Recently I saw a rerun of the famous movie The Great Escape. Steve McQueen escapes on a motorcyle, but I cannot identify what make.| If it was German and authentic makes like BMW, Zundapp, Jawa come to mind. Anyone look close enough to identify this on, please let me know.
Thanks; I would have thought that with such an all star, big budget movie, they would try to have a German make as his ride.
Back then I don’t think the movie continuity people actually thought anyone would notice…or care. Hence the plain black paint job with no labels or logos.
Not like todays army of movie nit pickers noticing that ‘‘indian # 17’’ is wearing a wrist watch.
I bet McQueen had something to do with the choice, he was a long-time Triumph rider, and I bet he wanted to know the bike he was going to ride for those scenes:
This post begs the question of what was the standard issue motorcycle for the motorized infantry and who provided the side car. Come on back you historians.
I agree that McQueen likely specified that he wanted to ride a Triumph for his stunts in that film.
And, as to “continuity”, that was not much of a consideration until recent times.
For example, when I am watching my DVD set of Naked City (all 139 episodes from the early-mid 60’s), it isn’t unusual for a police car to morph from one make and model to another in various scenes. The most bizarre case was an unmarked police car changing from a '58 Dodge, to a '53 Olds, and then back to a '58 Dodge. Can you imagine two cars looking more dissimilar than a '53 Olds and a '58 Dodge? And this was one of the most acclaimed TV dramas of that era!
A few nights ago, I was watching North By Northwest on TCM, and in the scene where Cary Grant gets into a taxi at the Plaza Hotel, it is a green & white '58 Ford, but when he exits the cab shortly thereafter at The UN, it has morphed into a yellow & white '57 Ford. If Hitchcock and his staff paid this little attention to continuity, you can be sure that the entire industry was slip-shod when it came to this type of detail.
The actual “Great Escape” motorcycle is being auctioned by Bonham’s April 28th.
The bike was a Triumph T6 “TT Special”…All of the non-sidecar motorcycles that appeared in the chase scene were Triumphs…In the climatic jump the fence scene, stuntman Bud Ekins stood in for Steve…
A Triumph is so symbolically apt for a WWII film. Too bad the movie ends with very little accomplished by the escapees for all their hard work. The scenes of their preparations enthralled me when young. What incredible bravery!
I owned a Jawa (cz250). That’s was a Czechoslovakian company.
@TwinTurbo. By the time of the Escape that part of Chechoslovakia had already been absorbed by Germany, which annexed it in 1938. Of course in 1945 it was freed agian. There were a lot of Jawas in my hometown in Holland in the 40s and 50s; they were all a bright red, and very competitively priced.
“By the time of the Escape that part of Czechoslovakia had already been absorbed by Germany, which annexed it in 1938. Of course in 1945 it was freed again.”
Well, transferred to another dictatorship…
I just wouldn’t classify it as an authentic German breed of motorcycle.
Oh, exactly right. I missed your point, sorry.
As far as automotive inaccuracies go, “Joe Dirt” got me. First, the Suberbird Joe Dirt drives at the beginning is a $100k car in good condition…and like $50k in the condition portrayed. Then they refer to Kid Rock’s Trans Am as having a “slant six.” Uh, hello?
One of my favorites is a navel action movie about WW2, can’t remember title, that showed a brief apporx 3 sec shot of an aircraft crashing into the fantail of a carrier. The aircraft? Why, an F9F Panther jet from the Korean war. “Say, Billybob, isn’t that the wrong type of aircraft?” “Bah! No one will notice!”
In one of the early Indiana Jones movies it opens with early 1937 and shows him flying over the fully completed and painted Golden gate Bridge! He was about one year off; I think it was full finished in 1938, complete with that red paint.
If Shakespeare can put a clock in Julius Caesar why should anyone nit pick Hollywood.
I own a triumph of the same vintage, but knobby tires, really?