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426. The Great Escape; movie review

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Title : 426. The Great Escape; movie review
link : 426. The Great Escape; movie review

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Cert PG
165 mins
BBFC advice: Contains mild violence, language, injury detail

I hadn't seen The Great Escape in a decade or so but I could still mouth many many phrases before they were uttered on screen.
That shouldn't be too surprising because it used to be THE film which was on telly during what seemed to be every holiday season.
Its re-release in 2019, was akin to visiting a dear old friend, hoping they were still in good health.
I am delighted to report that they were. Well, actually most of the cast are dead but the film still looks great.
I still get a buzz when Steve McQueen gets sent to the cooler, am anxious when the tunnel caves in on Charles Bronson and shout at the screen hoping that Gordon Jackson doesn't lose his concentration and reply in English to German guards as he is escaping.
Two surprises were that, until now, I hadn't known that the film was directed by John Sturges whose CV includes Gunfight At The OK Corral, The Magnificent Seven and Ice Station Zebra!
What a man!
I also hadn't twigged that The Great Escape is not far short of three hours.
I have moaned consistently about the length of movies this year and this would indicate that the problem is less about the time it takes and more about the quality of the film.
Anyway, I could rabbit on about The Great Escape ad nauseam but really don't have the time. It is simply a classic and I would happily sit down and watch it all over again.

Reasons to watch: A classic
Reasons to avoid: Probably be seen to be a bit twee by today's standards

Laughs: None
Jumps: None
Vomit: None
Nudity: None
Overall rating: 9.5/10

Did you know? Stalag Luft III was a POW camp in modern-day Poland run by the Luftwaffe. It was an officer-only camp located near Sagan (Zagan) that opened in 1942. 

The final word. Lawrence Montaigne: "One week into the shooting, Steve McQueen decided he didn’t like his role in the script and we shut down for a week while a writer came in from California to rectify his grievance. At that time, I had signed a contract for only five weeks since in the original script I didn’t escape. But when the revisions came down, much to my surprise, I got out of the camp as a German soldier (probably because I speak the language) and eventually I ran nineteen weeks on the shoot.” War History Online

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