The Great Escape is a 1963 American epic war film starring Steve McQueen, James Garner and Richard Attenborough, and featuring James Donald, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence, James Coburn, and Hannes Messemer. It was filmed in Panavision.
The film is based on Paul Brickhill's 1950 nonfiction book of the same name, a firsthand account of the mass escape by British Commonwealth prisoners of war from German POW camp Stalag Luft III in Sagan (now ?aga?, Poland), in the province of Lower Silesia, Nazi Germany. The film was based on the real events but deviated significantly from historical events, depicting a heavily fictionalised version of the escape with numerous compromises for its commercial appeal, such as including Americans among the escapees.
It was made by The Mirisch Company, released by United Artists, and produced and directed by John Sturges. The film had its Royal World Premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square in London's West End on 20 June 1963. The film became very popular and emerged as one of the highest-grossing films of the year, winning McQueen the award for Best Actor at the Moscow International Film Festival and is now considered a classic. The Great Escape is also notable for its motorcycle chase scene and famous jump scene, which is considered as one of the best stunts ever made.