W: James Clavell & W. R. Burnett [based on the
book by Paul Brickhill]
DP: Daniel Fapp
Ed: Ferris Webster
Mus: Elmer Bernstein
PD: Fernando Carrere
Steve McQueen ("Cooler King" Hilts), James
Garner ("The Scrounger" Hendley), Richard Attenborough ("Big X" Bartlett), James Donald (Senior Officer Ramsey), Charles Bronson (Danny Velinski), Donald Pleasance ("The Forger" Blythe),
James Coburn ("The Manufacturer" Sedgwick), Gordon Jackson (MacDonald)
Perennial classic wartime adventure which seems to be
especially adored in the UK, possibly because it's become a staple of Yuletide TV viewing for several decades. Based on Paul Brickhill's factual account of an effort by Allied prisoners
to break out of a German POW internment camp, it contains an all-star cast of memorable characters.
The build up can be quite slow, but worth watching for
the final hour, containing the iconic motorcycle chase in which Steve McQueen's "Cooler King" makes his bid for freedom.
As close to perfect bank holiday viewing as you can