The Great Escape is a 1963 American World War II epic film based on an escape by British and Commonwealth prisoners of war from a German POW camp during World War II, starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, and Richard Attenborough. The film is based on Paul Brickhill's 1944 book of the same name, a non-fiction first-hand account of the mass escape from Stalag Luft III in Sagan (now Żagań, Poland), in the province of Lower Silesia, Nazi Germany. The characters are based on real men, and in some cases are composites of several men. The film was made by the Mirisch Company, released by United Artists, and produced and directed by John Sturges. The film had its Royal World Premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square in London's West End on 20 June 1963.