16 August 2010
The Great Escape (1963)
What do they call a mole in Scotland?
So basically: During WWII, the Germans built an escape-proof POW camp to house some of the more notorious prisoners. Capt. Hilts is one of these men, but continues to get himself thrown in the cooler, a kind of long term time-out. On one of his time-outs, he cooks up a plan with fellow cooler inmate Ives, aka The Mole. They plan to escape by blitz, or a one night operation, as soon as they get out of the cooler. While this is going on, Squadron Leader Roger Bartlett is in charge of a large-scale operation to get 250 troops out of the camp, by way of three tunnels.
This movie is almost flawless. There are so many characters, but not one gets lost in the crowd or are one-dimensional archetypes. Steve McQueen as Capt Hitls and Richard Attenborough - homg! it's John Hammond from Jurassic Park and Jacob from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat! awesome - as Roger are both stunning in their performances. My only problem with this movie is the last hour (I think it was a bit less, but it was about an hour) where it's showing them in Germany. It was just all sorts of weird and the minimal dialogue gave it a sort of eerie, out-of-place feel. I don't think it should have been included.
Despite this, the overall movie is pretty awesome and deserves to be on the list.
Ziggi seal of approval!