Follow us on:


 

 

 

 

THE GREAT ESCAPE

THE GREAT ESCAPE ($25) is one of the greatest World War II movies, no question about it. How do I know for sure? Well, I asked a group of friends to name their favorite war movies and THE GREAT ESCAPE was near the top of every list.

THE GREAT ESCAPE is a rousing adventure based upon an actual event in history, in which the largest number of Prisoners-Of-War escaped from German prison camp. The story if THE GREAT ESCAPE is set in a new maximum-security prison camp, specifically designed to house prisoners who have made a habit of escape attempts. Supposedly, there is no escape from this particular prison camp, however having so many escape artists in the same place only made the prisoners determination greater.

THE GREAT ESCAPE features a large, impressive cast and is basically an ensemble piece, however Steve McQueen is regarded as the film’s star. In THE GREAT ESCAPE, McQueen portrays Capt. Virgil Hilts. Hilts has been nicknamed "The Cooler King" for the amount of time he has spent is solitary confinement because of his numerous escape attempts. James Garner is great as Hendley, the slick officer whose particular gift is the misappropriation of all the required supplies for an escape. Richard Attenborough effectively plays Bartlett, the brains behind the greatest escape ever attempted. The superior cast of THE GREAT ESCAPE also features James Donald, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence, James Coburn, Hannes Messemer and David McCallum. THE GREAT ESCAPE is a thrilling and suspenseful film thanks to director John Sturges whose insistence on accuracy brings a sense of reality to the proceedings.

MGM Home Entertainment offers THE GREAT ESCAPE on DVD is a truly fine looking wide screen presentation. The DVD uses dual layered technology to offer the film's nearly three hour running time without interruption. The Letterboxed transfer recreates the film's 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio quite well, although the DVD does not include the anamorphic enhancement for wide screen televisions. Other than the lack of the anamorphic enhancement, there is little wrong with this presentation. The transfer is sharp, and well defined. Color reproduction is surprisingly good for a DeLuxe color film of this vintage. Flesh tones appear natural, while most other hues offer respectable saturation. Digital compression artifacts were never really bothersome on this DVD.

The Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack sounds good, with strong dialogue and respectable fidelity for its musical score. Elmer Bernstein's highly recognizable music makes this track worth amplifying. A French language soundtrack has also been included on the DVD. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

The interactive menus contain the standard scene and language selection features, plus access to a new documentary on the making of THE GREAT ESCAPE, a theatrical trailer and production notes. As I stated above THE GREAT ESCAPE is one of the defining films of the W.W. II movie sub-genre. It will make a worthwhile addition to personal library of any war movie fan.

All reviews are Copyright 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 
THE GREAT ESCAPE 



 

.

DVD reviews are Copyright 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

Add to My Yahoo!  Add to Google  RSS Feed & Share Links