throwing a baseball into the barbed fence. Although unnoticed by the guard tower, Steve does get caught by the land guards who place him in the cooler, a place which he becomes familiar with by the end of the movie. The movie continues and we are introduced to a new character, Bartlett “Big X” (Richard Attenborough), the most skilled escaper in the prison. Bartlett later introduces a plan to dig not one, not two, but three tunnels, each approximately 300 feet long to create a mass escape of 250 prisoners. Overcome with a sense of hope and freedom, the prisoners pool their smartest and...
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