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The Great Escape

Year: 1963
Production Co: The Misch Corporation
Director: John Sturges
Producer: John Sturges
Writer: James Clavell
Cast: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Charles Bronson, Richard Attenborough, Donald Pleasance, James Coburn
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Once described as one of the Holy Trinity of Bank Holiday movies; one of those ones (like The Sound of Music and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) that you've seen a million times on TV; it just seems to belong there late at night on the weekend or around Christmas.

Based partly on a true story about the mass breakout from a German POW camp during the second world war, it's a rambunctious boy's own adventure with a cast of blazing hot personalities executing an audacious and finely honed prison break plot.

All with their own skills and talents, they do the lot from scratch, right under the noses of the Nazi captors; when the tailor gives the leaders the choice of single or double breasted suits you realise the lengths to which they've gone.

Lots of iconic and much-parodied moments, from the twine-in-the-trousers trick to gradually deposit the Earth from the tunnels around the yard to McQueen's instantly recognisable barbed wire fence jump, it's an enduring as a movie can get.

It's so jovial and adventurous you often forget how sad and bloody it is, every highly planned aspect of the escape eventually failing and only a single man sailing off into the sunset.

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