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!
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.
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/
Once considered one of the great action films but very slow by today's standards. Performances vary greatly in quality and the storyline had been done better previously and again later. Attenborough very good here. Berstein music is so reminscient of 'Bridge on the River Kwai' to be considered duplicated in nature. A film that seems to lose its power with each viewing much like the work of McQueen in general.
No one really talks about how paradoxical the tone of this film is, which establishes the Nazis as soft officials receptive to a good prank and concludes with them systemically murdering fifty of the film's 'jolly' protagonists. I enjoy the film greatly, I just wanted to share the thought.