Today we bring you the 1963 film The Great Escape, starring the badass most of us should know about, Steve McQueen as well as another badass Charles Bronson. This movie is based on (or said to be based on) a true story about a group of POW’s who planned an unthinkable escape from a Nazi Stalag, or prison camp.
After arriving at the camp, all of the prisoners immediately start scanning their surroundings in an attempt to escape, with some even getting pretty close. The squads’ leader, Bartlett, begins his plan to escape shortly after being interrogated by the SS. This plan involved tunnels as well as super detailed maps of the camp. The tunnels all had a nickname; Dick, Tom and Harry. The rest of the flick takes you on an enjoyable ride as you follow the fugitives out of the Stalag and to freedom, as well as an awesome motorcycle chase, lead by the “not that frequently on screen” McQueen.
The 1080p transfer is alright for a movie made back in the 1960’s. It is definitely not a movie you will be like “oh wow look at that picture!!!”, but it is certainly watchable. Other than that, i feel like the restoration was decent and the viewer, if excited to see this film, will enjoy seeing it brought back in a “clearer” visual spectacle.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is actually a pleasant surprise. The voices are clear and crisp as is the soundtrack that goes along with the movie. Also noticeable are the sounds of the prison life as well as the ambient noises and surrounding sounds. Overall great quality!
The Great Escape: Bringing Fact to Fiction: One of a group of short documentaries produced for MGM in 2001 by The History Channel and narrated by Burt Reynolds!!!
The Great Escape: Preparations for Freedom: This 2001 History Channel featurette shows the real escape efforts by the prisoners at Stalag Luft III, which were accurately depicted in the film
The Great Escape: The Flight to Freedom: This 2001 History Channel featurette compares the film’s account of the escapees sprint to freedom against the of course less dramatically depicted escape of the actual survivors
The Great Escape: A Standing Ovation: This 2001 History Channel featurette basically focuses on the reputation of the film.
The Great Escape: The Untold Story: This is a 2001 documentary made for British TV. Using interviews and re-enactments, it chronicles the successful Allied effort, after the war’s end, to identify and prosecute members of the Gestapo responsible for casualties among the escaped prisoners.
The Great Escape: The Untold Story—Additional Interviews
The Real Virgil Hilts: A Man Called Jones: A portrait of American Army pilot David Jones, who served as the inspiration for Steve McQueen’s character, told through interviews with Jones in 2001.
Return to The Great Escape: This 1993 Showtime documentary directed by Steven Jay Rubin features retrospective interviews with Garner, Pleasance and Coburn, among others, and provides an effective overview of the making of the film.
Original Theatrical Trailer: This is kind of cool to see.
Commentary with Director John Sturges, Cast and Crew:Feels less like a commentary piece and more like a series of interviews that have been stitched together
Overall a pretty cool restoration of a classic 60’s flick. Fans of this era will be delighted to relive this extraordinary film as well as viewers from a different generation to witness this basically impossible feat in American history! Enjoy