The heart-warming new film The Great Escaper has been in cinemas across Australia since Thursday. My wife and I don’t get to the movies all that often, but The Great Escaper looks like an instant classic, if the trailer is anything to go by.

Inspired by a true love story, the synopsis gives a great overview:

‘In the northern summer of 2014, 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.​

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 Great Escaper celebrates their enduring love, but always with an eye to the lessons we might learn from the Greatest Generation.’

I’ve written previously about the Greatest Generation, those born from 1901 to 1927. We may have problems today, but their generation lived through the Great Depression, liberated Europe, east Asia and the Pacific, and gallantly defended Australia from Japanese invasion. The Greatest Generation indeed.

It warms my heart to see the brilliant Michael Caine (90 years young) and Glenda Jackson (who sadly passed 15 June 2023 at 87 years young) portraying what appears to be a bona fide inspirational story. In the trailer, Jackson’s Irene says to Caine’s Bernard: ‘We have never wasted one second of our time together.’ I reckon my wife and I will love this movie.

In a perfect plot twist, Caine and Jackson appeared in a film together almost 50 years ago, and here they are again as husband and wife all these years later.

According to our friends at Movies Change People,

‘Rotten Tomatoes is currently tracking THE GREAT ESCAPER at an 82% rating from critics and 84% from audiences… a fact that is absolutely unique and a sign of why this movie became Britain’s no.1 independent film of 2023.’

Here’s what some of the critics had to say:

A moving and surprisingly nuanced drama offering far more than flag-waving nostalgia. Superb performances from Michael Caine and Glenda Jackson. — Lou Thomas, Empire Magazine

Caine and Jackson and their ineffable class give this film some real grit: it’s a wonderful last hurrah for Jackson and there is something moving and even awe-inspiring in seeing these two British icons together. — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

If this is actually the actor’s final role, Caine closes an incredible career on a high note, infusing “The Great Escaper” with the heart and humour it needs to feel emotionally authentic. — Brian Orndorf,

The Great Escaper: A wonderful old-fashioned movie, in the best sense. — Stephen Romei, The Australian

As US President Theodore Roosevelt said, ‘It’s not the critic who counts.’ When it comes to The Great Escaper, this time, I’m willing to give the critics the benefit of the doubt.


If you can, get along to the cinema and check out The Great Escaper for yourself – click here to find your nearest session. If the trailer is anything to go by, it could be a great date night movie too!

Yours for never wasting one second,
Nathaniel Marsh

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About the Author: Nathaniel Marsh

Operations Manager and Qualified Trainer for Dads4Kids, Nathaniel is passionate to see hearts turn to the Father. As a professional filmmaker, Nat worked in advertising and television for 20 years and has been helping Dads4Kids behind the scenes since 2002. Nat has been married to Jodi since 2004, and they have five daughters.

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