The Great Escape

“I’m going to cause such a terrible stink in this Third Reich of theirs that thousands of troops that could well be employed at the front will be tied up looking after us!”

It’s time for another Listener’s Choice episode, and we’re talking about one of the all-time WWII classics. That’s right, listener Michael Cook decided that it was time for us to discuss John Sturges’ 1963 film “The Great Escape,” and man, was he right on the money. 

Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we chat about our eight listener’s choice with “The Great Escape.” We talk about how this script was shaped around the real escape in 1944 of 76 POWs from Stalag Luft III, what details were changed for the film and how we feel about those changes. We chat about Sturges and the style he brings to the film paired with the way he directs his actors, giving them the freedom they wanted/needed to create their performances. We discuss those actors – and there are a lot of them including Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, James Coburn, Charles Bronson and Donald Pleasence, to name a few – and what they bring to the table. We look at the fantastic production design, cinematography and editing that really bring this movie, filmed on location in Germany, to life, and what it took to get away from filming it outside of Palm Springs. We touch on Elmer Bernstein and the incredibly memorable score he delivers and what it does for the feel of the film. And we mention artist Archibald Willard and the connection his painting The Spirit of ‘76 has with the film. 

It’s a fantastic film, one we’re truly thrilled to talk about, so definitely check it out if you haven’t seen it before, then tune in!

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