A reader has alerted me to the news that the tunnel “Harry” featured in the movie “The Great Escape” has been found (not the movie set tunnel; the real deal).
If you’ve loved that movie for many decades, as I have, this will bring back memories not only of the film, but of the courageous and resourceful real-life men who were interned in that camp and who managed to devise an ingenious way to escape.
If you’ve never seen the movie, you should do so. It takes a few liberties with historical fact (the Steve McQueen character is a fictional one, for example, but that can be forgiven because it gives us the opportunity to watch him on a motorcycle). But the gist of the plot is accurate, and you’ll be lost in admiration for these men who truly deserve the appellation “heroes.”
I somehow doubt that our current population could accomplish something similar, even if they had the guts to do so. People of earlier times were more likely to have varied skills at working with their hands, and to be more resourceful at devising clever mechanical fixes for problems they encountered along the way.
I pondered long and hard over what scene from the movie to feature here, but this one will have to do to whet your appetite. Note the use of German and French without a translation into English or the use of subtitles, which at the time was unusual and made a deep impression on me:
The entire film is available on YouTube, if you want to watch it that way. I saw it when it first came out, on a big screen in a movie theater, and that’s the best way to go. But since it’s almost never shown that way anymore, a small screen should suffice. And if you’re interested—as I am—in historic accuracy, here’s a documentary on the making of the film, and the interface between fact and fiction:
[NOTE: Bumped up.]