The Great Escape - A True StoryStarring James Coburn, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and other greats, the Great Escape tells the true story of a massive prison break during World War II.
A total of 76 men escaped, but only 3 actually made it to their homes. Most of the rest were captured, and 50 were deliberately executed by the Germans. In war crime trials held after the war,
The camp was Stalag Luft III, located in Sagan Germany (The documentary on the DVD says this was in Poland). The film itself was done in Germany. The famous Steve McQueen motorcycle jump was done in Fussen, which makes sense because the shot of James Coburn flying has him going near Neuschwanstein - which is a giant castle just up the road. The railroad scenes were done on the railroad line between Hamburg and Munich.
The film does a good job of showing how the officers of both sides respected each other - but also how, as the war was winding down, both sides were getting frustrated. The POWs felt like they had wasted all that time locked up while others were doing the "real work" of the war. The captors felt like they were stuck babysitting and wasting their time chasing the prisoners around.
There's no Hollywood ending on this one, but it's a good reminder of how, even when they were captured, the soldiers of WW2 kept giving the effort their all.
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