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18 February 2021



London, 19th February 2021
Pathé today announced that they will be presenting a new feature film, THE GREAT ESCAPER, at this year’s Berlin Film Market. Inspired by true events, the film will tell the story of Bernard Jordan’s escape from his care home to attend the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings in France.
The film is set to star two time Oscar winner and six time nominee, Sir Michael Caine (The Quiet American, The Cider House Rules, Hannah and Her Sisters, Educating Rita, Sleuth and Alfie) and two time Oscar winner and four time nominee, Glenda Jackson (Hedda, A Touch of Class, Sunday Bloody Sunday and Women In Love).
In the summer of 2014 - the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings - octogenarian Bernard Jordan (Michael Caine) made global headlines. He’d staged a “great escape” from his care home to join fellow war veterans on a beach in Normandy, commemorating their fallen comrades.
It was a story that captured the imagination of the world - Bernie seemed to embody the defiant, “can-do” spirit of a generation that was fast disappearing. But of course, it wasn’t the whole story. It was the story we all tell ourselves to make war and old age bearable. The bitter-sweet script explores the reality with wit and a very big heart.
Bernie’s adventure, spanning a mere 48 hours, also marked the culmination of his 60-year marriage to Irene (Glenda Jackson) - the story celebrates their love without sentimentality and with an eye to the lessons we might all learn from the Greatest Generation.
The film will be directed by BAFTA nominee Oliver Parker (An Ideal Husband) from a script by BAFTA nominee William Ivory (Made in Dagenham) and is scheduled to start principal photography in June this year.
Parker commented: ‘No one can resist a script that makes people both laugh and cry – I loved Billy’s writing and the story itself, so inspirational and so moving, seemed to speak to our times and our need for heroes on a human scale, whether people like Bernard Jordan or our doctors and nurses. And now to have Michael and Glenda - two iconic actors - agree to honour this story with their brilliance, it’s the cherry on the cake!’
The film will be produced by BAFTA nominees Robert Bernstein and Douglas Rae (Nowhere Boy) and is an Ecosse Films production for Pathe, BBC Film and Ingenious Media. Executive Producers are Cameron McCracken and Jenny Borgars for Pathé; Rose Garnett for BBC Film; and Andrea Scarso for Ingenious.
Pathé will distribute the film in the UK, France and Switzerland and will handle sales throughout the rest of the world.
Caine is represented by ICM and Management 42 and Jackson is represented by Lionel Larner.

For further information contact:
Sophie Glover, Head of Publicity, Pathé UK / 020 7462 4415


Pathé has offices in France, the UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland. It is involved in all aspects of filmmaking, from development and production through to international sales, distribution and exhibition.

Films produced and distributed by Pathé range from The Queen to Slumdog Millionaire and from Philomena to Selma. Pathe’s most recent production is Roger Michell’s THE DUKE, starring Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren, which premiered to critical acclaim at the 2020 Venice Film Festival. In recent years, Pathé’s productions have won 17 BAFTAs (70 nominations) and 14 Oscars (50 nominations).

Pathé International handles the international marketing and sales of Pathé’s own productions and also acquires third party films for worldwide representation. As one of Europe’s leading sales agents, Pathé International has a significant presence at all major film markets and festivals.


BBC Film supports invigorating and imaginative filmmaking. Firmly established at the forefront of UK film, and fuelled by its public service remit, BBC Film has an ambitious slate including many of the most exciting filmmakers working today. We find, nurture and develop new talent and collaborate with some of the industry's most revered writers and directors. We work with diverse partners to bring our films to the widest possible audiences in the UK and worldwide.


Ecosse Films is a long-standing award-winning film company whose successes include Mrs Brown featuring an Oscar nominated Judi Dench, Becoming Jane starring Anne Hathaway, the BAFTA nominated Nowhere Boy and Andrea Arnold's mould-breaking Wuthering Heights.

For 22 years, Ingenious Media has been at the forefront of investing in the global creative economy and in that time has raised and deployed over $10 billion. Ingenious has been involved in the production of a diverse slate of films, including the Academy Award® winning Judy, Life of Pi, Avatar, Selma, Academy Award® nominated Carol, Brooklyn and At Eternity’s Gate, five films in the successful X-Men franchise, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, breakout British hits Military Wives, Blinded by the Light, Suffragette and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, as well as acclaimed television programmes such as The Fall, Dr. Foster and Watership Down.
Titles currently on release or coming soon include The Secrets We Keep, Honest Thief, War with Grandpa, Breaking News in Yuba County, Pixie, Dream Horse and Voyagers. The 2020 Venice Film Festival included the premieres of Ingenious funded Roger Michell’s The Duke and Mona Fastvold’s The World to Come, which is currently on release in the US through Bleecker St.