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7 February 2011
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I LOVE 1963

Great Escape
RealMedia: Critic Andrew Collins looks at the film's enduring appeal

The Great Escape

Based on the true story of a daring escape from a prison camp in WWII, this was one film to get the boys bonding. A definite 'macho movie' The Great Escape didn't even feature a female character until the second half of the film.

Famous for 'that bike stunt', Steve McQueen as Captain Hilts spent most of the film in solitary confinement for several escape attempts, gaining the nickname the 'cooler king'. The all star cast included Richard Attenborough as 'Big X', Donald Pleasence as 'the forger' and James Garner as 'the scrounger'.

Two of McQueen's cowboy chums in The Magnificent Seven also played a part in the escape, James Coburn as 'the manufacturer' and Charles Bronson as 'the tunnel king'.

You just have to admit that every time you watch the film you just hope against hope that the bike will make it over just once!

Oh and if you haven't seen it you're bound to find the regular re-runs just about every Xmas and bank holiday. But one things for sure you must have heard Elmer Bernstein's march theme.

Dee dee, dee dee 'd' dee dee ....

1963 Films: The Great Escape | The Birds | Cleopatra

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