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Encyclopedia > The Great Escape
The Great Escape

Original regular movie poster
Directed by John Sturges
Produced by John Sturges
Written by Book:
Paul Brickhill
Screenplay:
James Clavell
W.R. Burnett
Starring Steve McQueen
James Garner
Richard Attenborough
James Donald
Charles Bronson
Donald Pleasence
James Coburn
John Leyton
David McCallum
Gordon Jackson
Nigel Stock
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) July 4, 1963
Running time 172 min
Language English
Budget $4,000,000
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

The Great Escape, written by James Clavell, W.R. Burnett, and Walter Newman (uncredited), and directed by John Sturges is a popular 1963 World War II film, based on a true story about Allied prisoners of war with a record for escaping from German prisoner-of-war camps. The Luftwaffe placed them in a new more secure camp, Stalag Luft III, from which they promptly formed a plan to break out 250 men. Image File history File links Great_escape. ... John Eliot Sturges (3 January 1911 – 18 August 1982) Known as The dean of big_budget action movies made during the 1950s and 1960. Sturges movies include The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Ice Station Zebra and Marooned (movie). ... John Eliot Sturges (3 January 1911 – 18 August 1982) Known as The dean of big_budget action movies made during the 1950s and 1960. Sturges movies include The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Ice Station Zebra and Marooned (movie). ... Paul Chester Jerome Brickhill (December 20, 1916 – April 23, 1991) was an Australian writer, whose World War II books were turned into popular movies. ... James Clavell in 1986 James Clavell (10 October 1924 – 7 September 1994) was a novelist, screenwriter, and World War II POW, who was famous for books such as Shogun, and such films as The Great Escape and To Sir, with Love. ... William Ripley Burnett (November 25, 1899 - April 25, 1982), often credited as W.R. Burnett, is a novelist and screenwriter. ... Steve McQueen (March 24, 1930 – November 7, 1980) was an American movie actor, nicknamed The King of Cool. He was one of the biggest box-office draws of the 1960s and 1970s due to a popular anti-hero persona. ... James Garner (born James Scott Baumgarner on April 7, 1928) is an American film and television actor. ... Sir Richard Samuel Attenborough, Baron Attenborough, CBE (born August 29, 1923) is a prolific English film and stage actor, and Academy Award, BAFTA and three-time Golden Globe winning director, producer and entrepreneur. ... James Donald in The Bridge on the River Kwai James Donald (May 18, 1917 - August 3, 1993) was a Scottish actor. ... For other persons named Charles Bronson, see Charles Bronson (disambiguation). ... Donald Pleasence, OBE (October 5, 1919 – February 2, 1995) was an English actor. ... James Coburn in Sam Peckinpahs Cross of Iron (1977). ... John Leyton is a British actor and singer. ... David Keith McCallum (born September 19, 1933) is a prolific Scottish actor and the son of concertmaster violinist David McCallum, Sr. ... Gordon Cameron Jackson, OBE (December 19, 1923 - January 15, 1990), was a prolific Scottish character actor, best known for his roles in the film The Great Escape, the spy thriller The Ipcress File, and the television series, Upstairs Downstairs (for which he won a best supporting actor Emmy Award) and... Nigel Stock (actor) Nigel Stock was a veteran British actor of stage, screen, radio and TV, known as a character actor in particular. ... Elmer Bernstein (pronounced Bern-steen[1]) (April 4, 1922 – August 18, 2004) was an Academy and two-time Golden Globe award winning film score composer. ... The current United Artists logo (a variant was used during the 1980s). ... For the United States holiday, the Fourth of July, see Independence Day (United States). ... 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1963 calendar). ... James Clavell in 1986 James Clavell (10 October 1924 – 7 September 1994) was a novelist, screenwriter, and World War II POW, who was famous for books such as Shogun, and such films as The Great Escape and To Sir, with Love. ... William Ripley Burnett (November 25, 1899 - April 25, 1982), often credited as W.R. Burnett, is a novelist and screenwriter. ... Walter Newman was born in New York City on 11 February 1916. ... John Eliot Sturges (3 January 1911 – 18 August 1982) Known as The dean of big_budget action movies made during the 1950s and 1960. Sturges movies include The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Ice Station Zebra and Marooned (movie). ... // Events January 28 - Filming begins on Dr. Strangelove. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Film is a term that encompasses individual motion pictures, the field of film as an art form, and the motion picture industry. ... The Allies of World War II were the countries officially opposed to the Axis powers during the Second World War. ... Geneva Convention definition A prisoner of war (POW) is a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine who is imprisoned by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict. ... A Prisoner-of-war camp is a site for the containment of persons captured by the enemy in time of war. ... This or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Stalag Luft III mockup. ...


The film was based upon the factual book of the same name by Paul Brickhill, who observed the actual events as a prisoner. Paul Chester Jerome Brickhill (December 20, 1916 – April 23, 1991) was an Australian writer, whose World War II books were turned into popular movies. ...


Featuring an all-star cast including Steve McQueen (whose motorcycle chase is the film's most remembered action scene; he also did many of his own stunts), James Garner, Richard Attenborough, James Coburn, Charles Bronson and Donald PleasenceThe Great Escape is regarded as a classic and frequently repeated on television. Steve McQueen (March 24, 1930 – November 7, 1980) was an American movie actor, nicknamed The King of Cool. He was one of the biggest box-office draws of the 1960s and 1970s due to a popular anti-hero persona. ... James Garner (born James Scott Baumgarner on April 7, 1928) is an American film and television actor. ... Sir Richard Samuel Attenborough, Baron Attenborough, CBE (born August 29, 1923) is a prolific English film and stage actor, and Academy Award, BAFTA and three-time Golden Globe winning director, producer and entrepreneur. ... James Coburn in Sam Peckinpahs Cross of Iron (1977). ... For other persons named Charles Bronson, see Charles Bronson (disambiguation). ... Donald Pleasence, OBE (October 5, 1919 – February 2, 1995) was an English actor. ...


The march tune that serves as the film's theme, written by Elmer Bernstein, has also become a classic. The Stars and Stripes Forever by John Philip Sousa is considered amongst the greatest marches ever written. ... Elmer Bernstein (pronounced Bern-steen[1]) (April 4, 1922 – August 18, 2004) was an Academy and two-time Golden Globe award winning film score composer. ...

Contents

Synopsis

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

The German High Command becomes annoyed by the men and resources wasted recapturing escaping prisoners of war, so it takes the most determined and successful and moves them to a brand new, high-security prison camp, which the commandant, von Luger (Hannes Messemer), proclaims escape proof. The most dangerous of all, Squadron Leader Roger Bartlett (Richard Attenborough), known as "Big X", is dropped off by the Gestapo, who warn him that if he ever escapes again he will be shot. Prisoner of War camps Contents // Categories: Substubs | Prisons and detention centres ... Commandant is a military or police title or rank and can mean any of the following: The commander of certain military corps and services, such as the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Commandant of the Coast Guard in the United States or the Commandant of the (now obsolete... Hannes Messemer (May 19, 1924 - November 2, 1991) was a German actor who acted the role as the commandant in The Great Escape (1963). ... A Squadron Leaders sleeve/shoulder insignia Squadron Leader is a commissioned rank in some air forces. ... Sir Richard Samuel Attenborough, Baron Attenborough, CBE (born August 29, 1923) is a prolific English film and stage actor, and Academy Award, BAFTA and three-time Golden Globe winning director, producer and entrepreneur. ... This article or section includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ...


When he finds himself locked up with "every escape artist in Germany", Bartlett immediately begins planning the largest escape ever attempted. Teams of men are organized to survey, dig, hide the dirt, manufacture civilian clothing, forge documents, provide security and distractions, and procure contraband materials. Hendley (James Garner), the "scrounger," finds ingeniously devious ways to get whatever the others need, from a camera to identity cards. Sedgwick (James Coburn), the "manufacturer," makes many of the tools they need, such as picks for digging and bellows for pumping breathable air into the tunnels. Danny Velinski (Charles Bronson), the "tunnel king", is in charge of digging, while forgery is handled by Colin Blythe (Donald Pleasence). Meanwhile, "Cooler King" Hilts (Steve McQueen) manages to irritate the German guards with a combination of his frequent escapes and his smart-aleck behavior. This article is about the study of escapology. ... James Garner (born James Scott Baumgarner on April 7, 1928) is an American film and television actor. ... James Coburn in Sam Peckinpahs Cross of Iron (1977). ... For other persons named Charles Bronson, see Charles Bronson (disambiguation). ... Donald Pleasence, OBE (October 5, 1919 – February 2, 1995) was an English actor. ... Steve McQueen (March 24, 1930 – November 7, 1980) was an American movie actor, nicknamed The King of Cool. He was one of the biggest box-office draws of the 1960s and 1970s due to a popular anti-hero persona. ...


The prisoners work on three escape tunnels ("Tom", "Dick" and "Harry") simultaneously. After the first tunnel is discovered, they put all their efforts into completing the third.


The last part of the tunnel is completed on the night of the escape, but is found to be twenty feet short of the woods that would provide cover. Nevertheless, seventy-six men escape before one is finally spotted coming out of the tunnel.


After various attempts to reach neutral Switzerland, Sweden, and Spain, including Hilts' famous motorcycle chase at the Swiss border, almost all of the escapees are recaptured or killed. Only three (Danny and Willie, the two "tunnel kings," and Sedgwick, the "manufacturer") evade capture and make it to safety. Instead of being returned to camp, fifty of the captured prisoners, including Bartlett, are taken to an open field and shot. Senior British Officer Group Captain Ramsey (James Donald) learns of the massacre from von Luger, who has been relieved of command. James Donald in The Bridge on the River Kwai James Donald (May 18, 1917 - August 3, 1993) was a Scottish actor. ... Photographs of the My Lai massacre provoked world outrage and made it an international scandal. ...

Spoilers end here.

The real events

Steve McQueen on the set with the film's technical advisor, ex-POW Wally Floody, who was one of the tunnelers involved in the real Great Escape.
Steve McQueen on the set with the film's technical advisor, ex-POW Wally Floody, who was one of the tunnelers involved in the real Great Escape.

Although many elements of the film are based on fact, real-life men and events are condensed in the film. Thus James Garner's character of Hendley represents several blackmailers and suppliers. Similarly the forger, played by Donald Pleasance in the movie, is actually a composite of at least two men, Tim Walenn and James Hill. Image File history File links Steve_McQueen_and_Wally_Floody_001. ... Image File history File links Steve_McQueen_and_Wally_Floody_001. ... Steve McQueen (March 24, 1930 – November 7, 1980) was an American movie actor, nicknamed The King of Cool. He was one of the biggest box-office draws of the 1960s and 1970s due to a popular anti-hero persona. ... F/Lt Wally Floody (Clark Wallace Floody) was a Canadian mining engineer and Spitfire pilot in WWII. He was imprisoned at the POW camp Stalag Luft III where in the course of escape attempts by Commonwealth and European prisoners he was responsible for the tunnel traps and their camouflage. ... James Garner (born James Scott Baumgarner on April 7, 1928) is an American film and television actor. ... Forgery is the process of making or adapting objects or documents (see false document), with the intention to deceive (fraud is the use of objects obtained through forgery). ... Donald Pleasence (October 5, 1919 - February 2, 1995) was a British actor. ...


Elements of the film based on fact:

  • Three tunnels were dug, shored up and lit much as portrayed in the film. One of them was discovered by the Germans just as it was on the verge of completion. Sand from the tunnels was put in bags which were hidden in the prisoners' trousers. The prisoners would wander around the camp and pins sealing the bags would be released, spreading the dirt over the compound. The men doing this job were known as "penguins".
  • POWs who came up with plans to escape needed permission to proceed from the Escape Committee. This was in order to avoid conflicting escape plans from cancelling each other out: an escaping prisoner being caught by the guards could cause the alarm to be raised and ruin another escape attempt. (Thus Hilts and Ives need Bartlett's go-ahead before proceeding with their attempt to dig under the wire.)
  • Due to some miscalculation the tunnel used in the actual escape did come short of the trees, but the escape had to proceed or the forged papers would no longer be valid. The prisoners really did fabricate the aforementioned papers as well as their 'escape suits'.
  • Only 76 of the projected 250 men escaped the camp and an air raid did take place during the break-out. And, as shown in the film, only three POWs managed to get out of Germany and into neutral territory: in real life they were Norwegians Per Bergsland and Jens Müller who escaped to Sweden and Dutchman Bram van der Stok who finally reached Spain.
  • 50 of those recaptured were murdered by the Gestapo, a serious violation of the Geneva Convention. Investigations made after the war led to the arrest, conviction and, in many cases, execution of those involved.
  • Roger Bartlett, Richard Attenborough's character, was based on Roger Bushell, the real-life mastermind of the escape, who was regarded as a brilliant organiser and leader of men.
  • Danny Velinski, Charles Bronson's character, is generally considered to have been based principally on Wally Floody, Canadian mining engineer and pilot, who also acted as a technical advisor for the film. He was transferred before the actual escape. The character is also considered to represent F/Lt Ernst Valenta, F/O Danny Krol, and F/O Wlodzimierz Adam Kolanowski who were involved in the design and maintenance of the tunnels. They participated in the escape but were captured and shot.[1]

One important factor which was kept out of the film was the help the escapers got from outside the camp as far back as their home countries. Prisoners-of-war received much material from home which proved invaluable for this and many other escapes. Acting through secret agencies such as MI9, families from Allied nations would send maps, papers, tools and disguise material hidden in gifts like books, food and harmless-looking objects: a small map of Germany could be concealed inside a pen for example. Ex-POWs asked the filmmakers not to include this kind of detail as they were concerned it could jeopardise the chances of future prisoners escaping, especially since the Vietnam War was still at its height.[2] Per Bergsland was a Norwegian POW in the German POW camp called Stalag Luft III. In the event that has later been know as The Great Escape, he, and fellow Norwegian Jens Muller, were among the 76 prisoners of war that managed to escape the camp. ... Jens Müller in capture in Stalag Luft III. Photo courtesy Jonathan F. Vance, Canada Research Chair, The University of Western Ontario. ... Motto (French) Ik zal handhaven(Dutch) I shall stand fast1 Anthem Het Wilhelmus Netherlands() – on the European continent() – in the European Union() [] Capital (and largest city) Amsterdam2 Official languages Dutch3 Recognised regional languages Low Saxon, Limburgish Ethnic groups  80. ... Bram van der Stok Born on October 13, 1915 in Sumatra, Bram van der Stok, also referred to as Bob van der Stok, was the most decorated aviator in Dutch history, as well as one of the few to escape from the German POW camp Stalag Luft III. // Personal Life... This article or section includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... The Geneva Conventions consist of treaties formulated in Geneva, Switzerland that set the standards for international law for humanitarian concerns. ... Sir Richard Samuel Attenborough, Baron Attenborough, CBE (born August 29, 1923) is a prolific English film and stage actor, and Academy Award, BAFTA and three-time Golden Globe winning director, producer and entrepreneur. ... Roger Bushell in his RAF uniform shortly before his capture. ... For other persons named Charles Bronson, see Charles Bronson (disambiguation). ... F/Lt Wally Floody (Clark Wallace Floody) was a Canadian mining engineer and Spitfire pilot in WWII. He was imprisoned at the POW camp Stalag Luft III where in the course of escape attempts by Commonwealth and European prisoners he was responsible for the tunnel traps and their camouflage. ... MI9, the British Military Intelligence Section 9 (now defunct), was a department of the British War Office during World War II. It was charged with aiding resistance fighters in Nazi-controlled Europe and recovering Allied troops who found themselves behind enemy lines (e. ... The Allies of World War II were the countries officially opposed to the Axis powers during the Second World War. ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000...


The fictional events in the film

Richard Attenborough and Steve McQueen in The Great Escape

Elements of the film based not on fact included: Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Sir Richard Samuel Attenborough, Baron Attenborough, CBE (born August 29, 1923) is a prolific English film and stage actor, and Academy Award, BAFTA and three-time Golden Globe winning director, producer and entrepreneur. ... Steve McQueen (March 24, 1930 – November 7, 1980) was an American movie actor, nicknamed The King of Cool. He was one of the biggest box-office draws of the 1960s and 1970s due to a popular anti-hero persona. ...

  • The film depicts "Tom"'s entrance as being under a stove and "Harry"'s as being in a drain sump in a wash room. In actuality, "Dick"'s entrance was the drain sump, "Harry"'s was under the stove, and "Tom"'s was in a darkened corner.
  • No members of the American armed forces actually escaped. While many had worked very hard on the construction of both "Tom" and "Harry", by the time of the escape through Harry the American prisoners had been moved to a separate compound.
  • Hilts' dash by motorcycle for the border is fictional. It was made on the insistence of McQueen, a keen motorcyclist, and has become one of the most famous action scenes of 1960s classic cinema.
  • The theft of a German airplane by Hendley and Blythe is also fictitious, although there was a failed attempt by Lorne Welch and Walter Morison to steal a plane following the delousing party escape a year earlier.[3]
  • The murders of the 50 airmen were conducted in small numbers, not en masse. Usually as the prisoners were being driven by automobile, the men would be told to get out and stretch their legs, and would be killed by machine pistols or a gun pressed to their head. The actual murders, and the manhunt for the perpetrators after the war, is outlined in the book Exemplary Justice.
  • The Kommandant of Stalag Luft III was Oberst Von Liedener, unlike portrayed in the film.[4]

This article does not adequately cite its references. ... Patrick Palles Lorne Elphinstone Welch, (12 August 1916 — 15 May 1998), known as Lorne Welch, was an engineer, pilot and Colditz prisoner of war. ... Commandant is a military or police title or rank and can mean any of the following: The commander of certain military corps and services, such as the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Commandant of the Coast Guard in the United States or the Commandant of the (now obsolete...

Other 'great' escapes

While 76 prisoners did escape from Stalag Luft III, larger escapes occurred during World War II:

  • The Cowra breakout, August 1944, Australia: 545 Japanese POWs attempted escape and/or suicide. 231 prisoners and four Australian soldiers were killed and the surviving escapees were recaptured.
  • At Sobibór extermination camp in October 1943, about 300 prisoners escaped. Only about 50 escapers survived the war. They killed at least 11 SS and Trawniki in the lead-up to the break.
  • The escape from Oflag XVII-A Doellersheim, Germany. Of 131 French soldiers in September 1943 only two succeeded in evading recapture.

Cowra POW Camp, 1 July, 1944. ... Sobibór was a Nazi German extermination camp that was part of Operation Reinhard, the official German name was SS-Sonderkommando Sobibor. ... The   (German for Protective Squadron), abbreviated (Runic) or SS (Latin), was a large security and military organization of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party) in Germany. ... Trawniki was a Nazi labour camp in occupied Poland during the Second World War, under the command of HauptsturmfÇ–hrer Theodor von Eupen. ... Oflag XVII-A, was a German Army prisoner-of-war camp in World War II for officers. ...

Sequels and remakes

Ratings
Australia:  PG
Finland:  K-16
Germany:  12
Iceland:  12
Norway:  16
Portugal:  M/12
Sweden:  15
United Kingdom:  PG
United States:  PG

A highly fictionalized, made-for-television sequel, The Great Escape II: The Untold Story, appeared many years later. It starred Christopher Reeve with Pleasence as an SS villain. A motion picture rating system categorizes films with regard to suitability for children and/or adults in terms of issues such as sex, violence and profanity. ... British Board of Film Classification logo The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), originally British Board of Film Censors, is the organisation responsible for film and some video game classification and censorship within the United Kingdom. ... The MPAA film rating system is a system used in the United States and territories and instituted by the Motion Picture Association of America to rate a movie based on its content. ... The Great Escape II: The Untold Story (1988) was a highly-fictionalized, made-for-TV sequel to the 1963 movie The Great Escape. ... Christopher Reeve (September 25, 1952 – October 10, 2004) was an American actor, director, producer and writer. ... SS or ss or Ss may be: The Schutzstaffel, a Nazi paramilitary force Steamship (SS) (ship prefix) The United States Secret Service A submarine not powered by nuclear energy (SS) (United States Navy designator), see SSN A Soviet/Russian surface-to-surface missile, as listed by NATO reporting name Shortstop...


The Bollywood film Deewar: Let's Bring Our Heroes Back is based loosely on the same plot, although it involves a prisoner's (Amitabh Bachchan) son (Akshay Khanna) aiding the escape from without.


The Great Escape in popular culture

  • An ad for beer was made in the early 1990s and shown on British TV. It featured some of McQueen's scenes from the film and included additional footage with Griff Rhys Jones.
  • Some ads for the Hummer H3 in the fall of 2006 played the tune, as the employees of a nondescript company plot a "Great escape" to drive their Hummers.
  • An Australian Shell Oil television commercial from 1988 paid homage to Hilts' motorbike escape by having the hero escape German soldiers but not before filling up his motorbike at an abandoned Shell petrol station. However, unlike the movie, the hero manages to jump the last barricade and escape into the distance.
  • This commercial was parodied in an episode of Fast Forward, with a different ending. After completing the jump, the hero looks back in triumph, and is promptly gunned down by his pursuers. The commercial's motto is then shown: "There is more than one kind of Shell".
  • In The Simpsons episode A Streetcar Named Marge (1992), Maggie plots a "Great Escape" from the Ayn Rand School for Tots.
  • The popular sitcom Hogan's Heroes was a spoof based on The Great Escape and Stalag 17.
  • In Red Dwarf episode "Queeg", Holly begins whistling the tune as a plan is set in motion to oppose the demanding backup computer Queeg, while Lister and The Cat scrub the floor to his whistling.
  • The animated film Chicken Run (2000) contains many references. The film also references Stalag 17, considered (along with "Escape") to be one of the greatest World War II prisoner-of-war movies.
  • The Great Escape theme tune is used in an Australian beer advertisement for Tooheys, where people launch beer brewing ingredients into the sky, eventually producing "beer rain".
  • In the first Charlie's Angels movie, the character Bosley (played by Bill Murray), while being held hostage by the criminals, has a baseball glove and is sitting on the floor throwing a baseball against the wall like Steve McQueen.
  • Owing to the fame and popularity of the film, countless other references are made in many other adverts, TV programmes and movies alike.
  • In football at the England National team games a group of fans called The England Supporters Band plays the great escape tune with musical instruments (especially trumpet and drum) and the fans sing and clap to the tune.
  • An episode of The Life and Times of Juniper Lee shares the same name of the movie.
  • In the PS2 video game Metal Gear Solid 3, the character Major Zero initially adopts the codename "Major Tom", in reference to the name of the tunnel used in The Great Escape to successfully escape. However, after the failure of the first mission, Zero reveals that, upon watching the film again, the tunnel "Tom" was one of the two discovered by the Stalag guards. He then returns to using "Major Zero," believing that his mistake brought bad luck upon the Virtuous Mission.
  • British stand-up comedian Eddie Izzard's 1997 "Dress To Kill" performance included an 8-minute segment about "The Great Escape" in which Izzard humorously questioned the plausibility of the movie's plot and the demoralizing fact that all the British characters ended tragically despite all their cunning and planning while the Americans--notably Steve McQueen--survive. Known for his surrealist, stream-of-consciousness type of stand-up comedy, Izzard would digress often during this particular routine as he tried to remember all the characters and actors. This is exemplified best on the CD version of "Dress To Kill" where Izzard gets heckled by a fan during the Great Escape bit, demanding that Izzard "moves on".
  • An Australian music festival, held at Newington Armoury within the Homebush Olympic Development, bears the same name as the movie. The festival originated as The Cockatoo Island Festival in 2005 but, due to its popularity, was moved to Newington and the name changed to The Great Escape for the 2006 festival, which was held over the Easter long weekend. Following its success in 2006, The Great Escape will return to Newington Armoury over the Easter long weekend 2007.
  • British comedy series Monty Python's Flying Circus once referenced The Great Escape; in the episode "Mr And Mrs Brian Norris' Ford Popular", a sketch featured three spokesmen for the weight-loss aid "Trim-Jeans", who were hosting "Trim-Jeans Theatre Presents", which featured adaptations of famous films and plays featuring characters clad in Trim-Jeans and making references to losing weight during their performance. The highlight of the show was "the Trim-Jeans version of 'The Great Escape', with a cast of thousands losing well over fifteen hundred inches", and which featured nearly everyone in the film (Allied escapees and German guards--and even their guard dogs) involved in a massive chase following the POW escape; a caption appeared during the chase proclaiming "INCHES LOST SO FAR" with a counter that increased as the chase went on.
  • Denton Designs and Ocean produced a 3D isometric game inspired by the film in 1986, for ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, DOS and Amstrad CPC.
  • In Reservoir Dogs the beginning lines feature Mr. Brown (Quentin Tarantino) referring to a man as being similar to Charles Bronson in The Great Escape ads in "he's digging tunnels".

Griff Rhys Jones (born 16 November 1953) is a British comedian, writer and actor. ... Hummer is a brand of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) sold by General Motors, also known as GM. They are based on the military High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, or Humvee. ... A Shell petrol station sign in the UK The Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies (called Shell Oil in North America), has its headquarters split between the Shell Centre in London, United Kingdom and The Hague, Netherlands. ... Fast Forward was an Australian commercial television sketch comedy show that ran for 95 episodes from 12 April 1989 to 26 November 1992. ... A shell is a projectile, which, as opposed to a bullet, contains an explosive or other filling, though modern usage includes large solid projectiles previously termed shot (AP, APCR, APCNR, APDS, APFSDS and Proof shot). ... Simpsons redirects here. ... A Streetcar Named Marge is the second episode of The Simpsons fourth season. ... This is a list of television-related events in 1992. ... Margaret Maggie Simpson is a fictional character featured in the animated television series The Simpsons. ... Ayn Rand (IPA: , February 2 [O.S. January 20] 1905 – March 6, 1982), born Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum (Russian: ), was a Russian-born American novelist and philosopher,[1] best known for developing Objectivism and for writing the novels We the Living, The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged and the novella Anthem. ... Hogans Heroes was an American television situation comedy that ran from September 17, 1965 to July 4, 1971 on the CBS network for 168 episodes. ... Stalag 17 is a 1953 war film which tells the story of a group of American G.I.s held in a German World War II prisoner of war camp who come to believe one of their number is a traitor. ... An artists impression of a planet in orbit around a red dwarf According to the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, a red dwarf star is a small and relatively cool star, of the main sequence, either late K or M spectral type. ... Character descriptions and casting details for the Red Dwarf BBC sitcom and series of novels by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor. ... This article is about the movie. ... This is a list of film-related events in 2000. ... Stalag 17 is a 1953 war film which tells the story of a group of American G.I.s held in a German World War II prisoner of war camp who come to believe one of their number is a traitor. ... This article is about the television series. ... William James Bill Murray (b. ... Steve McQueen (March 24, 1930 – November 7, 1980) was an American movie actor, nicknamed The King of Cool. He was one of the biggest box-office draws of the 1960s and 1970s due to a popular anti-hero persona. ... The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, also known as Juniper Lee for short, is an American animated television series, created by Judd Winick and produced by Cartoon Network Studios. ... PS2 can mean: PlayStation 2 (Sony PS2), sixth-generation video game console PS/2 (IBM Personal System/2 office PCs, or the interface standard for mice and keyboards that the PS/2 series set) Phantasy Star II, second in the Phantasy Star seiries of video games. ... Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (commonly abbreviated MGS3) is a stealth-based game directed by Hideo Kojima, developed and published by Konami for the PlayStation 2. ... This article or section contains a plot summary that is overly long. ... Edward John Eddie Izzard (born February 7, 1962) is a British stand-up comedian and actor; famous for his cross-dressing, he describes himself as an executive or action transvestite. ... This article discusses the series itself. ... Animated map exhibiting the worlds oceanic waters. ... The ZX Spectrum is a home computer released in the United Kingdom in 1982 by Sinclair Research Ltd. ... The Commodore 64 is the best-selling single personal computer model of all time. ... Instructions on how to use the directory command. ... The Amstrad CPC was a series of 8-bit home computers produced by Amstrad during the 1980s and early 1990s. ... Reservoir Dogs is the 1992 debut feature film of director Quentin Tarantino. ... Quentin Jerome Tarantino (born March 27, 1963) is an American film director, actor, and Academy Award-winning screenwriter. ...

Additional production information

  • Steve McQueen, an expert motorbiker, did most of his own motorbike stunts, but some of the more dangerous stunts required the use of a double. Bud Ekins, a friend and fellow motorbike enthusiast, happened to resemble McQueen sufficiently, from a distance, to be able to do the stunts without audience members detecting the double. Ekins was only on-screen for a few seconds, and his few shots were flawlessly edited together with the many individual shots of McQueen riding alongside and between the fences. Ekins performed the 60-foot (≈18 m) jump over the inner Austrian/Swiss border fence. He also did the scene sliding his bike into the outer fence. According to the DVD extra, McQueen did much of the bike work, even doubling as one of his own helmeted German pursuers. Ekins also later doubled for McQueen in Bullitt.
  • As noted by David McCallum in the DVD extra, the "barbed wire" that Hilts (Steve McQueen) crashed into in the scene described above, was actually made of little strips of rubber tied around normal wire, and was made by the cast and crew during their free time.
  • The movie debuted at Culver Military Academy in Indiana because the Commandant of the Academy was an allied prisoner of war in World War II and consultant on the film.
  • Donald Pleasence had actually served in the Royal Air Force during World War II. He was shot down, and spent a year in a German prisoner-of-war camp. Screenwriter James Clavell served in the Royal Artillery, and was captured by the Japanese. He was interned in Java and later to the notorious Changi Prison camp in Singapore. In an archival interview in the DVD special, Pleasence said the prison camp was sufficiently realistic and that it was upsetting at first.

Steve McQueen (March 24, 1930 – November 7, 1980) was an American movie actor, nicknamed The King of Cool. He was one of the biggest box-office draws of the 1960s and 1970s due to a popular anti-hero persona. ... For other persons named Charles Bronson, see Charles Bronson (disambiguation). ... James Coburn in Sam Peckinpahs Cross of Iron (1977). ... John Eliot Sturges (3 January 1911 – 18 August 1982) Known as The dean of big_budget action movies made during the 1950s and 1960. Sturges movies include The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Ice Station Zebra and Marooned (movie). ... Walter Newman was born in New York City on 11 February 1916. ... Ferris Webster (April 29, 1912–February 4, 1989), an American film editor, was nominated for Academy Awards for his work on The Blackboard Jungle (1955), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), and The Great Escape (1963). ... Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: The Magnificent Seven The Magnificent Seven is a 1960 western film directed by John Sturges, essentially an American remake of Shichinin no samurai (Seven Samurai). ... The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was an American television series that ran on NBC from September 22, 1964, to January 15, 1968, for 105 episodes (see 1964 in television and 1968 in television). ... David Keith McCallum (born September 19, 1933) is a prolific Scottish actor and the son of concertmaster violinist David McCallum, Sr. ... Robert Francis Vaughn (born November 22, 1932) is an American actor noted for stage, film and television work, and best known as suave spy Napoleon Solo in the popular 1960s TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., although he continues to be a popular television actor into... Steve McQueen (March 24, 1930 – November 7, 1980) was an American movie actor, nicknamed The King of Cool. He was one of the biggest box-office draws of the 1960s and 1970s due to a popular anti-hero persona. ... Motorcyclists take a break from the road A motorcycle or motorbike is a single-track, two-wheeled motor vehicle powered by an engine. ... Game title screen Stunts is a racing game from 1990. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Bullitt is a 1968 action crime mystery thriller film starring Steve McQueen, Robert Vaughn and Jacqueline Bisset, with Don Gordon, Robert Duvall, Carl Reindel, Felice Orlandi, Vic Tayback, Pat Renella, Paul Genge, Bill Hickman, Norman Fell and Brandy Carroll. ... Steve McQueen (March 24, 1930 – November 7, 1980) was an American movie actor, nicknamed The King of Cool. He was one of the biggest box-office draws of the 1960s and 1970s due to a popular anti-hero persona. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Culver Academies. ... Donald Pleasence, OBE (October 5, 1919 – February 2, 1995) was an English actor. ... The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the air force branch of the British Armed Forces. ... James Clavell in 1986 James Clavell (10 October 1924 – 7 September 1994) was a novelist, screenwriter, and World War II POW, who was famous for books such as Shogun, and such films as The Great Escape and To Sir, with Love. ... Tactical Recognition Flash of the Royal Artillery The Royal Regiment of Artillery, generally known as the Royal Artillery (RA), is, despite its name, a corps of the British Army. ... Java (Indonesian, Javanese, and Sundanese: Jawa) is an island of Indonesia and the site of its capital city, Jakarta. ... Changi chapel, built by Australian POWs in 1944, later relocated to Duntroon, Canberra Changi Prison (Simplified Chinese: ) is a prison located in Changi in the eastern part of Singapore. ... Talbot Nelson Conn Rothwell OBE (born November 12, 1916, died February 28, 1981) was born in Bromley, Kent, he had a variety of jobs during his early life; Town clerk, Police officer and Pilot. ... Roy Dotrice Roy Dotrice (born 26 May 1923) is a British actor. ... Peter Butterworth (February 4, 1919 - January 16, 1979) was an English comic actor who appeared in sixteen of the Carry On films. ... This article is about the British actor. ... The Great Escape is a video game based on the movie The Great Escape It was programmed by Denton Designs, who went on to produce the similarly acclaimed Where Time Stood Still. ... The Great Escape is a game based on the 1963 movie, The Great Escape. ... The 36th Academy Awards, honoring the best in film for 1963, were held on April 13, 1964 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica, California. ... Ferris Webster (April 29, 1912–February 4, 1989), an American film editor, was nominated for Academy Awards for his work on The Blackboard Jungle (1955), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), and The Great Escape (1963). ... For other articles named How the West Was Won, see the disambiguation page, How the West Was Won. ...

Books about The Great Escape

  • The Great Escape, Paul Brickhill.
  • The Longest Tunnel, Alan Burgess.
  • "Tre kom tilbake" (Three returned)", the Norwegian book by surviving escapee Jens Müller. Publ.: Gyldendal 1946.
  • The Wooden Horse, Eric Williams (about another escape from the same camp, Stalag Luft III).
  • Exemplary Justice, Allen Andrews. Details the manhunt by the Royal Air Force's special investigations unit after the war to find and bring to trial the perpetrators of the "Sagan murders".
  • Project Lessons from the Great Escape (Stalag Luft III), Mark Kozak-Holland. The prisoners formally structured their work as a project. This book analyzes their efforts using modern project management methods.

Paul Chester Jerome Brickhill (December 20, 1916 – April 23, 1991) was an Australian writer, whose World War II books were turned into popular movies. ... Jens Müller in capture in Stalag Luft III. Photo courtesy Jonathan F. Vance, Canada Research Chair, The University of Western Ontario. ... Gyldendal Norsk Forlag AS, in Norway commonly referred to as Gyldendal, is a Norwegian publishing house founded in 1925. ... The Wooden Horse is a 1950 2nd World War film starring Leo Genn, Anthony Steel and David Tomlinson. ... Eric Williams is an English author specializing in writing about prisoner of war escapes. ...

Notes

  1. ^ History in film - The Great Escape
  2. ^ The Great Escape: Heroes Underground documentary, available on The Great Escape DVD Special Edition.
  3. ^ Morison, Walter (1995). Flak and Ferrets. Sentinel Publishing. ISBN 1874767106. 
  4. ^ Carroll, Tim (2004). The Great Escapers. Mainstream Publishers. ISBN 1-84018-904-5. 

External links

John Sturges
1940s The Man Who Dared | Shadowed | Alias Mr. Twilight | For the Love of Rusty | Keeper of the Bees | The Sign of the Ram | Best Man Wins | The Walking Hills
1950s The Magnificent Yankee | The Capture | Mystery Street | Right Cross | Kind Lady | The People Against O'Hara | It's a Big Country (with Clarence Brown, Don Hartman, Richard Thorpe, Charles Vidor, Don Weis and William A. Wellman) | The Girl in White | Jeopardy | Fast Company | Escape from Fort Bravo | Bad Day at Black Rock | Underwater! | The Scarlet Coat | Backlash | Gunfight at the O.K. Corral | The Law and Jake Wade | The Old Man and the Sea | Last Train from Gun Hill | Never So Few
1960s The Magnificent Seven | By Love Possessed | Sergeants 3 | A Girl Named Tamiko | The Great Escape | The Satan Bug | The Hallelujah Trail | Hour of the Gun | Ice Station Zebra | Marooned
1970s Joe Kidd | Chino | McQ | The Eagle Has Landed

  Results from FactBites:
 
World War Two - The Great Escape (892 words)
The Great Escape, as it came to be known, was a mass escape attempt from the prisoner of war camp Stalag Luft III located near the Polish town of Sagan.
The discovery of 'Tom' was a major blow to the escape committee and all tunneling had to be suspended for a time to avoid further detection.
The commandant of Stalag Luft III, Lindeiner, was court-martialed by the Gestapo for not preventing the escape.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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