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    About This Item

    Unique ID Code: 0000015884
    Added by: DVD Reviewer
    Added on: 4/4/2001 02:33
    View Changes

    Great Escape, The (UK)

    7 / 10
    3 votes cast
    Rate this item
    Inline Image

    The all time war action classic
    Certificate: PG
    Running Time: 165 mins
    Retail Price: £15.99
    Release Date:

    In 1943, the Germans opened Stalag Luft North, a maximum security prisoner-of-war camp, designed to hold even the craftiest escape artists. In doing so, however, the Nazis unwittingly assembled the finest escape team in military history - brilliantly portrayed here by Steve McQueen, James Garner, Charles Bronson and James Coburn - who worked on what became the largest prison breakout ever attempted.

    One of the most ingenious and suspenseful adventure films of al time, `The Great Escape` is a masterful collaboration between director John Sturges (`The Magnificent Seven`), screenwriters James Clavell (`Shogun`) and W.R. Burnett (`Little Caesar`), and composer Elmer Bernstein. Based on a true story, `The Great Escape` is epic entertainment that "entertains, captivates, thrills and stirs" (Variety).

    Special Features:
    Interactive Menus
    Scene Access
    24 minute documentary, `Return To The Great Escape`
    US Theatrical Trailer
    Eight-Page Booklet Containing Exclusive Behind-The-Scenes Trivia And Production Notes

    Video Tracks:
    Widescreen Letterbox 2.35:1

    Audio Tracks:
    Dolby Digital Mono English
    Dolby Digital Mono Spanish
    Dolby Digital Mono German
    Dolby Digital Mono Italian
    Dolby Digital Mono French

    Subtitle Tracks:
    CC: German
    CC: English

    Directed By:
    John Sturges

    Written By:

    Gordon Jackson
    David McCallum
    Hannes Messemer
    James Coburn
    Donald Pleasence
    Charles Bronson
    James Donald
    Richard Attenborough
    James Garner
    Steve McQueen

    Casting By:
    Lynn Stalmaster

    Soundtrack By:
    Elmer Bernstein

    Director of Photography:
    Daniel L. Fapp

    Ferris Webster

    Costume Designer:
    Bert Henrikson

    John Sturges
    James Clavell

    Metro Goldwyn Mayer

    Your Opinions and Comments

    5 / 10
    The following is a review of the region 1 release:
    The Great Escape is a memorable film fueled by Elmer
    Bernstein`s excellent music.

    The movie is presented in non-anamorphic 2.70:1 widescreen,
    as looks pretty good.Film grain is very noticable during certain
    scenes,but the picture is generally sharp and pleasing.The
    main problem is how over matted the picture,because the
    movie was filmed in 35mm Panavision,not Ultra Panavision.

    The audio is acceptable with only 2-channel mono.

    The extras are sparse but the 24 minute documentary is worth
    checking out.The other extra is the original trailer which looks
    pretty bad.There is also a booklet with info and an example
    of widescreen v.s. pan & scan.

    I imagine sometime MGM will re-release this movie as a special edition.
    posted by Adam Morrison on 24/6/2002 21:46
    8 / 10
    (The following review refers to the NTSC R1 release that appears identical to the R2 release apart from the NTSC / PAL system differences)

    The Great Escape
    Region: 1 (USA), NTSC
    Average bitrate: 5.12 mb/s
    measured DVD ratio: 2.69:1 (4:3 Letterbox)
    Original ratio: 2.35:1 (Panavision)
    Chapters: 32
    Soundtrack: English DD 2.0 mono (192 mb/s), French 2.0 mono, German 2.0 mono
    Subs: English, French, Spanish
    Extras: Original theatrical trailer, Making of documentary, booklet with production notes
    Cert: PG
    Cover Design: A large (Very large) face of McQueen and another picture of him crawling through
    some wire fense. OK, but I prefer the poster instead. Average
    Duration: 2:52:00
    Dual layered - Single sided

    The film: Excellent POW movie, the best of it's kind and I give it top marks

    Image: The image is sharp but lacking overall detail, especially because it's not 16:9 enhanced. Colours are strongly oversaturated with reddish skin tones. Artefacts are apparent but the only distracting artefacts are reel change markers that indicate that this transfer was made from a display print 3 generations or more from the original negative. The image appears to be extremely grainy but satisfying, even with some digital artefacts. But the aspect ratio is incorrectly 2.69:1 because the DVD shows more information on the left side because the print used for transfer had no soundtrack on it and, thus had more picture information. This is just fine by me but a 16:9 enhanced transfer would have been better

    Audio: The 2.0 mono audio is reasonably limited with background hiss that is just typical of a vintage audio track but this one is quite listenable throughout. Noted were slightly annoying volume drops near the beginning, slight high end distortion and infrequent pops or crackle from the source material. Incidentally, the worst audio quality is in the scene of 4th of July, the same scene that fares worst in image quality.

    Extras: Extras are adequate for such a release with an original theatrical trailer (that looks absolutely horrible) and documentary. The booklet is good and informative and compared to other MGM releases I was pleasantly surprised to see anything other than trailer but more extras are welcome and the new special edition clearly tops this one.
    posted by DVDfinnur on 2/7/2004 01:49