In the summer of 2014, Bernard Jordan made global headlines. This is a true story.
That summer, Bernie (played by Michael Caine) staged a “great escape” from his care home to join fellow war veterans on a beach in Normandy. Their intention was to commemorate their fallen comrades on the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings.
This 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.
What the press showed 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, in what became her final film role).
The Great Escaper celebrates Bernie and Rene’s enduring love, and always with an eye to the lessons we might learn from the Greatest Generation.
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