Most popular genres

» Drama
» Comedy
» Psychological drama
» Animation

The Great Escape 1963 film review

The Great Escape 1963 film review

The Great Escape (1963, United States)

Running time
172 minutes
Our rating
★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ 6 / 10

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.

add comment

Comment below

The Great Escape 1963 add comment
The Great Escape 1963 add comment

Watch The Great Escape

Watch The Great EscapeWatch The Great EscapeWatch The Great Escape

The Great Escape videos

The Great Escape

The Great Escape

Creators of The Great Escape

John Sturges films

John Sturges


James Clavell films

James Clavell


W.R. Burnett films

W.R. Burnett


Paul Brickhill films

Paul Brickhill


Cast of The Great Escape

Steve McQueen films

Steve McQueen

as Captain Virgil Hilts

James Garner films

James Garner

as Lieutenant Bob Hendley

Richard Attenborough films

Richard Attenborough

as Squadron Leader Roger Bartlett

James Donald films

James Donald

as Group Captain Ramsey

Charles Bronson films

Charles Bronson

as Lieutenant Danny Velinski

Donald Pleasence films

Donald Pleasence

as Lieutenant Colin Blythe

James Coburn films

James Coburn

as Flying Officer Louis Sedgwick

Hannes Messemer films

Hannes Messemer

as Oberst von Luger

David McCallum films

David McCallum

as Lieutenant Eric Ashley-Pitt

Gordon Jackson films

Gordon Jackson

as Lieutenant Andrew MacDonald

John Leyton films

John Leyton

as Lieutenant William Dickes

Angus Lennie films

Angus Lennie

as Flight Officer Archibald Ives

Nigel Stock films

Nigel Stock

as Lieutenant Dennis Cavendish

The Great Escape 1963 add comment
The Great Escape 1963 add comment
The Great Escape 1963 add comment
The Great Escape 1963 add comment

Trivia about The Great Escape

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.

The Great Escape 1963 add comment

The Great Escape quotes

Flying Officer Louis Sedgwick: [during the escape attempt between Russian prisoners] Danny, do you speak Russian?
Lieutenant Danny Velinski: A little, but only one sentence.
Flying Officer Louis Sedgwick: Well, let me have it, mate.
Lieutenant Danny Velinski: Ya vas lyublyu.
Flying Officer Louis Sedgwick: Ya ya vas...
Lieutenant Danny Velinski: Lyublyu.
Flying Officer Louis Sedgwick: Lyubliu? Ya vas lyubliu. Ya vas lyublyu. What’s it mean?
Lieutenant Danny Velinski: I love you.
Flying Officer Louis Sedgwick: Love you? What bloody good is that?
Lieutenant Danny Velinski: I don’t know, I wasn’t going to use it myself.

Herr Kuhn: We have reason to believe this prisoner is the mastermind behind numerous criminal escape attempts.
Oberst von Luger: [sarcastically] Squadron Leader Bartlett has been three months in your care! And the Gestapo has only "reason to believe"!