5: The Great Escape (1963) – Phil’s Top 10 Films

5: The Great Escape (1963) – Phil’s Top 10 Films

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Great Escape is a perennial bank holiday favourite that’s been repeated almost annually since time began.  Well TV anyway.  What make it special?  It could be the story – loosely based on the true escape of POW’s at the end of WW2.  It could be the cast – a whose who of 60’s talent such as Steve McQueen, James Coburn, David McCallum, Charles Bronson, James Garner, Donald Pleasence, Richard Attenborough – the list goes on.  Or it could just be they just don’t make them like this anymore – true ensembles where the cast is on fire from start to end.   Whatever it is, The Great Escape has it in spades and throws in drama, humour and pathos alongside some cracking direction.  Yup it may be over 50 years old (and then some) but The Great Escape is filmmaking at it’s finest.

Best Bit: McQueen and the bike.  Iconic.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Dambusters, Escape To Victory, Bullet 







Hall of Fame


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My Favourite… Loren Janes Film

My Favourite… Loren Janes Film

My Favourite… Other Cr*p

As death continues it’s relentless march through the gifted and talented of TV and film, My Favourite… celebrates those we have lost by taking a look at a slice of their best work. Well sometimes best, sometimes just the one I like the most.

This time out: My Favourite…. Loren Janes  (1931-2017) Film



Based on a true story, a group of allied escape artist-type prisoners-of-war (POWs) are all put in an ‘escape proof’ camp. Their leader decides to try to take out several hundred all at once. The first half of the film is played for comedy as the prisoners mostly outwit their jailers to dig the escape tunnel. The second half is high adventure as they use boats and trains and planes to get out of occupied Europe.

Loren Who, I hear you ask?   Well Loren Janes was a pioneer stunt man, a trail blazer of the industry who worked on over 170 film and TV projects between 1955 and 2002.  He worked with the best directors and doubled some of the most notable actors in Hollywood.

But for me there was only ONE favourite film: The Great Escape where he doubled Steve McQueen, one of many times they would work together.  A close bond was formed between the two.    Janes was a gentleman and an unsung hero.  Co-ordniator, stun-man, stunt double and someone I had the honour to interview back in 2008.  He leaves behind a family and a legacy that shaped modern cinema.

See HERE for more. 

See also: Casino, Escape From New York, Bullitt 





Phil’s Top 5… Films of ALL Time!

Phil’s Top 5… Films of ALL Time!

Other Cr*p Top 5

Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five.  This time out:My 5 Favourite Films of ALL Time!


Close but no cigar: Star Wars, Goonies, Die Hard, Cannonball Run, Godfather part 2, Double Indemnity, The Great Escape, Pulp Fiction


5 – Point Break
Simply put one of the best pure action films of all time, Point Break does EVERYTHING right from it’s tight direction, superb central performances and groundbreaking action sequences.  Today it holds up as though it was released yesterday and how can you argue with a film that has half the Red Hot Chilli Peppers in it?


4 – Aliens
The sentry guns.  Hicks. Hudson. The loader. The proximity alerts. Aliens.  LOTs of Aliens. Aliens is just as near perfect as a movie can be and still today is a thrill ride few have topped.


3 – Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars at it’s best.  No scrub that science fiction at it’s best.  Simples.


2 – Top Gun
Everyone has one.  A film they put in their top ten few others would dare.  Yes for me that’s Top Gun.  Look I know right?  Everything you are going to say against it.  BUT for me, growing up, this film was perfect and the soundtrack still plays in my car today.  Perfect through imperfections.


1 – Goodfellas
Scorsese delivers what is THE best Gangster/Mob film ever made with an Oscar winning performance from Joe Pesci, a career best from Ray Liotta and a film that was so good the Oscars ignored it and gave the direction statue to Kevin Costner (a sign of true greatness).  Steadycams, Stones and drugs.  Goodfellas is perfect.


Filmsploitation’s 100 Best Films… #75-51

Filmsploitation’s 100 Best Films… #75-51


Part Two of our run down of Filmsploitation’s 100 Best Films as chosen by a select team of hosts, podcasters, fans and writers from All Things Film, Filmsploitation and the Filmsploitation Facebook group.

So here’s numbers 75-51…