The Great Escape 05/02/20

The Criterion Collection

Images from this picture were burned into our Boomer childhood brains … we actually sat still for almost three hours to watch it. John Sturges’ epic show is like a fine-tuned watch — its unbreakable story is populated by ideal characters that become instant heroes, just for acting like normal men that want free of confinement. It’s really about freedom — after two hours in the POW compound, the fugitives set loose in the wide, green beauty of Germany might as well be escaping into a wonderland of light and space. In its own way this show made our parents’ wartime experience come alive — it’s THE picture to interest kids in events of the past. Our favorites are all here, at their best: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, James Donald, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence, James Coburn, Hannes Messemer, David McCallum, Gordon Jackson, Angus Lennie, and Nigel Stock. On Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection.