Run time: 165 mins
John Sturges’ wartime classic returns to the big screen for the 75th anniversary of derring-do.
Imprisoned in a German POW camp, a group of Allied servicemen are intent on breaking out, not only to escape, but to also draw Nazi forces away from battle to search for fugitives. Outwitting their captors by secretly digging tunnels: ‘Tom, Dick & Harry’, only to find themselves in a frantic scramble for freedom as the prospect of escape becomes reality.
Steve McQueen’s role as “Cooler King” Hilts has become iconic, just as speeding away from the chasing German platoon on his filched Gerry motorbike, has become one of cinema’s most enduring moments. If you’ve only ever seen this slumped in front of the box in a turkey-heap at Christmas, it’s a moment of motion picture history worth experiencing on the grandest scale.
2019 has seen the passing of the last two heroes involved in Stalag Luft III’s mass breakout. Two of two hundred. The Great Escape celebrates the intelligence and determination of these men. It does not just document a dramatic and enormously significant real event, it humanises it. (Research Chris Coetsee) Thanks Chris. Only ever thought of it in that ‘turkey heap’. Don’t miss.