The Great Escape

The Great Escape

Classic – no, wait – iconic World War II movie directed by John Sturges and starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence, James Coburn… perhaps it’d be easier to say who isn’t in it.

Allied soldiers plan a daring escape from a German prisoner of war camp. They dig a tunnel, getting rid of excess dirt right under the Germans’ noses by shaking it out of their trouser legs. Don’t be doing that in public.

It’s an epic tale with an epic ending as Steve McQueen’s character, Hilts, attempts to jump a towering barbed-wire fence on a 1961 Triumph TR6 motorcycle disguised as a German BMW R75 machine. Although McQueen did a lot of the riding seen on screen himself, this particularly famous stunt was performed by his stunt double Bud Ekins. As for the movie, say no more, right?

The Great Escape – Friday 3.15pm on Channel 4

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