1027 The Great Escape

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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mfunk9786
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1027 The Great Escape

#1 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:59 pm

The Great Escape

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One of the most exciting adventure tales ever told, this action epic 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 plays the motorcycle-racing daredevil who sets out to foil the Nazis, alongside an all-star cast that also includes Charles Bronson, James Coburn, James Garner, and Donald Pleasence. The expert direction of John Sturges, eminently hummable Elmer Bernstein score, and rip-roaring stunts come together in what may just be the most spectacularly entertaining prison-break movie of all time, a rousing ode to the determination, camaraderie, and courage of everyday heroes.

SPECIAL FEATURES

• 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
• PLUS: An essay by critic Sheila O'Malley

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domino harvey
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Re: Forthcoming: The Great Escape

#2 Post by domino harvey » Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:22 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:59 pm
The Great Escape is November's newsletter clue, coming TBD
Prediction: every extra is focused on Steve McQueen

black&huge
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Re: Forthcoming: The Great Escape

#3 Post by black&huge » Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:59 pm

Two versions of the film: theatrical and a Leonardo DeGumprio version

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tenia
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Re: Forthcoming: The Great Escape

#4 Post by tenia » Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:37 pm

But... why ?

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rapta
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Re: Forthcoming: The Great Escape

#5 Post by rapta » Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:42 pm

Nice, hopefully this means it'll finally get properly restored.

And also that it gets ported to the UK so that every dad in the country will own at least one Criterion disc.

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Re: Forthcoming: The Great Escape

#6 Post by cdnchris » Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:45 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:22 pm
Prediction: every extra is focused on Steve McQueen
That's being kinda generous. It'll be most (but not all) of the MGM supplements and maybe the commentary from their LaserDisc. The only new McQueen feature will be an interview with Larry McQueen about the costumes. And they'll dig up an old Dick Cavett interview (or two) with someone involved in the movie. Not to knock the Cavett interviews (they're usually great) but there are rarely any surprises, at least with the Hollywood films.

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Re: Forthcoming: The Great Escape

#7 Post by FrauBlucher » Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:20 pm

OK, which Becker or Turell is/was this a favorite of?

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Aspect
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Re: Forthcoming: The Great Escape

#8 Post by Aspect » Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:59 pm

Great news (for me at least)! I’ve always felt that Escape’s nearly 3 hours fly by thanks to Sturges’ expert blocking and staging (a lost art these days) and all the wonderful performances, not to mention Bernstein’s classic score. Tense, humorous, tragic and optimistic all at once, but, above all, fun. Bring it on, especially since it’s likely the new 4K restoration.

And I’m a dad, but a relatively new one.

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Mr. Deltoid
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Re: Forthcoming: The Great Escape

#9 Post by Mr. Deltoid » Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:30 pm

Here in the U.K. this film is so synonymous with public holiday screenings (Christmas and Bank Holiday's especially) that it's a arguably a key part of our pop-culture psyche! As rapta says above, it's generally regarded as the ultimate 'Dad' film (along with River Kwai and Zulu), so much so that it's virtues are often underestimated. The iconic Elmer Bernstein score alone was long ago adopted by fans of the English national football team that you can still hear it played at most international away matches, leading Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian to mourn it's ubiquity: https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.thegua ... -world-cup

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Boosmahn
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Re: Forthcoming: The Great Escape

#10 Post by Boosmahn » Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:34 pm

Twist: this will be an extra on the six-disc 4K edition of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, coming to Criterion in 2022

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Forthcoming: The Great Escape

#11 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:13 pm

This will be a great nostalgia buy. My dad (yep..) introduced my sister and me to it early on, and it was a personal favorite of his, though I suspect it had as much to do with the way McQueen threw the ball against the wall to casually pass the time in isolation (my dad often talked about doing this for hours every day after his own father's passing, though that was long before this film came out) as it did the entertaining camaraderie and adventurous content. Regardless, after Jackie Chan entered the collection, this is the second Criterion I can safely purchase for him, and one for myself while I'm at it. In a strange way there's something just as 'cool' about seeing McQueen nonchalantly occupying himself with a simple repetitive task as it is the intense plotting and louder action. As if that's something to aspire to- calmly accepting the throws of life with a shrug, patience, confidence, and sticking to one's convictions above all else, to do it all over again. No wonder Rick Dalton went for this one.

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Re: Forthcoming: The Great Escape

#12 Post by TwoTecs » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:24 pm

Aspect wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:59 pm
Great news (for me at least)! I’ve always felt that Escape’s nearly 3 hours fly by thanks to Sturges’ expert blocking and staging (a lost art these days) and all the wonderful performances, not to mention Bernstein’s classic score. Tense, humorous, tragic and optimistic all at once, but, above all, fun. Bring it on, especially since it’s likely the new 4K restoration.

And I’m a dad, but a relatively new one.
It isn't necessarily a lost art. It is a different time. The spaces and how people occupy them have changed. It only makes sense that directors stage scenes differently to reflect their sensibilities and experiences.

Not to say their aren't incompetent directors who simply don't care about such things but it seems like when people talk about goodstaging they just mean you can see a group of characters in a single shot.

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Finch
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Re: Forthcoming: The Great Escape

#13 Post by Finch » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:31 pm

As tempting as it was to whine "Really this is getting a spine?", I always tell myself that stuff like this likely makes it more viable for Criterion to put out the WCF boxes etc.

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Re: Forthcoming: The Great Escape

#14 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:35 pm

Correct me if I’m wrong, but this film has never been released in its proper aspect ratio, right? Isn’t it 2.55?

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Big Ben
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Re: Forthcoming: The Great Escape

#15 Post by Big Ben » Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:06 am

The Elegant Dandy Fop wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:35 pm
Correct me if I’m wrong, but this film has never been released in its proper aspect ratio, right? Isn’t it 2.55?
Imdb says 2.30 is the intended and that the first DVD release was 2.69. What's up with that?

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movielocke
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Re: Forthcoming: The Great Escape

#16 Post by movielocke » Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:30 am

That’s weird: it’s 1963, so 2.55:1 is not at all likely as it only occurred on a tiny handful of mid fifties films before they worked out how to do sound on anamorphic film prints thus reducing 2.55 to 2.35:1 from then on.

2.76 is anamorphic 65mm, but this was a 35mm film, which never went that wide.


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Re: Forthcoming: The Great Escape

#17 Post by sabbath » Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:18 am

Hmm, it does have more information on both sides, though it looks a bit off-centered (too wide on the left side) to my eyes: DVD Beaver review

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Re: Forthcoming: The Great Escape

#18 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:42 am

I don't mind this (the influence of this film on UK culture is of course also apparent through Chicken Run being a feature length homage to it!), though I am more enticed by the idea that it might get paired up with the John Sturges directed Bad Day At Black Rock, which was also a previous laserdisc title.

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Re: Forthcoming: The Great Escape

#19 Post by Close The Door, Raymond » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:32 am

When Criterion released it on Laserdisc in 1991, it featured an audio commentary by John Sturges, Elmer Bernstein, production manager and second unit director Robert E. Relyea, stuntman Bud Ekins and film historian Bruce Eder.

I don't think this is the same commentary on the MGM Blu-ray. Hopefully someone can confirm, but I think the Sturges commentary on the MGM bluray is from a 1974 interview. Sturges died in 1992 the year after the Criterion laserdisc was released.

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Re: Forthcoming: The Great Escape

#20 Post by sabbath » Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:03 am

colinr0380 wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:42 am
I don't mind this (the influence of this film on UK culture is of course also apparent through Chicken Run being a feature length homage to it!), though I am more enticed by the idea that it might get paired up with the John Sturges directed Bad Day At Black Rock, which was also a previous laserdisc title.
Warner Archive Collection already released Bad Day at Black Rock Blu-ray (also in the UK, under the HMV exclusive Premium Collection label), without John Sturges commentary on the Criterion laserdisc. And if I remember correctly, Criterion has never done double-dip the films WAC already released on Blu-ray.

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Re: 1027 The Great Escape

#21 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:26 pm

Coming in May

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movielocke
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Re: 1027 The Great Escape

#22 Post by movielocke » Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:31 pm

And criterion is listing it as the correct 2.35

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Re: 1027 The Great Escape

#23 Post by barryconvex » Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:08 am

I can never think of this without also thinking of the "Oh, Streetcar" episode of The Simpsons.

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tenia
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Re: 1027 The Great Escape

#24 Post by tenia » Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:31 am

Interestingly, Criterion's product page indicates simply "4k digital restoration" (so not a new one) but blu-ray.com's press release article states "NEW 4K RESTORATION". I wonder which one is correct.

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Re: 1027 The Great Escape

#25 Post by Orlac » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:35 am

barryconvex wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:08 am
I can never think of this without also thinking of the "Oh, Streetcar" episode of The Simpsons.
That episode is a legend!

I must really try The Fountainhead diet...

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