From filmmaker and film historian Christophe Espenan comes The Coolest Guy Movie Ever — a fascinating documentary about the making of the classic World War II adventure film The Great Escape
Before todays action heroes such as Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Robert Downey Jr. there was Steve McQueen, James Garner, and Charles Bronson who for decades represented what it meant to be tough guys in the 1960s, and they had the acting talent to play the toughest characters around – including the real life airmen who pulled off one of the most improbable escapes in war history which featured in the classic film The Great Escape directed by John Sturgess
The filming locations of the enormously popular World War II adventure have become enshrined over the years by film buffs and historians alike, forever changing the landscape of the small German towns that once played host to these Hollywood heavyweights and now for the first time on film , Christophe Espenan set out to visit all of the locations in Germany where the 1963 film was made (and filmed in 1962) , while compiling facts, behind-the-scenes stories, and inside information on how the film was produced. Using still photographs, clips from the film and the knowledge of some of the people who were there at the time of filming (both onscreen and off screen The Coolest Guy Movie Ever is a fantastic trip back down memory lane and makes you want to rewatch The Great Escape as soon as this one hour documentary is finished ( and I did) You can tell that Christophe has such a passion for The Great Escape which comes across on screen through every moment of this super interesting and heart warming documentary film.
From visiting Geisel Gastag Studios in Munich to the Bavarian town of Füssen, Espenan assembled a unique team of cameramen, historians, film buffs, and local experts who painstakingly found the exact spots where actors Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, David McCallum, and others toiled in the summer of 1962 to film the iconic prison break movie.
Uncovering treasures such as footage from a German television news shoot — which included a rare interview on the set with Steve McQueen — to getting first person interviews from the locals who were there during filming, The Coolest Guy Movie Ever is a true labor of love, fashioned by filmmakers who exult The Great Escape as one of the most memorable World War II movies ever made, featuring one of the greatest casts ever assembled, and for many, indeed, The Coolest Guy Movie Ever. Whilst some may think this should have been a special feature type of documentary due to its running time, I could agree with that way of thinking but then quickly disagree with it when I realise that if The Coolest Guy Movie Ever was a special feature on a blu ray set somewhere, then a lot of people who already own The Great Escape might never see it as they already own the film.
Treat yourself. this is easily one of my favourite documenteries of the year and a great addition to your film collection
“The Great Escape is my favorite film of all time,” said Producer Steve Rubin. “It is the first film I started researching for my book ‘Combat Films 1945-2010’, the subject of my 1993 documentary Return to The Great Escape, and the reason I was nominated for Best Classic Commentary in 2004 for The Great Escape: Special Edition. When filmmaker Chris Espenan came to me with the idea for The Coolest Guy Movie Ever, I literally dropped everything to help him.”
Executive Producer and Virgil Films CEO Joe Amodei echoed Rubin’s sentiments when he said “As a young boy exploring the big wide world of motion pictures for the first time The Great Escape excited me, thrilled me and cemented a love for movies that has stayed with me forever. This is the film that started it all.”