The Great Escape is one of those films
which was not truly appreciated in its own time, winning a solitary oscar
for film editing. Seen nowadays as a classic, it has elements in it that
can never be mastered; from Elmer Bernstein's classic, cheeky little score,
to the huge ensemble cast of some of the biggest names in Hollywood. From
Richard Attenborough (Jurassic Park, Elizabeth), James Coburn (The Magnificent
Seven, Afflicted), James Garner (Space Cowboys) to Charles Bronson (Deathwish),
Donald Pleasance (Bond's famous Blofeld) and the late, great King of Cool,
Steve McQueen (recently voted the toughest man in Hollywood by Total Film
magazine) and star of other such classics as 'Bullit' and 'The Thomas Crown
Affair'. This film helped to forge many a notable career, but it is McQueen,
with the help of the motorcycle jump scene, that profits most from the
film, being transformed from a relative unknown to the coolest man in Hollywood
and a cultural icon almost overnight. The Great Escape is now rightfully
viewed as one of the best war films ever made, mixing comedy, suspense
and cool into one, this is a must see.
His peers have called him one of the best
actors in film history and McQueen's films are considered classics. Movies
such as The Great Escape, The Sand Pebbles, (for which he received an Academy
Award nomination), Nevada Smith, Bullitt (which became the basis for police
action movies and to this day has the most exciting car chase ever filmed),
The Getaway (where he met his second wife, actress Ali McGraw), Papillon,
and many others.
Some facts about Steve McQueen:
Was diagnosed with a form of lung cancer,
mesothelioma, which is related to asbestos exposure. Steve McQueen wore
an asbestos-insulated racers suit in his race cars, and possibly was exposed
to the harmful insulating material during his stint in the Marines.
Ashes scattered in the Pacific Ocean.
Was a pallbearer at the funeral of actor (and
his martial arts instructor) Bruce Lee.