The Great Escape

Character mistake: The scene in the outdoor Parisian cafe is incredibly daft. First, the cafe owners call James Coburn's bizarrely-accented Australian to the telephone to keep him out of the way as their accomplices assassinate three uniformed German officers seated in the cafe in a drive by shooting. They then toast the killings with cognac, and that is the mistake - not the shootings, not the luring away of Coburn - the mistake is that the cafe proprietors celebrate the assassination of the German officers in broad daylight, in the open, without even stopping to think that such an action would have them shot, because all of this is done in the direct view of passers-by in broad daylight. Do they think those three German officers were the only ones in Paris? How did they know Coburn wasn't an undercover Gestapo agent or a French collaborator? Don't they stop to consider that in an occupied city machine gun fire is going to draw some attention from the authorities, who might just wonder what a couple of bullet riddled corpses are doing lying about the place?

Character mistake: When Sedgwick is bringing the cement tunnel lid to Willy, somebody yells out "Hey Hendley" and Sedgwick answers "Hello boys". He was called by the wrong name.

Character mistake: When Werner goes to see Hedley for helping finding his "lost" papers, Hedley is playing chess. The chess set is set up incorrectly. When the men are set up properly, each player has a light colored square in the right-hand corner. In the movie, the game is set up so that the light-colored square is in each player's left-hand corner. This "beginner" mistake puts the king and queen in the wrong positions.

Character mistake: When Werner asks Hendley why, as an American, he fights alongside Britain, he mentions that the British burned down the U.S. capital in 1812. While it happened during the War of 1812, the burning of Washington actually occurred in 1814. (00:11:10)

Cubs Fan Premium member
Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The question was intended to demonstrate how far out-of-touch Werner was with United States history.

Charles Austin Miller

You're misreading the entry. Werner's question in and of itself is not the mistake; it's merely a point of contextual reference. The mistake is him giving the incorrect date of a historical event he claims to have read about in history books; his use of the plural suggests he's read more than one. It's hard to believe every book he might have read all have the same inaccurate information, so he must be remembering, and thus repeating it, incorrectly.

Cubs Fan Premium member

Join the mailing list

Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Add something
Buy the booksMost popular pagesBest movie mistakesBest mistake picturesBest comedy movie quotesMovies with the most mistakesNew this monthGladiator mistakesPirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl mistake pictureThe Simpsons mistakesMan on Fire endingFriends questionsAvengers: Infinity War triviaHow the Grinch Stole Christmas quotesAvatar plotMel Blanc movies & TV shows25 mistakes you never noticed in great moviesStar Wars mistake video
More for The Great Escape

Quotes

Col. Von Luger: Group Captain Ramsey, in the past four years the Reich has been forced to spend an enormous amount of time, energy, manpower and equipment hunting down prisoner of war officers.
Group Capt. Ramsey: At least it's rather nice to know you're wanted, isn't it?

More...

Mistakes

A convoy of open trucks arrive at the camp bringing the latest batch of prisoners, many of whom are carrying rucksacks and tote bags of clothing and other possessions. Where did they come from? Combat servicemen in World War Two did not carry overnight bags with them - a change of clothes or a handy supply of toiletries was the least of their concerns. A prisoner of war arrived in the camp with the clothes he stood up in and nothing else.

More...

Trivia

While Steve McQueen performed most of his own stunts, the only stunt he didn't perform was the 60 foot jump over the Austrian-Swiss border fence. The jump was performed by stuntman Bud Ekins, who later doubled for McQueen in "Bullitt."

More...