Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Great Escape (1963)

TOP 100 FILMS: #70

Allied PoWs (Richard Attenborough, James Garner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Donald Pleasence) hatch a complex escape in the hope of freeing several hundred men from a German camp during the height of World War 2.

As I have mentioned before I love epics, and The Great Escape is one of the gems of the genre. A war epic, not about the war itself, but about the wide array of characters that encompass it, and their duty as soldiers. The colorful characters really highlight The Great Escape, which manages to be heavy on fun, light hearted, and at the same time sneak in some subtle horror of war stories in between. What's most amazing about The Great Escape is that while it's end is not all glory and cheer, it manages to offer hope in such painful situations.

From the music, to the setup, to the execution, The Great Escape is filled with memorable scenes, wonderful lines, and events that inspire you to cheer for these lovable oddballs as they try to escape from their dire circumstances. Even with limited background, we're able to get subtle insights into the strengths and weaknesses of each character, especially the troubles they have due to long time imprisonment.

The story is so much fun, so heavily layered, you can't help but get caught up in it, and at the same time become absorbed in their story. Inspired by real events, it's not hard to see why the film adapts the storytelling method it does, concentrating heavily on all the intricacies involved, and the aspects of each character that brings them to life. Ultimately though The Great Escape manages to be a light-hearted and yet insightful film with a memorable scene at every turn, and characters throughout, it's one of those movies everyone should watch at some point.

One of the greatest war epics/escape films ever made, The Great Escape broke the mold upon its 1963 release.

0 better thoughts:

Related Posts with Thumbnails