“The Great Escape” – Nathan’s Movie Challenge, Week 29
“Tea without milk is so uncivilized.”
So, I’d heard the name “The Great Escape“, and I knew it was a prison breakout movie, it starred Steve McQueen, and that’s about the extent of what I had coming into it.
Showing exactly how they’d somehow manage to dig tunnels and hide that from their captors (which, admittedly, still seems rather far fetched) was interesting. On the other hand, there’s so much death. So many characters die. It’s an extremely negative, oppressive feeling.
The motorcycle chase goes on for what feels like hours. This film could have benefitted from some judicious editing.
The score is super-bombastic despite not being a bombastic picture. Feels really out of place.
I found myself hoping the movie would find a redeeming end, but there’s something very defeating about the whole thing. It’s weird that it tries to paint prison life as sort of a game and then also shows how tragic the consequences are for losing the game. It tries to use humor and that combination didn’t sit well with me.
I didn’t find much to like technically, either. It wasn’t particularly impressive visually – felt very “TV”, with flat lighting.
I have to admit – I was more than a little disappointed. I expected it to be much more enjoyable.
The Great Escape was at the time of this review at #50 on my Flickchart list of shame (ranked #146 among the best films of all time). Here’s how it entered my chart:
The Great Escape vs. Night of the Creeps
Night of the Creeps is not great, but it is kooky and fun. Probably deserves to be a little higher on my chart. It’ll win over The Great Escape.
The Great Escape vs. What Women Want
I still really like What Women Want. It’s a high-concept rom-com that works, and primarily because of the great chemistry between Helen Hunt and Mel Gibson.
The Great Escape vs. The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008)
I don’t really like either version of The Day The Earth Stood Still, but the Keanu Reeves remake is particularly dull.
The Great Escape vs. Joe’s Apartment
Joe’s Apartment! What a wonderfully weird little movie.
The Great Escape vs. The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)
So, I kind of like this horrible disaster of a movie. It’s so unnervingly bad and weird that it turns around and becomes interesting. There’s an entire documentary about how weird this movie is. It’s almost as if it’s an impossibility that somehow made it into theaters. Commendable, in a strange way. I actually will pick it over The Great Escape.
The Great Escape vs. 101 Dalmatians
Meh. 101 Dalmatians is very much lesser Disney. The Great Escape wins.
The Great Escape vs. Jumpin’ Jack Flash
I haven’t watched Jumpin’ Jack Flash in a long time, and my memory of it is spotty, at best. The Great Escape wins.
The Great Escape vs. The Adventures of Milo and Otis
It’s a little weird that Milo and Otis is a Japanese movie, considering how it seems rather American-ish it comes off. It feels like a very Western story, despite its Eastern origins. It’s a pretty remarkable animal picture. Shot over three years on over 400,000 feet of film. It’ll win the matchup.
The Great Escape vs. The Rescue
I remember being super into The Rescue as a kid. I mean – come on, folks! The plot description is: “A group of teenagers infiltrate a North Korean prison to rescue their Navy SEAL fathers”. What more do you need? It probably does not hold up well at all, but I have fond memories, so it’ll win this battle.
The Great Escape vs. The Island
Despite the ever-present Michael Bay aversion, I rather enjoyed The Island as the big, overblown explosion-fest that it is. ScarJo helps, too. It’s not a good movie, but it’s enjoyable.
The Great Escape vs. Open Range
Yeah, Open Range was not good. The Great Escape wins.
The Great Escape is now ranked #1265 out of 1487 movies on my Best Movies of All-Time chart.
Next up is The Dark Crystal. In the meantime, check out the other films I’ve ranked during the challenge.