The Great Escape (film)

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The Great Escape is a 1963 film about several hundred Allied POWs who plan a mass escape from a German POW camp.

Directed by John Sturges. Written by James Clavell and W.R. Burnett, based on the novel by Paul Brickhill.
Put a fence in front of these men...and they'll climb it.taglines


Col. von Luger

  • We have in effect put all our rotten eggs in one basket. And we intend to watch this basket carefully.
  • It looks, after all, as if you will see Berlin before I do.

Others

  • Title Card: This is a true story. Although the characters are composites of real men, and time and place have been compressed, every detail of the escape is the way it really happened.
  • Captain Hilts: I haven't seen Berlin yet, from the ground or from the air, and I plan on doing both before the war is over.
  • Roger Bartlett: One has to ask some very strange things in the job I have.
  • Ramsey: Colonel Von Luger, it is the sworn duty of all officers to try to escape. If they cannot escape, then it is their sworn duty to cause the enemy to use an inordinate number of troops to guard them, and their sworn duty to harass the enemy to the best of their ability.
  • Sergeant-Hauptmann Strachwitz: I will not take action against you, now. This is the first day here and there has been much stupidity and carelessness... on both sides!
  • Herr Kuhn: Ah, Herr Bartlett. And Herr MacDonald. We are together again. You're going to wish you had never put us to so much trouble!

Dialogue

Herr Kuhn: We have reason to believe this prisoner is the mastermind behind numerous criminal escape attempts.
Von Luger: [sarcastically] Squadron Leader Bartlett has been three months in your care! And the Gestapo has only "reason to believe"!

Ramsey: Did the Gestapo give you a rough time?
Bartlett: Not nearly as rough as I now intend to give them

Sergeant-Hauptmann Strachwitz: What are you doing over here by the wire?
Hilts: Well, like I told Max here, I was trying to get my...
German Soldier: Achtung!
[Von Luger enters]
Von Luger: What were you doing by the wire?
Hilts: Well, like I told Max... I was trying to cut my way through your wire because I want to get out.

Von Luger: Are all American officers so ill-mannered?
Hilts: Yeah, about 99 percent.
Von Luger: Then perhaps while you are with us you will have a chance to learn some. Ten days isolation, Hilts.
Hilts: CAPTAIN Hilts.
Von Luger: Twenty days.
Hilts: Right. Oh, uh, you'll still be here when I get out?
Von Luger: [visibly annoyed] Cooler!

Colin: Tea?
Hendley: I only drank tea once - in a hospital.
Colin: Afraid this tea's pathetic. Must have used these wretched leaves about twenty times. It's not that I mind so much. Tea without milk is so uncivilized.

Bartlett: It's possible for one man to get out through the wire, even get away, but there are in fact a considerable number of people besides yourself in this camp who are trying to escape.
Hilts: I appreciate that. [pause] Something's coming. I can feel it, and it's coming right around the corner at me, Squadron Leader!

Hilts: How many you taking out?
Bartlett: Two hundred and fifty.
Hilts: Two hundred and fifty?
Bartlett: Yeh.
Hilts: You're crazy. You oughta be locked up. You, too. Two hundred and fifty guys just walkin' down the road, just like that?

Hilts: Wait a minute. You aren't seriously suggesting that if I get through the wire... and case everything out there... and don't get picked up... to turn myself in and get thrown back in the cooler for a couple of months so you can get the information you need?
Bartlett: Yes.

Bartlett: Hilts, how do you breathe?
Hilts: Oh, we got a steel rod with hinges on it. We'll shove it up and make air holes as we go along. [to Ramsey] G'night, sir.
[Hilts walks out]
MacDonald: Why didn't anyone think of that before? It's so stupid, it's positively brilliant! Oh, but it'll bring every goon in the camp down on top of us!
Bartlett: I don't know. Perhaps we're being too clever. If we stop all the breakouts, it will only convince the goons we must be tunneling.
Ramsey: I hope it works. If it doesn't, those two will be in the cooler for an awfully long time.

Hendley: Come on, Roger. We all know the score here, at least... most of us do. Your idea of this escape is to... start another front, to foul up the Germans behind the lines. All right, that's fine, that's fine. But once we get past that barbed wire, once we have them looking all over Germany for us, that mission is accomplished. Afterwards, we have some ideas of our own.
Bartlett: You mean getting home? Back to your family and children?
Hendley: That's right.
Bartlett: Good God, man. Do you really believe I haven't thought about that, too?

Bartlett: [of the Americans' homemade vodka] In the three years, seven months and two weeks that I've been in the bag, that's the most extraordinary stuff I've ever tasted. It's shattering!
MacDonald: Well, I think it's rather good... Well, with your permission, sir, I think I'll all on kives. Er, call on Ives.

Sedgwick: Danny, do you speak Russian?
Danny: A little, but only one sentence.
Sedgwick: Well, let me have it, mate.
Danny: Ya vas lyublyu.
Sedgwick: Ya ya vas...
Danny: Lyublyu.
Sedgwick: Lyubliu? Ya vas lyubliu. Ya vas lyublyu. What's it mean?
Danny: I love you.
Sedgwick: Love you. What bloody good is that?
Danny: I don't know, I wasn't going to use it myself.

Bartlett: Not Colin. He'd be an appalling hazard to the whole escape. That must be my decision.
Hendley: You want to talk about hazards? Let talk about hazards. Lets talk about you. You're the biggest hazard we have. The Gestapo has you marked. No one has said you can't go.
Bartlett: That's true, and I have thought about the Gestapo. But if you're asking me how a far a commanding officer is allowed to go, or dare go, or should be permitted to play God, I can't answer you.
Hendley: Colin's not a blind man as long as he's with me. And he's going with me!

Colin: You know, he's right. he's right. I really shouldn't go. My eyes have been getting worse and worse. I think they call it progressive Myopia. I can see things up here. [looks at pin] Yes I can see it well, but, you're just a blur.
Hendley: I know. Ah, Hell, we'll make it in great shape. Colin, do you have any tea?
Colin: Yes, of course.
Hendley: Let's have some.
Colin: Splendid.

Hilts: Hold on to yourself, Bartlett. You're twenty feet short.
Bartlett: What do you mean, twenty feet short?
Hilts: You're twenty feet short of the woods. The hole is right here in open. The guard is between us and the lights.

Ramsey: Roger's idea was to get back at the enemy the hardest way he could, mess up the works. From what we've heard here, I think he did exactly that.
Hendley: Do you think it was worth the price?
Ramsey: Depends on your point of view, Hendley.

Taglines

  • Put a fence in front of these men...and they'll climb it.
  • Hours ago... Minutes ago.... These men were behind barbed wire.

Cast

External links

Wikipedia
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