One of the most entertaining war films ever made. This ensemble cast is great as they try to escape a Nazi POW camp. Steve McQueen is at the height of his badass as he eludes Nazis on a motorcycle and throws a baseball against the wall of the hole not giving any fucks.
Some great filmmaking by Sturges throughout, but considering what we know about WWII, the Nazis seemed too lenient and unrealistically incapable in containing possible escapes. It could have been a masterpiece. Instead, it's a solid piece of entertainment.
Everything about The Great Escape oozes entertainment & excellence. For a start it may well have the best cast ever assembled; Attenborough, McQueen, Garner, Coburn, Bronson, Pleasence, etc! There's comedy, drama, suspense & a host of superb memorable characters involved. I really can't find any fault in The Great Escape, it's just a quality film from start to finish. They certainly don't make 'em like this anymore!
Sort of a cross between a caper movie and a war movie. Lots of planning and procedure during which we get to know the characters. Once the escape takes place we follow the fates of various characters as they succeed or fail in fulfilling their plans. A modern version of THE GREAT ESCAPE would undoubtedly be an all-out action movie. THE GREAT ESCAPE itself is a drama which http://letterboxd.com/mharbour/films/diary/
Doesn't quite stand the test of time. Somewhere in this movie there is a David Lean film that wants to get out. McQueen is not very convincing in this, his part is strangely unappealing. Despite the half tragic ending most of the time it comes across as if being a POW in Germany must have been tremendous fun.