Saw this yesterday with Mister Muleboy at the AFI-Silver. In case you've never seen it, it's based on the true story of the mass escape of British prisoners from a German POW camp during World War II. A couple of Hollywood's biggest stars, James Garner and Steve McQueen, were shoehorned into the story—and thank God for studio interference. Garner is merely great while McQueen gives the most exciting performance of his career. His love affair with a motorcycle is justly legendary.
5 stars out of 5.
Also starring Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Donald Pleasence, James Donald, David McCallum, Gordon Jackson, Hannes Messemer, Angus Lennie, Nigel Stock. Produced and directed by John Sturges. Elmer Bernstein wrote the iconic score.
[SPOILERS] I don't know how many times I've seen this movie, but I never fail to watch white-knuckled thinking this time McQueen is going to make it over that fence.
Bonus Trivia: Donald Pleasence, who plays the nerdy, half-blind forger, was in real life an RAF officer who was shot down and spent the war in a POW camp. Also, thanks to the miracle of film editing, one of the German soldiers chasing Steve McQueen on a motorcycle is Steve McQueen.
Named for Katie-Bar-The-Door, the Katies are "alternate Oscars"—who should have been nominated, who should have won—but really they're just an excuse to write a history of the movies from the Silent Era to the present day.
To see a list of nominees and winners by decade, as well as links to my essays about them, click the highlighted links:
Look at me—Joe College, with a touch of arthritis. Are my eyes really brown? Uh, no, they're green. Would we have the nerve to dive into the icy water and save a person from drowning? That's a key question. I, of course, can't swim, so I never have to face it. Say, haven't you anything better to do than to keep popping in here early every morning and asking a lot of fool questions?