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Click on the title to get the juice...
The Great Escape
|Best homevideo format is the 2 Disk SE DVD set.|
It is Anamorphicly (16/9) enhanced for Widescreen TV's
and presented in the film's Original Aspect Ratio of 2.35:1.
Extra features are:
*Audio Commentary with cast and crew
|The Great Escape is based on a true story written by ex POW Paul Brickhill.|
A group of Allied POW's plan and succeed in the biggest military prison escaped of WWII. The film followed the book very closely, with the exception of a few creative moments.
Steve stars in one of his most popular roles as American pilot Virgil Hilts aka The Cooler King, named after the amount of time he spends in the 'cooler' after repeated escape attempts and run ins with the camp commandant.
|The Motorcycle Stunts|
|The famous Virgil Hilts motorcycle chase which is an integral part of the film's appeal was McQueen's idea. Initially the Hilts escape attempt was supposed to be by train, but McQueen approached Sturges with the suggestion, "John, I've got an idea that will put more juice into this...."|
|The famous motorcycle jump scene|
Steve performed all his character's motorbike stunts in the escape scenes, EXCEPT the famous final jump over the 6 foot high barbed wire fence. That was done by his Stunt Double (Bud Ekins).
Although many people incorrectly believed that it was Steve who had done the stunt, it was Steve himself who set the record straight, when in an interview on the Johnny Carson Show Carson congratulated him on doing the jump. Although it must have been embarrasing to admit in front of an adoring nationwide audience, Steve corrected him, saying, "It wasn't me. That was Bud Ekins". The Movie Studio wasn't very happy that he admitted this, but Steve had too much integrity to take the credit for another man's bravery and skill.
In the scenes leading up to the big jump where Virgil Hilts is being chased by the Germans, director John Sturges struck a problem. McQueen as Hilts kept out running the less skilled German riders chasing him. The solution... Steve did his own riding as Virgil, and then donned a German bike helmet and uniform and did the riding for the pursuing German troops. In effect, through clever film editing, you see Steve McQueen chasing Steve McQueen in the final film!
|When John Sturges offered this movie to Steve McQueen, he was hesitant at first, because his (Steve's) previous two movies had been war films, and in spite of being good films, neither had made big money at the box office. Sturges reassured him that this one was a sure thing. McQueen thought it over and said "OK Johnny, I owe you one. The only good film I ever made was Seven (The Magnificent Seven)- so count me in."|