To the Cooler!
memento_mori - wrote on 09/08/13
It's not often that I approve of an older WWII film, because they tended to derail from the actual story; made things seem less dangerous than what they really were. This is not the case in The Great Escape. Although not violent, it is realistic and I respect it for that.
Where to begin with this great classic?
The acting in this movie is magic. All around are great performances from actors I have never even heard of. The dialogue is mature, as expected, but it also has a tweak of humor in it. Like Captain Hilts' arguments with the German officers.
The supporting cast is a huge help in the majority of the movie. Almost every character has a separate personality or has some form of fear or danger to overcome, add the tension of a concentration camp to that fear and you've got some great characters.
The last two acts in this movie are a masterpiece of suspense, some of the best I've ever seen.
Of course, the great motorcycle scene is iconic and still holds ground today. The action scenes and escapism is handled very broadly by director John Sturges.
Everything in this movie is just on the spot. They first half takes its time, but for the multiple climaxes and excellent tension that the rest of the film has to offer, it's a pretty well-structured film.
It's a composition of suspense, acting, pacing and dialogue that make this movie so interesting and easy to watch, when concentration camps were far away from easy to bear. The almost 3-hour runtime flies by unnoticeably and gives us all the more time with these clever characters. It's just a film you have to experience once or twice in your life.