THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963)
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DUDEFEST RATING
8.17
Dudes
Steve McQueen
James Garner
Richard Attenborough
By Pete Hall
March 07, 2014

THE GREAT ESCAPE is a great movie, about an escape. It's based on a true story of a bunch of Allied soldiers making Nazis look like dicks (they really had their work cut out for them, huh?) that was somehow even crazier in real life than the movie. If you haven't seen it, this review isn't going to make a ton of sense. I don't know why you read reviews for films you haven't seen anyway, what the hell is wrong with you? Fuckin' weirdo.

 

Anyway, THE GREAT ESCAPE is the first movie ever made that was named after an amusement park in upstate New York. It takes place in World War II. Richard Attenborough is in it, long before he becomes a generic old man. Steve McQueen is one of the most dudefest people that ever lived. I'm just gonna talk about Steve McQueen for a while, because it's my fucking article, and I can do whatever the hell I want to. Go read Buzzfeed if you don't like it.

 

Steve McQueen used to make money competing in motorcycle races. He was really good at it, and he really liked motorcycles. In fact, putting the famous motorcycle chase into the movie was his idea (he was notoriously demanding and difficult to work with) and since they didn't have enough stunt riders, McQueen just put on a German uniform for some shots and chased himself. The motorcycle jump was performed by a stunt man for insurance reasons (you can't have your multi-million dollar star doing dumb shit like that, he's not Jackie Chan), but everything else was all McQueen. He's one person in an ensemble cast, but he's still pretty much the coolest thing about the movie. And it's a really cool movie!

 

The camp from which the escape is great is a maximum security POW camp that is specifically designed to hold all of the most determined repeat escape offenders. The Nazis decided that these guys were so committed to escaping (even though they clearly weren't successful, becuase they're still in a POW camp and not chilling on a beach in Zihuatanejo) that they would put them all into one camp, together, and just kind of hope that they would never try to work together? I guess Hollywood was still about 46 years away from making awesome World War II movies that feature competent and evil Nazis.

 

There are only three American POWs in the camp: Vigril Hilts (McQueen), Robert Hendley (James Garner), and 2nd Lt. Goff (Jud Taylor). These guys decide to steal all of the potatoes in the camp, and make a secret distillery (that they even manage to hide from the command as well as the rest of the POWs) and make just a fuckton of super strong moonshine. They reveal what they've made on the Fourth of July, by setting off fireworks, hoisting an American flag, and inviting the rest of the prisoners (almost entirely British) to get shitfaced and drink to the colonies ("Down the British! Up the Rebels!"). Parts of this movie make it seem like it's all fun and games in a POW camp in Nazi-controlled Poland.

 

There's too much dudefest shit to list it all, so just go watch the damn thing. It's over two and a half hours of solid dudefest. Don't give me any of that "Ain't nobody got time for that" crap. Make time. You think those prisoners just had tons of spare time to dig three tunnels? Probably, it seems like there isn't a ton of stuff to do in a POW camp. But watch it. Make Steven McQueen proud. I guess if you really wanted to, you could just play the Xbox game instead, if you really like terrible video games. Seriously, I tried to play it once, and I only lasted about five minutes. I'd rather be in the cooler with nothing but a mitt and a ball.

Pat Holland wants to be exacly like Steve McQueen in every way, except for all the ways that seem difficult like riding a motorcycle and getting laid every once in a while. McQueen never had an email address though, so that's one point for Pat.

R A T I N G S
8
STEVE. MOTHERFUCKING. MCQUEEN.
7.5
This movie is the closest Nazi Germany got to a season of The Real World. "Let's take all of the most dangerous P.O.W.'s and put them in the same camp where they're allowed unfettered access to each other with minimal supervision, what could go wrong?" If you replace P.O.W.s with 7 Strangers you basically have the pitch MTV got in 1990.
9
This movie is fantastic. Do yourself a favor and go watch it right now, future you will appreciate it.
1 Comments
03-07-2014 | 9:21 AM
My favorite ride at The Great Escape is waiting in line for the Funnel Cake place.
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