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
- Hugh Dancy explains that shocking 'Hannibal' series finale
- 'Hannibal' music supervisor on working with Siouxsie Sioux for the finale's song
- Ansel Elgort remembers former classmate after his death
- New 'Downton Abbey' trailer previews final season
- 'Les Miserables' actor dies at 21
- Jackson family remembers Michael Jackson on his birthday
- Amal Clooney says Egyptian Al-Jazeera conviction 'sends a dangerous message'
- 'American Horror Story: Hotel' First Look: 11 EW exclusive photos
- 17 photos of people you forgot hung out at the VMAs
- 24 Movies With Great Opening Scenes
- 'Survivor: Cambodia—Second Chance' Cast Photos Revealed!
- Where is the cast of 'Can't Hardly Wait' now?
- Demi Lovato, Nicki Minaj, Bill Murray, Bruce Willis and More!