24 movies Guaranteed to make you feel Christmassy

December 17th - The Great Escape

The Great Escape Poster

Year : 1963

Director: John Sturgess

Starring: Steve Mcqueen, Richard Attenborough, Donald Pleasance, Gordon Jackson .

The Great Escape

So a World War Two prison camp is not hugely Christmas related. I wonder what it says about the British psyche that this film is always shown on TV on Christmas day to cheer us up?

The Great Escape is a tale of a group of allied POW's that are trying to escape from an "inescapable" German Prisoner of War camp. As the film continues we see various sporadic escape attempts end in failure and the decision is made to pool their resource in an attempt to effect a mass escape. Tunnels are dug, official papers are forged, clothing is turned into disguises and plans are made for the disbursement of the escapees out to neutral safe countries following the escape, all of this being done whilst the German guards keep up their constant patrols and inspections of the troops barracks. But even if the escape is successful, can the escapees possibly get to safety?

Remarkably this film is actually based on a true story by a survivor of a German POW camp. The story was adapted and changed in the interests of making a cinematic piece (and more sellable - particularly making it more of the lead characters Americans whereas actually they were mostly commonwealth soldiers). The authenticity is helped by a number of the cast (including Donald Pleasance) who were held in POW camps during World War II.

Obviously this film has nothing to do with Christmas itself other than it is a perennial Christmas TV favourite, but why is that? I can only assume that its due to the faith in the human spirit, and even though the story ends in tragedy (just like the real events it was based on) the courage, bravery and triumph of the human spirit shines through the film and perhaps it is that which touches us all particularly at Christmas. Or it could just be for the welcome appearance of Shughie McFee from Crossroads.

The Great Escape - nothing to do with Christmas's but plenty to do with making you feel Christmassy and is placed at December 17th on our Films guaranteed to make you feel Christmassy (UK edition)

alt-flix Christmas store banner

Buy this film and more from our Christmas DVD Store in association with Amazon.co.uk

click to close window