The Great Escape Reviews
steve mcqueen is truly the "King of Cool"
But The Great Escape is entertaining even when McQueen isn't present. The 1963 classic mixes suspense and levity brilliantly as it follows a group of allied prisoners in a German camp attempting their biggest escape yet during World War II.
The Great Escape is plot buildup at its finest. Writer-director, John Sturges, has an impeccable sense of narrative. From start to finish its tone never wavers. And even with its juggernaut of a runtime clocking in at nearly 3 hours, you're never checking your watch.
Although in this day and age it helps to know the history--seeing as World War II was still fairly fresh in everyone's minds back in 1963. But setting aside, you can still appreciate the general storyline. Even a younger audience should be able to follow along easily and still enjoy this movie's timely humor.
Elmer Bernstein's score helps to drive this film with strong motifs. It echoes The Bridge on the River Kwai, but has a feel all of its own.
The Great Escape is a phenomenal film. It's consistent and thoroughly engaging, and the type of movie that just puts a smile on your face. With a little help from McQueen, it holds up very well. He's at his best here, like always. And the rest of the cast is so strong that this film is great even when he's absent--he's just the cherry on top.
Twizard Rating: 100
Big-time spoilers: The title set me up with false hope that this was going to be a big awesome happy ending. To be clear, I know this is based on a true story, so I'm not expecting they should change history. I just kept getting hit by disappointment and sadness that I never expected when the film began. First I have the big-time letdown when less than half of the planned number of prisoners actually make it out of the compound. So that was part one of my sadness. Then the even bigger letdown that almost every single escapee is caught and most of them are slaughtered. It was just such a downer ending to what felt like such an uplifting film. I almost expected that the movie was about to continue with an even bigger escape that was actually successful, sadly it was not meant to be. I want to make a point of saying I understand, in a way, they were completely successful because they stymied the German forces and made them devote way too many resources to recovering those who escaped. But it doesn't FEEL like a win when so many characters that you grew to love get unceremoniously executed.
The story is so well written (based off of Paul Brickhill's book) it keeps you gripped to your seat from the moment it begins to the second it ends. The Great Escape has a perfect 3 part movie structure: everyone getting put into the prison, and getting acquainted with each other. Planning and executing the unbelievable escape. Witnessing the aftermath of each of the escapees. It's absolutely astonishing to know this movie is based off of real historic events, it seems so unbelievable at some points, but i've read its impeccably accuracy which makes this movie even more fascinating. (even though it allready was)
All in all, this is a thrilling movie from start to finish, a big recommendation to each and every single film lover.
The Great Escape is the greatest prison escape movie every put to the silver screen.