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The Great Escape (1963) Criterion Blu-ray: A great classic

The Criterion Collection is releasing Director John Sturges’ exciting WWII classic, The Great Escape (1963) on a 4K restoration Blu-ray. Stars Steve McQueen.

One of the most exciting adventure tales ever told, this action epic recounts the planning, execution, and aftermath of a daring true-life escape from a German prisoner-of-war camp during World War II, in which 250 men attempted to tunnel their way to freedom. In the role that cemented his superstar status, Steve McQueen plays the motorcycle-racing daredevil who sets out to foil the Nazis, alongside an all-star cast that also includes Charles Bronson, James Coburn, James Garner, and Donald Pleasence.

The expert direction of John Sturges, eminently hummable Elmer Bernstein score, and rip-roaring stunts come together in what may just be the most spectacularly entertaining prison-break movie of all time, a rousing ode to the determination, camaraderie, and courage of everyday heroes.

Release date: May 12, 2020
Genre: Drama / Thriller

Disc and film details

  • Director: John Sturges
  • Cast: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough
  • Country: USA
  • Production Year: 1963
  • Discs: 1 Blu-ray Disc
  • Region: A
  • Run Time: 172 minutes
  • Formats: Color / 4K / 2.35:1
  • Audio: English
  • Subtitle: English
  • Studio: The Criterion Collection

Special features

  • NEW 4K RESTORATION OF THE FILM, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray
  • Two audio commentaries, one from 1991, featuring director John Sturges and composer Elmer Bernstein; the other, from 2004, featuring actors James Coburn, James Garner, and Donald Pleasence
  • New interview with critic Michael Sragow
  • “The Great Escape”: Heroes Underground, a four-part 2001 documentary about the real-life escape from the Stalag Luft III prisoner-of-war camp during World War II, including interviews with POWs held there
  • The Real Virgil Hilts: A Man Called Jones, a 2001 program on the United States Army Air Forces pilot David Jones, the inspiration for Steve McQueen’s character in the film
  • Return to “The Great Escape,” a 1993 program featuring interviews with Coburn, Garner, actors David McCallum and Jud Taylor, stuntman Bud Ekins, and McQueen’s son, Chad McQueen
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Sheila O’Malley

The Great Escape (1963) trailer

Notice: The picture quality of these videos do not reflect the picture quality of the Blu-ray or DVD in this package.

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