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The Great Escape

The Great Escape (1963)



Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 43
Fresh: 40 | Rotten: 3

With its impeccably slow-building story and a cast for the ages, The Great Escape is an all-time action classic.


Average Rating: 6.3/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 1

With its impeccably slow-building story and a cast for the ages, The Great Escape is an all-time action classic.



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Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 101,888

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Movie Info

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 the day of performance. Proceeds benefit Capital University's The Schumacher Gallery. Please join the reception after the show! Originally released on the Fourth of July in 1963, THE GREAT ESCAPE returns for its 50th anniversary in partnership with The Schumacher Gallery's exhibit: Memories of World War II: Photographs from the Archives of The Associated Press THE GREAT ESCAPE is based on a true story of Allied prisoners of


Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics

W.R. Burnett, James Clavell

Mar 31, 1998

United Artists

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All Critics (43) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (40) | Rotten (3) | DVD (29)

The Great Escape is simply great escapism.

February 6, 2014 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Producer-director John Sturges has fashioned a motion picture that entertains, captivates, thrills and stirs.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Way too flabby at 168 minutes, but once this 1963 feature gets going it's good, solid stuff.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Worth seeing the last half hour, if nothing else, for one of the best stunt sequences in years: McQueen's motor-cycle bid for freedom.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a strictly mechanical adventure with make-believe men.

New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While it's a definite classic in the Steve McQueen gallery, it's also a masterpiece of the action genre...

August 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

a slow burn which allows you to watch wildly different characters work together and form a team in spite of their differences

June 9, 2013 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

Each group of characters get their own riveting planning sequences, all skillfully told. This is one "heist" film where knowing the details of how the escape is supposed to go down before it happens only strengthens the suspense further.

May 23, 2013 Full Review Source:

Boasting an all-star cast, headed by a terrific Steve McQueen, Great Escape is one of the greatest, most enjoyable WWII adventures Hollywood has made.

April 13, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

A consummate work of nuts 'n bolts filmmaking devoted to the single end of creating something that is compulsively, endlessly watchable and re-watchable.

March 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

An exceptional story about teamwork.

December 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

The title also suits the film's ultimate aim to be a great escape film.

February 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comments (5)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

One of the greatest 'popcorn' movies ever

March 16, 2007
Atlantic City Weekly

Expertly directed and written with an infectious undercurrent of wry humor.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It's as blow-dried as McQueen looks even on a bad day, but The Great Escape's mix of suspense, humor, and old-fashioned derring-do pitched by a dream-team cast is so enjoyable that only a lout would complain about it.

April 13, 2006 Full Review Source:

preposterous and thrilling

August 26, 2005
Shadows on the Wall

Were it to be remade today, the Nazis would be more evil, the heroes less interesting and the movie a great deal louder.

January 17, 2005 Full Review
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

One of the truly great epic war films.

October 15, 2004

The Great Escape succeed as great entertainment but does so at the expense of being one of John Sturges' best films.

June 3, 2004 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

McQueen's motorcycle ride has long been the stuff of cinematic legend, but the movie is packed with countless memorable episodes of this caliber.

June 2, 2004 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Audience Reviews for The Great Escape

By investing good part of its narrative in the many particulars of the great escape planning, this outstanding prison break movie increases our connection with its gallery of memorable characters, making us deeply care about the consequences in a tense and breathtaking final act.
September 29, 2013

Super Reviewer

What a magnificent piece of classic cinema! Everything from the acting to the music is just pure artistic gold. What's even more amazing is how the details and execution of this ingenious escape from a Nazi POW camp, is all based on true events.

An even better reason to see it though, is the outstanding cast. You got Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and a countless number of other brilliant thespians, whom are now legends of their time. Each and every one giving it their very best, which even further amplified the power of this incredible story.

With this and "Papillon" (another prison escape film starring Steve McQueen) in recent memory, I honestly regret to have waited so long with seeing these classics. They house a soul of unparalleled intelligence, and rows upon rows of beautifully written characters, which is something we rarely get in their modern equivalents.

Indeed it really opened up my eyes to a whole new treasure trove of golden oldies, which I've been happily exploring ever since. And for those that are yet to discover it, may I suggest that you relish the same opportunity.
March 24, 2013
Mike S

Super Reviewer

A classic, no doubt, but the first hour moves way too slowly and overall it comes off as kind of cartoony. I think McQueen just gets out and gets caught again too many times for it to remain excitying - even later in the film, when the stakes are finally high. Full of iconic scenes, though, and features a big-name cast, a great climax and a wild motorcycle chase.
December 16, 2012

Super Reviewer

John Sturges's masterwork The Great Escape is one of those essential war classics. With an all star cast of some of the most famous actors of the day, The Great Escape is one exciting film from start to finish. Based on the real life escape of POW camp Stalag Luft III in 1943, The Great Escape is an incredible, thrilling film. The Great Escape is a terrific film from start to finish that delivers the thrills. It's all star cast are wonderful and it brings the film up a notch due to so much talent involved in telling this incredible story. The Great Escape is an excellent film with terrific acting, and an incredible story. This is a film that remains as one of the best action films ever crafted. Everything about the film is expertly crafted to bring ultimate thrills. The Great Escape is one of the essential classic actions to watch. If you're a fan of Steve McQueen, then you shouldn't pass up on this. This is a film that has genuine suspense and every actor delivers on screen. I think that this is a film that respectfully portrays this remarkable true story and thought it's dramatic in the typical Hollywood fashion, it managed to convey this incredible story perfectly. The Great Escape is a phenomenal action classic that is set against the backdrop of the Second World War. A thrill ride from start to finish, The Great Escape is an action packed classic that has stood the test of time.
August 8, 2011
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

    1. "Cooler King" Hilts: What do they call a mole in Scotland?
    2. "The Mole" Ives: A mole.
    – Submitted by Venkatesh S (22 months ago)
    1. Senior Officer Ramsey: Up the rebels.
    2. Goff: Down the British.
    – Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
    1. "Cooler King" Hilts: What do they call a mole in Scotland?
    2. "The Mole" Ives: A mole.
    – Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
    1. Kuhn: We have reason to believe this prisoner is the mastermind behind numerous criminal escape attempts.
    2. Von Lugar "The Kommandant": [sarcastically] Squadron Leader Bartlett has been three months in your care! And the Gestapo has only 'reason to believe'!
    – Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
    1. Strachwitz: I will not take action against you, now. This is the first day here and there has been much stupidity and carelessness... on both sides!
    – Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
    1. "Cooler King" Hilts: Wait a minute. You aren't seriously suggesting that if I get through the wire... and case everything out there... and don't get picked up... to turn myself in and get thrown back in the cooler for a couple of months so you can get the information you need?
    2. "Big X" Bartlett: Yes.
    – Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
View all quotes (7)

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  • The Great Escape (DE)
  • The Great Escape (UK)
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