PG certificateThe Great Escape is a Film programme that first aired in 1963 and has been classified a PG certificate.

The Great Escape is a 5 star programme

Image for the Film programme "The Great Escape"

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The Great Escape (1963)

Directed by
John Sturges

When a spirited bunch of WWII POWs are dispatched to a high security compound, the resourceful gang waste no time in making a mockery of the camp's escape-proof reputation. Under the guidance of Roger 'Big X' Bartlett (Richard Attenborough), the group of serial escapees, mostly made up of captured Air Force pilots, set about plotting the ultimate breakout.

The men, including Flight Lt Hendley 'The Scrounger' (James Garner), claustrophobic 'Tunnel King' Velinski (Charles Bronson) and the rebellious Virgil 'The Cooler King' Hilts (Steve McQueen), use their specialist talents to construct a complex tunnel system, through which 250 prisoners of war could make a courageous bid for freedom. The men's quest is not without its hitches and as they advance on freedom the mission becomes ever more perilous. It's nail-biting stuff as the action explodes into life, with Hilts's dramatic motorbike escape attempt the highlight of a brilliant barnstorming climax.

Based on a true story, this wonderful recreation of 77 prisoners' gallant escape is a much-loved 60s classic. Parodied in popular culture numerous times, The Great Escape has been referenced in TV comedies like Seinfeld and The Simpsons and was the inspiration for Aardman Animations' feature Chicken Run. An impressive ensemble cast features Academy Award winner James Coburn, Donald Pleasence and of course, McQueen, in probably his most iconic role. The Great Escape is a fantastic mixture of action, drama, comedy and pathos, all of which combine with a very memorable theme to make for a timeless classic.

Written by ,

Genre: Film

Production Year: 1963

5/5 Stars

Classification: PG Certificate

Filmed in Colour


Image for Steve McQueenSteve McQueen...Capt. Virgil 'The Cooler King' Hilts
Image for James GarnerJames Garner...Flight Lt. Bob Anthony 'The Scrounger' Hendley
Image for Richard AttenboroughRichard Attenborough...Squadron Leader Roger 'Big X' Bartlett
James Donald...Group Capt. Rupert 'The SBO' Ramsey
Image for Charles BronsonCharles Bronson...Flight. Lt. Danny 'The Tunnel King' Velinski
Image for Donald PleasenceDonald Pleasence...Flight Lt. Colin 'The Forger' Blythe
Image for James CoburnJames Coburn...Flying Officer Louis 'The Manufacturer' Sedgwick
Hannes Messemer...Col. von Luger
Image for David McCallumDavid McCallum...Lt. Cmdr. Eric 'Dispersal' Ashley-Pitt
Image for Gordon JacksonGordon Jackson...Flight Lt. Sandy MacDonald
John Leyton...Flight Lt. William 'The Tunneller' Dickes
Angus Lennie...Flying Officer Archibald 'The Mole' Ives
Nigel Stock...Flight Lt. Denys 'The Surveyor' Cavendish
Robert Graf...Werner 'The Ferret'
Jud Taylor...Goff