Poster for The Great Escape

The Great Escape

1963, War/Drama, 2h 52m

53 Reviews 100,000+ Ratings

What to know

critics consensus

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

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The Great Escape Photos

Movie Info

Imprisoned during World War II in a German POW camp, a group of Allied soldiers are intent on breaking out, not only to escape, but also to draw Nazi forces away from battle to search for fugitives. Among the prisoners determined to escape are American Captain Virgil Hilts (Steve McQueen) and British Squadron Leader Roger Bartlett (Richard Attenborough). Outwitting their captors by digging a tunnel out of the prison grounds, the soldiers find the stakes much higher when escape becomes a reality.

Cast & Crew

Steve McQueen
Capt. Hilts 'The Cooler King'
James Garner
Flight Lt. Hendley 'The Scrounger'
Richard Attenborough
Squadron Leader Roger Bartlett 'Big X'
Charles Bronson
Flight Lt. Danny Velinski 'The Tunnel King'
James Donald
Group Capt. Ramsey 'The SBO'
Donald Pleasence
Flight Lt. Colin Blythe 'The Forger'
James Coburn
Flying Officer Louis Sedgwick 'The Manufacturer'
David McCallum
Lt. Cmdr. Eric Ashley-Pitt 'Dispersal'
Gordon Jackson
Flight Lt. Sandy MacDonald 'Intelligence'
John Leyton
Flight Lt. William Dickes 'The Tunneler'
Angus Lennie
Flying Officer Archibald Ives 'The Mole'
Nigel Stock
Flight Lt. Denys Cavendish 'The Surveyor'
Robert Desmond
Griffith 'Tailor'
Tom Adams
Dai Nimmo ('Diversions')
Lawrence Montaigne
Haynes ('Diversions')
Hannes Messemer
Kommandant von Luger
Robert Graf
Werner 'The Ferret'
James Clavell
Screenwriter
W. R. Burnett
Screenwriter
Elmer Bernstein
Original Music
Daniel L. Fapp
Cinematographer
Ferris Webster
Film Editing
Kurt Ripberger
Set Decoration
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News & Interviews for The Great Escape

Critic Reviews for The Great Escape

Audience Reviews for The Great Escape

  • May 29, 2022
    A distorted re-telling of the actual 1944 escape from a heavily fortified German POW camp by mostly British soldiers. Implausibility reeks throughout the film, but it doesn't quell the the bravura filmmaking. And, even though the movie is heavily Americanized it's recognized in the UK as a favorite "family war movie."
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • May 22, 2016
    One of the great epic films. The Great Escape starts off slowly but is so full of detail. The film builds to its ultimate finale, and has one of the greatest action sequences in history: Steve McQueen's motorcycle chase. I have lost count how many times i have seen this. Its rewatchability is unrivaled.
    Peter B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 27, 2012
    Exciting, action-packed film. I think this is McQueen's best performance.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 27, 2012
    Funny how there are only three american characters in this film, yet they manage to make the film all about them. The Great Escapce is fun, it aged actually pretty well, but it's nothing mot. McQueen reminds of Michael Keaton; or should I say that Keaton reminds me of Steve McQueen.
    Hugo S Super Reviewer

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