During World War II Germans organized especially guarded prison camp built using all the experience they got from previous prisoner escapes, so now they are almost certain that the escape is impossible. Here well educated and skilled Allied officers are sent, people like Captain Hilts, played by Steve McQueen, who specializes in escape attempts - he tries 17 times so far. But this time the prisoners prepare escape on large scale - not for 3 or 5 people, they plan to release 250 of the prisoners and equip them with everything they need to survive outside the camp. They not only dig 3 different tunnels that lead beyond the fences, but also they are preparing civilian clothes, documents, maps, etc.
The story is also full of personal dramas and difficult decisions - they all risked their lives during the preparations and the escape itself. And from the beginning until the very end we are kept in the dark - will the daring escape actually work? The film is based on facts: the "great escape" from the camp Stalag Luft III near Sagan in Poland. This is the first film on which later directors modelled their productions about prison escapes - based on the memoirs of the survivors of Stalag Luft III they described every detail of the plan and all the uneasy preparations they had to deal with. Even though it is based on the real events and almost 3 hours of running time it keeps viewer involved all the time. Also the cast is packed with great actors - from Steve McQueen to Richard Attenborough - that knew how to build their characters in realistic way.
The Great Escape
The Great Escape
as Captain Virgil Hilts
as Lieutenant Bob Hendley
as Squadron Leader Roger Bartlett
as Group Captain Ramsey
as Lieutenant Danny Velinski
as Lieutenant Colin Blythe
as Flying Officer Louis Sedgwick
as Oberst von Luger
as Lieutenant Eric Ashley-Pitt
as Lieutenant Andrew MacDonald
as Lieutenant William Dickes
as Flight Officer Archibald Ives
as Lieutenant Dennis Cavendish
|Escapees that made it|
Only three of the escapees taking part in Great Escape were not caught by the Germans - two Norwegians, Per Bergsland and Jens Müller, escaped to their home country through Stetin, Dutch Bram van der Stok escaped through France and reached British embassy in Madrid. Van der Stok was the only one that made it back to England and rejoined RAF.
Flying Officer Louis Sedgwick: [during the escape attempt between Russian prisoners] Danny, do you speak Russian?
Herr Kuhn: We have reason to believe this prisoner is the mastermind behind numerous criminal escape attempts.