Since yesterday’s post was devoted to Steve McQueen, I thought today I would revisit some classic comic moments from one of his most enjoyable films, The Great Escape. Featuring the same director, several of the same actors, and even the same composer who made The Magnificent Seven, it too was an ensemble smash—just on an even bigger scale than that film. (Seven memorable characters? Raise you almost as many more and still leave you remembering every one of them months later.) There weren’t many critical awards for the film, but it’s widely considered the most fun war movie ever made and certainly has a devoted fan following to this day. That said, it’s a credit to the scope of the film that it mingles its fun with legitimately heavy drama, particularly during the sad closing hour or so. The same film that had you in stitches with the first half will move you to tears by the time it’s over. As in “No, not THAT guy! *uncontrollable bawling*” kind of tears.
But today, we’re just enjoying the fun parts, and someone has thoughtfully created a 10-minute montage of some of the best. Seriously, who can forget Steve McQueen’s baseball, or James Coburn’s laughably bad Australian accent, or that first sip of home-brewed potato liquor? I realize not everyone is a classic film geek like me and so none of this makes any sense to some of you, but if you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing this movie, well, I think I see several full-length versions in related vids (hint-hint). Meanwhile, these highlights should whet your appetite. Oh, and there’s a bit of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” involved in one of the last gags, so it’s even appropriate coming up to Christmas. Aren’t I clever?
(P.S. This is one of those rare and glorious war movies with NO LOVE INTEREST WHATSOEVER.)
“Are all American officers so ill-mannered?”
“Mmmmm, ’bout 99 percent.”