Fav Films of the 60’s ~ #10 ~ The Great Escape

20 Jun

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.
The film was based upon the factual book of the same name by Paul Brickhill, who observed the actual events as a prisoner.
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 Pleasence — The Great Escape is regarded as a classic and frequently repeated on television.
The march tune that serves as the film’s theme, written by Elmer Bernstein, has also become a classic. Though the film is today considered a classic, it was largely ignored at the 1963 Academy Awards. Ferris Webster’s film editing received the only nomination, though he lost to Harold F. Kress for How the West Was Won.

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