Is there a movie that owes as much to one scene as The Great Escape does to Steve McQueen leaping the fence? The moment is like a masterful guitar solo that turns a good song by a good band into a classic. But guess what? That’s not McQueen. We learn in the commentary accompanying this stunning two-disc collector’s set – released in honor of the 60th anniversary of D-Day – that director John Sturges knew McQueen was good on motorcycles, and intended to capitalize on that ability. McQueen was so good, in fact, that he not only led the chase but in some scenes also played his pursuers. However, for insurance purposes, the iconic leap itself ended up being executed by stuntman Bud Ekins, which irked McQueen throughout his life. Nonetheless, this is no one-note film: The stellar combination of Sturges’ pacing, Elmer Bernstein’s score, and strong performances by actors as varied as Donald Pleasence and Charles Bronson earns this DVD prime real estate on any shelf.
(The Great Escape: Everett Collection)
Genre: Action/Adventure, War; Starring: Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson, James Garner, Donald Pleasence; Director: John Sturges; Author: James Clavell; Runtime (in minutes): 172; MPAA Rating: PG; Distributor: Criterion
Posted May 28 2004 — 12:00 AM EDT
- Mark Waid and J.G. Jones preview powerful historically based comic, 'Strange Fruit'
- All the breakout artists Zane Lowe highlighted during his debut show on Beats 1
- James Gunn absolutely loved 'Ant-Man'
- Gay Men's Chorus of L.A. covers Britney Spears' 'Work Bitch'
- Cheryl Burke quits as Miss USA cohost
- Aquaman named 'most toxic superhero' to search for online
- Jeremy Renner on J.Lo jokes, gay rumors, and how 'Avengers' nearly killed him
- 27 TV faves you forgot were in 'Seinfeld' episodes
- 'X-Files' returns: David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in new EW portraits
- Comic-Con 2005: How buzziest projects panned out
- 'Survivor' cast thanks YOU for Second Chances in new pics
- 'Ant-Man': 7 EW exclusive new character posters
- Ricky Martin, Tina & Jane, Paul Rudd and More!