The pairing of Sir Michael Caine and Glenda Jackson was an inspired one for the true story of octogenarian Bernard Jordan’s escape from his care home to attend the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings in France. Inspired by true events, The Great Escaper blu-ray is set in the summer of 2014 when Bernard Jordan (Michael Caine) made global headlines. He had staged a “great escape” from his care home to join fellow war veterans on a beach in Normandy, commemorating their fallen comrades at the D-Day Landings 70th anniversary. (read our review HERE)
It was a story that captured the imagination of the world as Bernie embodied the defiant, “can-do” spirit of a generation that was fast disappearing. But of course, it wasn’t the whole story. It was an inspirational but sanitised retelling of one man’s need to come to terms with the lasting trauma of war. Bernie’s adventure, spanning a mere 48 hours, also marked the culmination of his 60-year marriage to Rene (Glenda Jackson).
The film would be Glenda Jacksons last before she passed away in June 2023 and as it turned out Michael Caine announced that it would be his last film too before he retired in October 2023. It’s a fittingly appropriate film for the two stars with Caine himself saying that it was ‘ the happiest picture I ever worked on’.
Now out on Blu-Ray & DVD its thin on bonus features that include:
- Making of Featurette
- Love Story Featurette
- War Featurette
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- Feature Audio Description
All the features are brief running on average about two minutes and a featurette from a journalist about the newspaper coverage of the story at the time would not have gone amiss and a directors commentary too would have hopefully given an insight into working with two of the UK’s acting greats. Instead what we have are featurettes made up of a number of soundbites with a producer unwittingly giving the most poignant quote, ‘We’re never going to see the likes of them again’ and with that calibre of star now one less he’s probably right.
THE GREAT ESCAPER celebrates their enduring love but always with an eye to the lessons we might learn from the Greatest Generation.
related feature : Glenda Jackson – OBITUARY
Here’s The Great Escaper blu-ray trailer….