The Coolest Guy Movie Ever: Return to the Scene of The Great Escape


Action / Documentary

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 95%
IMDb Rating 5.6/10 10 67 67

Top cast

James Garner as Self - The Great Escape - Hendley 'The Scrounger'
Steve McQueen as Self - The Great Escape - Hilts 'Cooler King;'
James Coburn as Self
Lawrence Montaigne as Narrator
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
545.42 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
12 hr 59 min
P/S ...
1012.52 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
12 hr 59 min
P/S 4 / 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ferguson-6 5 / 10

inspires to watch the actual movie

Greetings again from the darkness. As one who watches more than 200 movies each year, I absolutely understand how someone could be extraordinarily passionate about a particular film ... even to the point of bordering on obsession. First time director Christophe Espenan clearly feels that way about THE GREAT ESCAPE. In fact, his sentiment is so strong for the film that he assembled a team and took off to Bavaria in order to re-trace the filming locations some 50 years after John Sturges and his all-star cast were there.

The documentary kicks off with the modern day team trekking through a heavily wooded area. We learn they are searching for the exact location of the movie's prison camp. It was built on a studio backlot, and background research reveals that trees had to be cleared to construct the prison, and the promise was made to re-plant twice as many trees once production ended. In the five decades since, the trees have flourished into what could now be described as a forest ... with no signs of the prison camp that was part of cinematic history. So what should have been a highlight of Mr. Espenan's movie, turns into something akin to Geraldo Rivera opening Al Capone's vault.

Based on Paul Brickhill's book, the iconic 1962 film starred Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence, James Coburn, David McCallum, and Gordon Jackson. It surely belongs on any list of 'cool guy' movies, along with THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (released two years prior). Both films were directed by Mr. Sturges and feature terrific and memorable scores from the great Elmer Bernstein.

Archival footage of interviews from James Coburn and James Garner are included, as well as numerous photos and clips from the film itself. Mr. Espenan carries an album of screenshots from the film and does a nice job of matching up specific locations and scenes as he and the team walk through the towns. Local Hotel Alpina is featured as the place where much of the cast and crew stayed during filming, and the hotel staff fondly remembers when their paths crossed. Lawrence Montaigne serves as narrator, and since he also had a small part in the movie, his insight is appreciated ... though he was better known for this frequent TV series appearances, before passing away in 2017.

A substantial portion of the film's 55 minute run time is devoted to the motorcycle stunts of Steve McQueen. However, on the whole, the film does not feel stretched, but rather just a bit too lightweight for today's documentary standards. It comes across as more of a tribute or fanboy whim than a "making of" or "behind-the-scenes" project delivering insight or detail. It did succeed in getting me to add THE GREAT ESCAPE near the top of my list for classic films to revisit ... it's one I've never reviewed, and definitely should.

Reviewed by Easygoer10 4 / 10

Buy The Mobie Its Better

The "making of" disc which comes with "The "Great Rscape" has all this and more. A much better idea is to buy 2 films: "I Am Steve McQueen" (2014) and "Junior Bonner" (1972). The former is a documentary; the best around. The latter is a Sam Peckinpah film which (due to poor marketing) did bit do well at the box office. Hiwever, it is absolutely brilliant. Also, it comes with at least 4 or 5 hours if extras. This film is mediocre compared to those. I own all of McQueen's films, plus his great TV series "Wanted: Dead or Alive" (1958-1961), which includes all 94 episodes plus hours of extras. He was the most iconic film actor of the 20th Century. You see guys take their shirts off today and they look ridiculous. McQueen had it all: Passion, Skill, Looks, Menace, Vulnerability. The whole package. As his former wife Ali MacGraw said: "Every woman wanted to sleep with him, every man wanted to be like him and every kid wanted to be mentored by him". That says it all. Watch his films and the extras that come on the discs. Its way better than this.

Reviewed by dtdenver-987-925546 2 / 10

At least it's short

I thought this would be about making the Great Escape - behind the scenes, cast interactions, challenges of making a Bad Nazi movie in Germany less than a generation after Hitler. I expected more than fanboys finding filming locations in Germany. It briefly touched on some of those things but mostly it was guys standing alongside a road, pointing, and exclaiming, "Look! That mountain is STILL THERE! This is definitely the place!"

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