Michael Caine recently confirmed that The Great Escaper was his last acting gig. The icon is 90 years old and has announced that he has retired from acting, putting an end to his extraordinary career.
The movie was also the last appearance of the late Glenda Jackson, who passed away this year. In the film, we saw the two acting icons as a mature couple named Irene Jordan and Bernard, who resided in Hove.
The movie revolves around the events after Irene urges Bernie to secretly go out of the care home so that he can attend a commemoration in Norway, resulting in a police search and leading to media havoc when it is released out in public.
If you have not seen the movie, definitely check it out, as it is an entertaining movie and Caine’s last time on screen.
Is The Great Escaper based on a true Story?
Yes, the story of The Great Escaper is loosely based on a true tale of Bernard Jordan, a.k.a. Bernie. The incident happened in 2014 when he left his care home to secretly attend the 70th anniversary D-Day commemorations in France.
The main title of the film is taken from the news articles that went viral on social media after the incident. The British public got invested in Jordan’s story and made him a celebrity.
What Jordan has to say?
Jordan said that he had a good time and enjoyed every minute of it and will do it again tomorrow. One of his caretakers from the home told The Guardian he had a great adventure.
The movie is very much adopted from the real tale, and it’s not a documentary. It deeply fictionalizes his adventures by adding plots about PTSD and also shows his relationship with Irene, his wife, which is not something that is known much.
Other aspects and scenes are close to the events that happened. It is true that Bernie shared a hotel room with an RAF veteran in Normandy. He also met other veterans on the ferry, and he even left the commemoration early because he got bored waiting for the dignitaries to show up.
There’s a scene in the movie where we see Bernie meet former servicemen alongside German veterans, something that actually happened on his adventure. It is totally true that he was unaware of the media reaction until he got back home after the trip.
William shared his views in an interview with Radio Times
Before the release of the movie, William Ivory, a screenwriter, talked to Radio Times when he talked about his process of adopting a real incident into a movie.
He said that when the event actually happened, a lot of media covered it, and he believed that it was an interesting story. It was an interesting idea, and we know about British pressure. They need to make some heroes without contextualizing them.
So, he and Oliver started working on the script. They knew there was a story, but what was the story behind it? How real were the headlines of The Great Escaper? Was there any substance to it?
It stood out for him. He said he took that small event for a pumped weekend, and again, they looked at how the audience reacted. We’re eager to know what is behind it.
He believed that the investigation of the characters was done aptly in that stressed environment. Adding the plot of PTSD is a totally new thing, which is tempting enough to make it look like a celebration.
In a true sense, it was a commemoration, not a celebration, but usually, people mix up the two. There’s a sense of glory, and he appreciated William for writing something that was an anti-war movie, honest and potent.
There’s a small message at the end of the movie that Bernie passed away after this stunt, and Irene passed away seven days later after his death.