1988 / Director. Jud Taylor & Paul Wendkos.
The Great Escape II continues from where the original film ends. The first 5 minutes recounts the famous tunnel escape we are all familiar with. The next 30 minutes follows a different group of escapees with some eluding recapture and others being caught. One of those men is played by Christopher Reeve who is selected by a secret underground faction of the Nazi party who want to bring an end to Hitler's occupation. They get him across the border into Switzerland so that he can get back to London and inform Churchill of their intentions. End Part 1. The rest of the film then takes place after the war and follows a selected team of men, with Reeves leading, who have been secretly ordered back to Germany to arrest former Nazi captains and bring them to trial. Surprisingly it's not a bad movie at all...particularly for an 80s made-for-tv one. There's course language which was rare for 1988 television and the locations feel classic. I have never considered Christopher Reeves to be a great actor but he does hold this movie well. While mostly fictionalised I still found the continuation from the original film intriguing and enjoyed it a lot. I wonder if Tarantino took inspiration from this? Much of it foreshadows Inglourious Basterds quite eerily. According to online info The Great Escape II runs for 180 minutes. I was strapped in for the long haul but disappointingly with all of the commercials omitted the film actually runs for 110 minutes. I wanted a little more.