|THE GREAT ESCAPEIn 1943, the Germans opened Stalag Luft North, a maximum-security prisoner-of-war camp, designed to hold even the craftiest escape artists. In doing so, however, the Nazis unwittingly assembled the finest escape team in military history brilliantly portrayed here by Steve McQueen, James Garner, Charles Bronson and James Coburn who worked on what became the largest prison breakout ever attempted.One of the most ingenious and suspenseful adventure films of all time, The Great Escape is a masterful collaboration between director John Sturges (The Magnificent Seven), screenwriters James Clavell (Shogun) and W.R. Burnett (Little Caesar), and composer Elmer Bernstein. Based on a true story, The Great Escape is epic entertainment that "entertains, captivates, thrills and stirs" (Variety).Rating NR Running Time 172 Min JUNIOR BONNERSteve McQueen is at his "rugged best" (Entertainment Today) in this "totally captivating" (Leonard Maltin) tale of a fading rodeo champion from acclaimed director Sam Peckinpah and screenwriter Jeb Rosebrook. Co-starring Robert Preston and Ida Lupino in "excellent, well-turned" (Variety) performances, Junior Bonner is "an extraordinarily graceful yet unflinching rendering of a slice of Americana" (Los Angeles Times).With his bronco-busting career on its last legs, Junior Bonner (McQueen) heads to his hometown to try his luck in the annual rodeo. But his fond childhood memories are shattered when he finds his family torn apart by his greedy brother and hard-drinking father. Now Junior must break the wildest bull in the West to bring his family together for one final moment of cowboy glory in the roughest, rowdiest ride of his life!Rating PG Running Time 100 MinTHE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN Special EditionSpectacular gun battles, epic-sized heroes and an all-star cast that includes Academy Award winners Yul Brynner* and James Coburn**, together with Steve McQueen, Eli Wallach and Charles Bronson, make The Magnificent Seven a legend among westerns. Spawning three sequels and a successful television series, and featuring Elmer Bernstein's Oscar -nominated*** score, this stunning remake of The Seven Samurai is "a hard-pounding adventure" (Newsweek) and "an enduringly popular" (Leonard Maltin) cinematic classic.Merciless Calvera (Wallach) and his band of ruthless outlaws are terrorizing a poor Mexican village, and even the bravest lawmen can't stop them. Desperate, the locals hire Chris Adams (Brynner) and six other gunfighters to defend them. With time running out before Calvera's next raid, the heroic seven must prepare the villagers for battle and help them find the courage to take back their town or die trying!Rating NR Running Time 128 MinTHE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR (1968) (New Digital Transfer, New Packaging)"Every crime has a personality, something like the mind that planned it," says Vicky Anderson, a sleek insurance investigator out to solve a bank robbery so mystifying, it has Boston's finest completely baffled. Brilliantly created by the Oscar -nominated* director of Moonstruck, and starring Steve McQueen (The Great Escape) and Faye Dunaway (Network), this "well-tooled and professionally crafted" (Variety) suspense thriller has all the dazzling personality of the intriguing crime it portrays.Boston tycoon Thomas Crown (McQueen) is a lone wolf in chic clothing; a man who masterminds a daring bank job simply for the thrill of the heist. But he meets his match when Vicky Anderson (Dunaway) takes the case. Playing a seductive game of cat and mouse, she tries to get her man by teasing him with the one thing he can't own her.*Director (Norman Jewison), Moonstruck (1987), Fiddler on the Roof (1971), In the Heat of the Night (1967)Rating R Running Time 102 MinFormat: DVD MOVIE|
Editor's NoteThis exciting compilation features four classic Steve McQueen adventures, described individually below:THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963) - John Sturges's dramatization of the true story of a group of British, American, and Canadian POWs who successfully escaped from Stalag Luft III in Upper Silesia in March 1944 remains arguably the best World War II adventure film ever made. A host of excellent up-and-coming actors, including James Garner (MAVERICK and THE ROCKFORD FILES), Richard Attenborough (future director of GANDHI), James Coburn (IN LIKE FLINT), and Charles Bronson (DEATH WISH) mesh beautifully in this meticulous recreation of the legendary escape. The German high command rounded up all of the allies' most talented escape artists and placed them in a POW camp specifically designed to foil any unwanted departures, but many of them laboriously tunnel out anyway. Steve McQueen's thrilling motorcycle chase sequence instantly made him a major movie star. MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960) - John Sturges's remake of Akira Kurosawa's 1954 classic THE SEVEN SAMURAI has become an extremely influential film in its own right. A small farming Mexican village that makes involuntary donations of its harvest to a gang of bandits led by Calvera (Eli Wallach) decides to hire a group of professional gunmen, headed by gunslinger-for-hire Chris (Yul Brynner), to protect them. Despite the meager pay, Chris and Vin (Steve McQueen) sign on after the Mexicans see them face down some racist thugs. As they ride back to the village, Chris begins to pick up other gunmen, including Bernardo (Charles Bronson), Lee (Robert Vaughan), Britt (James Coburn, looking eerily like his alter ego in the Kurosawa epic), Harry (Brad Dexter), and aspiring gunslinger Chico (Horst Buchholz falling short in the role played to perfection by Toshiro Mifune in the Japanese original). This rousing action film launched the movie careers of McQueen, Coburn, and Bronson. Although McQueen's character had only a few lines of dialogue, Sturges told the young actor that he would "give him the camera," and certainly kept his word. The movie also benefits tremendously from the unforgettably polyrhythmic score by Elmer Bernstein, among the most famous in film history, so popular and effective that it was used to sell Marlboro cigarettes for years afterward (and was memorably "sampled" in a very early Yes album from the 70s).JUNIOR BONNER (1972) - Steve McQueen plays Junior Bonner, an aging rodeo champ who returns to his hometown to participate in the annual rodeo. He finds his family estranged, does what he can to help, and then moves on...after some serious rodeo riding and a few brawls. Robert Preston, Ida Lupino, and Ben Johnson lend strong support to McQueen's laconic loner.THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR (1968) - Rich and charming (but thrill-seeking) businessman Thomas Crown (Steve McQueen) must be the last person anyone would suspect as a bank-robbing mastermind, but Vicki Anderson (Faye Dunaway of NETWORK and BONNIE AND CLYDE), the insurance investigator assigned to the case, gradually catches on. A memorably erotic chess match between McQueen and Dunaway, both at their stratospheric career heights when the movie was filmed, serves as a metaphor for their relationship in the film.
Cast & Crew