Sunday, 28 June 2009

The Great Escape (1963)

Confession time, I have never sat and watched “The Great Escape”.

Lets fix that. Presses Play.PDVD_000

Well that was actually bloody good stuff wot wot. The Great Escape is one of those films that have passed me by, I realises today that the reason was that I never watch movies on TV! Oddly enough virtually everything I see is at the flicks or on DVD/Video.

The colours are surprisongly crisp for a film made in 1963, for some reason I was convinced it older. I was also surprised to see Kuryakin making an appearance, sadly without his turtleneck.

The film is based on a true WW2 escape attempt and is (in the words of Jimmy Hill) a film of two parts. The majority of the film deals fantastically with the escape attempts and is relatively light-hearted with the POWs making sure that they like up to their mandate to cause the enemy difficulties. The depiction of the Germans is surprising delicate with them being shown as persons simply doing a job and wanting it over as much as we do. The SS and Gestapo however are a different matter.PDVD_002

That is where the film takes its darker turn. The actual escape scenes across Germany are far darker with most of our heroes failing to escape at all. The subsequent return to the camp and its passing into the hands of the SS close the film on a darker note. Surprising there is no caveat to the film explaining the end of the war etc. In 1963 I guess it was still very recent memory.

Performances are outstanding with Dicky Attenboroughs and Donald Pleasances characters being of particular note. Sound is excellent and the Great Escape Theme used through out to brilliant effect. Well worth 3 hours on anybody's time.PDVD_004

Paul out…take me with you, I can see perfectly.

 

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