Blu-ray, DVD Release: The Great Escape

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: May 12, 2020
Price: DVD $22.99, Blu-ray $27.99
Studio: Criterion

One of the most exciting adventure tales ever told, the 1963 action-adventure epic The Great Escape recounts the planning, execution, and aftermath of a daring true-life escape from a German prisoner-of-war camp during World War II, in which 250 men attempted to tunnel their way to freedom.

In the role that cemented his superstar status, Steve McQueen (Le Mans) plays the motorcycle-racing daredevil who sets out to foil the Nazis, alongside an all-star cast that also includes  James Garner (Grand Prix), Richard Attenborough (Jurassic Park), Charles Bronson (Once Upon a Time in the West), Donald Pleasence (Escape From New York) and James Coburn (Cross of Iron)

The expert direction of John Sturges (The Eagle Has Landed), eminently hummable Elmer Bernstein score, and rip-roaring stunts come together for the most spectacularly entertaining prison-break movie of all time.

Criterion’s new editions of the rousing film include the following:

* 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
* Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray
* Two audio commentaries, one from 1991, featuring director John Sturges and composer Elmer Bernstein; the other, from 2004, featuring actors James Coburn, James Garner, and Donald Pleasence
* New interview with critic Michael Sragow
* “The Great Escape”: Heroes Underground, a four-part 2001 documentary about the real-life escape from the Stalag Luft III prisoner-of-war camp during World War II, including interviews with POWs held there
* The Real Virgil Hilts: A Man Called Jones, a 2001 program on the United States Army Air Forces pilot David Jones, the inspiration for Steve McQueen’s character in the film
* Return to “The Great Escape,” a 1993 program featuring interviews with Coburn, Garner, actors David McCallum and Jud Taylor, stuntman Bud Ekins, and McQueen’s son, Chad McQueen
* Trailer
* An essay by critic Sheila O’Malley

Buy or Rent The Great Escape

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.