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The Great Escape Details


The Great Escape is based on the true story of a group of Allied prisoners of war who managed to escape from an allegedly impenetrable Nazi prison camp during World War II. At the beginning of the film, the Nazis gather all their most devious and troublesome POWs and place them at a new prison camp, which was designed to be impervious to escapes. Immediately, the prisoners develop a scheme where they will leave the camp by building three separate escape tunnels. Richard Attenborough is the British soldier who masterminds the whole plan, and who commands his motley squad--featuring Charles Bronson as a Polish trench-digging expert, James Garner as an American with a talent for theft, Donald Pleasence as a masterful forger, and Steve McQueen as an American rebel--through the construction of the tunnels and, eventually, their escape. An epic adventure film, The Great Escape runs nearly three hours, featuring a rousing Elmer Bernstein score and exciting action sequences -- including a notorious motorcycle chase between McQueen and the Nazis -- the likes of which had never been seen before in Hollywood productions. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

  • Release date:July 4, 1963


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Ferris Webster Best Editing 1963 Nominee


Steve McQueen
as "Cooler King" Hilts
James Garner
as "The Scrounger" Hendley
Richard Attenborough
as "Big X" Bartlett
James Donald
as Senior Officer Ramsey
Charles Bronson
as Danny Velinski
James Coburn
as "The Manufacturer" Sedgwick
David McCallum
as Ashley-Pitt "Dispersal"
Donald Pleasence
as "The Forger" Blythe
Gordon Jackson
as MacDonald "Intelligence"
John Leyton
as Willie "Tunnel King"
Angus Lennie
as "The Mole" Ives
Nigel Stock
as Cavendish "The Surveyor"
Jud Taylor
as Goff
Robert Desmond
as "The Tailor" Griffith
Lawrence Montaigne
as Haynes
Hannes Messemer
as Von Lugar "The Kommandant"
Harry Riebauer
as Strachwitz
Hans Reiser
as Kuhn
Heinz Weiss
as Kramer
Til Kiwe
as Frick
Ulrich Beiger
as Preissen
George Mikell
as Dietrich


John Sturges
John Sturges
James Clavell
Paul Brickhill
Book Author
Daniel L. Fapp
Elmer Bernstein
Composer (Music Score)
Ferris Webster
Fernando Carrere
Art Director
Bert Henrikson
Costume Designer
Bud Ekins
Emile LaVigne