I remember watching The Great Escape for the first time as a young boy and being completely enthralled. And now, 20-something years later, I’m just as enchanted by it and it remains one of the more memorable movies I’ve seen. It’s not your typical prisoner or war movie.
Based on a true story, the movie opens up in 1943 in a German POW camp built to hold the slipperiest prisoners captured in the war, which of course sets the stage for the assembly of the ultimate team of escape artists. This team, lead by the legendary “King of Cool” Steve Mcqueen, contrives and engineers the largest prison breakout ever attempted, and we’re taken along for the ride.
The actor performances are outstanding, the production values are surprisingly high for the time, and the writing is fantastic (no surprise here as the screenplay was a collaboration between John Sturges [The Magnificent Seven], James Clavell [Shogun], and W.R. Burnett [Little Caesar]).
If you’re looking for a movie to watch this weekend, give The Great Escape a go. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.