Something I Never Understood in 'The Great Escape'

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Wildest cat from montana, Mar 22, 2024.

  1. misterjones

    misterjones Smarter than the average bear.

    New York, NY
    In large part, the film is one of many that glorified WWII. They downplayed the violence and played up the romance and adventure. Though ultimately unrealistic, there’s something to be said for a film (or film sub-genre) that draws you into it and makes you want to be a part of it. As good a movie as it is, I never felt like I wanted to be a part of the Saving Private Ryan story. They don’t make them like The Great Escape anymore, and I don’t think they can.

    Did they ever make a truly realistic German POW camp film?
  2. shokhead

    shokhead Head shok and you still don't what it is. HA!

    SoCal, Long Beach
    I never associated The Great Escape with romance and adventure.
    ssmith3046 likes this.
  3. I imagine there was some "romance" going on that they didn't portray in the film.
  4. They did, because Steve McQueen was a big movie star and he got that kind of treatment.
  5. That Criterion Blu-ray looks great, but now there's a 4K version that probably bests it.
  6. Myke

    Myke Trying Not To Spook The Horse

  7. razerx

    razerx Forum Resident

    Sonoma California
    Let’s stick to digging tunnels. :)
  8. shokhead

    shokhead Head shok and you still don't what it is. HA!

    SoCal, Long Beach
    Isn't that what he meant?
    Linger63, razerx and Mark E. Moon like this.
  9. misterjones

    misterjones Smarter than the average bear.

    New York, NY
    I was talking about certain (older) types of WWII films generally. But as far as adventure goes - there isn't romance in The Great Escape like many other WWII movies - I certainly did (as a 4th-5th grader watching it for the first time) and still do.
  10. Doc Sarvis

    Doc Sarvis Forum Resident

    Utah USA
    The other factor with "The Great Escape" is that the screenplay was written by James Clavell (Shogun, King Rat, Tai-Pan, etc.). Clavell was famous for "stream of consciousness"-esque writing; e.g., random events come out of left field and the characters react. I don't know if there's any relevance of this to the thread at hand, except that maybe the less-explicable plot points were just random. Clavell admitted that he never used a treatment to begin with...he just sat down to write and went where the story took him. He might have had more discipline with a Hollywood screenplay, though.
    conjotter likes this.
  11. MikeMusic

    MikeMusic Forum Resident

    Surrey, England
    I read the book a while before I saw the film, on TV I assume as I was too young to go to the cinema on my own
    Realised at my young age that a few liberties taken with the facts
  12. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    Arizona desert
  13. CusBlues

    CusBlues Fort Wayne’s Favorite Retired Son

    And well fed.
  14. Sterling Cooper

    Sterling Cooper Forum Resident

    The original book by Paul Brickhill is excellent. It includes many additional details not found in the movie. Interestingly, the tunnel "Tom" was discovered in real life, but it didn't use an entrance under the stove as depicted in the movie. The stove was actually used for the succesful tunnel "Harry". The floor grate entrance shown in the movie for "Harry" was similar to the one used for the abandoned tunnel "Dick". Not sure why the movie switched them around, but it was a good dramatic scene when the guard spilled coffee by the stove and found a tunnel entrance.
    EdgardV likes this.
  15. misterjones

    misterjones Smarter than the average bear.

    New York, NY
    EdgardV and ssmith3046 like this.
  16. Rocker

    Rocker Senior Member

    Ontario, Canada
    Agreed... it's so bad that I wouldn't even want to make the upgrade. What was Criterion thinking when they greenlit that cover?
  17. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    We all see things differently, I suppose. I see it, not in the "Definition #1" sense, but certainly in the "Definition #2" sense, below.
  18. misterjones

    misterjones Smarter than the average bear.

    New York, NY
    Yes. That was the way I meant it. I suspect it would have been more clear for me to use "romanticize" to describe many of the WWII movies from that era. From the on-line Britannica Dictionary:

    " . . . to think about or describe something as being better or more attractive or interesting than it really is : to show, describe, or think about something in a romantic way

    [+ object]
    • The movie romanticizes [=idealizes] the old South.
    • He has romanticized notions of army life.
    • a romanticized view of politics
    [no object]
    • We were romanticizing about the past."
    EdgardV and MLutthans like this.
  19. conjotter

    conjotter Forum Resident

    James Clavell’s King Rat is a harrowing story about allied prisoners in a Japanese POW camp.

    It was made into an excellent movie that is well worth watching.

    Clavell was a young British officer who was wounded and captured by the Japanese after the fall of Singapore and his experiences give the book and movie a gritty realism.
  20. misterjones

    misterjones Smarter than the average bear.

    New York, NY
    Talk about well-groomed! The cast of The Great Escape has nothing on George Segal.

  21. Dude111

    Dude111 An Awesome Dude

    Its sad Steve ended up going back after all that!! (Ya think he would hide and move about at night)
  22. adm62

    adm62 Senior Member

    Ottawa, Canada
    Huge amount of "bromance" in the film :)
  23. Wildest cat from montana

    Wildest cat from montana Humble Reader Thread Starter

    ontario canada
    The movie had to end with McQueen back in the cooler with his ball and glove. It brings the story full circle.
    Dude111 likes this.
  24. conjotter

    conjotter Forum Resident

  25. Andrew J

    Andrew J Forum Resident

    South East England
    What about that Steve McQueen goes into the cooler for days, only to come out looking exactly the same, clothes and all?

    Or, how long would they actually have to spend raking in the dirt that comes from the tunnels via their trousers?

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