The Great Escape (1963) is a classic film. Maybe not in the same way that Citizen Kane is a classic film, but it is still important to the art of cinema and has lasted for over fifty years. The film focuses on a group of ally soldiers in a german prison camp in the midst of World War II. There is a secret vow amongst all of the soldiers that if they are ever to be in a prison it is their duty to try and escape. Following this rule, the prisoners band together to try and break out. One prisoner, played by Steve McQueen at first does not want to cooperate and instead tries to break out on his own. Once again, I won’t go into the twists and turns of the plot but I will address some of the more memorable moments.
My personal favorite scenes are the break-out, obviously, and the Fourth of July celebration. All of the characters are lovable and interesting. Steve McQueen steals the show as the Cooler King and takes over every scene he is in. Richard Attenborough commands a powerful presence and is a believable leader. Charles Bronson plays the claustrophobic tunnel maker and brings a level of heart to the film. You really feel for the plight of the characters, when they win you are overjoyed and when they lose it takes a small chunk of your heart.
The film is full of fun and wonder. The adventure is believable and interesting, with interesting characters that you feel for and want to succeed. There is no slow moments, even when they are *SPOILERS* briefly out of the prison the anticipation is high and your emotional feelings are manipulated. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys classical films, or enjoys seeing the planning and build-up behind famous events. But be warned,this film is not high-paced and lacks a lot of action like modern prison breaks. The characters are all nuanced and speak softly. I enjoy it, and I hope you will to.