The Great Escape

MGM Released 1963


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Movie Summary

John Sturges
Not Available
The Great Escape is based on a true story about World War II prisoners of war (POWs) and how they attempted one of the most elaborate prison escapes of their time. Captain Hilt (Steve McQueen) and his soldiers are held at a POW camp in Nazi Germany. With the chance of rescue being slim and conditions worsening in the camp, the men decide to escape. Each man is given a special task, such as creating fake identification for each soldier to use on the 'outside' as well as tailoring clothes in order for them to go unnoticed, and not stand out as prisoners of war. Through careful planning and construction, the entire camp starts to excavate and build an underground tunnel with the hopes of getting past the guards, the guns, and eventually the prison wall. If and when they make it past the fence, will they be able to make it back to their beloved home country?


Metacritic Score

  • 100


    The final act of The Great Escape is a masterfully sustained piece of action and tension as the various escapees struggle for freedom via train, bicycle, motorbike, row boat and hi...

  • 88

    Slant Magazine Chris Cabin

    The Great Escape is that rare war film that doesn't fully indulge in assumed nationalism, save for the fact that everyone speaks English. Sturges never touches on the essential hol...

  • 70

    Time Out

    Uneven but entertaining World War II escape drama, which even when it first appeared seemed very old-fashioned. Worth seeing the last half hour, if nothing else, for one of the bes...

James Coburn

James Coburn

Sedgwick 'The Manufacturer'

Charles Bronson

Charles Bronson

Danny 'Tunnel King'

Donald Pleasence

Donald Pleasence

Blythe 'The Forger'

James Garner

James Garner

Hendley 'The Scrounger'

Richard Attenborough

Richard Attenborough

Bartlett 'Big X'

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Sedgwick : Danny, do you speak Russian?
      Danny: A little, but only one sentence.
      Sedgwick : Well, let me have it, mate.
      Danny: Ya vas lyublyu.
      Sedgwick: Ya ya vas...
      Danny: Lyublyu.
      Sedgwick: Lyubliu? Ya vas lyubliu. Ya vas lyublyu. What's it mean?
      Danny: I love you.
      Sedgwick: Love you. What bloody good is that?
      Danny: I don't know, I wasn't going to use it myself.

  • NOTES (0)


More Info About This Movie


Classics, Historical, Military & War