Sunday, June 15, 2014

CWE: "The Great Escape" (1963)

Summary: A large group of Allied soldiers are transferred to a German POW camp designed to hold those who have escaped multiple times. The immediately begin planning their break out.
  • I remember this movie having an incredibly depressing ending, with pretty much everyone either getting shot or recaptured. But with that in mind at the start, the conversation between the commandant and the British officer introduces the idea that, to some extent, it doesn't matter. The Germans are spending time and resources guarding these men and recapturing them, which takes those resources away from fighting the war. That's what's most important.
  • I always forget that David McCallum is in this. I went through a big "The Man from UNCLE" phase when I was a teenager.
  • I do love that they immediately start testing the limits of the camp and trying to escape from the very moment they get to the camp. And at least one soldier tried to jump from the truck before they even got there.
  • "Tea without milk is so uncivilized."
  • The extreme organization of the break out is very interesting. I guess that it shouldn't be surprising, given that they are all military...
  • James Garner makes me smile.
  • I do appreciate that Hilts has his own plans and isn't necessarily willing to comprise them for the larger plan.
  • "Crazy mixed up kid, that Werner. But I like him."
  • 4th of July!
  • "How are you managing over there without us? Getting along alright?" Wow, Ramsey has nothing to say to Hilts.
  • Poor Ives. He's completely broken.
  • Donald Pleasence is so good in this. Blythe is just heartbreaking.
  • I always forget how long this movie is. Almost 1:50 in and they are just now getting ready to escape. There's nearly an hour after that.
  • Naturally, the tunnel is too short.
  • I love that Hendley takes responsibility for Blythe.
  • Great tension as they try to escape.
  • They really did not get a lot of guys out, did they. Wow, 76, actually. It did not seem like so many.
  • Why are they all at the train station at the same time? Oh, missed their trains.
  • Heh. Sitting with the Nazi soldiers.
  • Sedgewick just gets on a bicycle and rides away.
  • Danny and Willie steal a boat; another guy hitchhikes...
  • And Steve McQueen on the motorcycle.
  • Of course, police on the train. 
  • Wow, that soldier does NOT sound German.
  • This train station is the first time a single woman appears in the film, I think. Well, OK, there are a few women on the train, now that I think about it.
  • He's doing a terrible job of being inconspicuous. Oh, I remember that he gets shot.
  • Oops. Cavendish gets delivered right back to the Nazis. With like 1/2 the guys who escaped.
  • Airplane with a crank start. Wow. But it gets them away.
  • Ah, here's the iconic image.
  • Sigh. Nothing can go right, can it?
  • :( Poor Colin. For some reason, I remembered him getting away. Clearly not.
  • Down goes Hilts.
  • Sedgwick in France, with the resistance.
  • Oh, the English mistake.
  • Come on guys, you need to split up.
  • It's all in the attitude. Act annoyed that the soldiers think you're English and they go away. At least, until someone recognizes you.
  • Ah yes. This is why I remember the end being so depressing.
  • 11 men returned. 50 shot. I'm actually surprised they hadn't shot them sooner.
  • Danny and Willie on the boat. The only ones that we see not get caught or killed.
  • Oh, I forgot about Sedgwick!
  • Back comes Hilts, in his own car. And back in the cooler.


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