FUSSEN

Fussen is a town in Bavaria, Germany situated three miles from the Austrian border.

Many of the scenes in The Great Escape were filmed in and around the town of Fussen.

 

Click on the image below to view a superb documentary about The Great Escape Exhibition....

At the next town, Roger, Mac and Ashley-Pitt disembark from the train, but when Ashley-Pitt observes that an SS agent seems to recognize Roger, he attacks the agent and is shot running away, allowing Roger and Mac time to evade detection.

This scene was filmed at Fussen Railway Station.

Bartlett (Richard Attenborough) and MacDonald (Gordon Jackson), are recognised at a railroad station by Gestapo agent Kuhn, but manage to slip away after fellow POW, Fleet Air Arm Lieutenant Commander Eric Ashley-Pitt (David McCallum), sacrifices himself by killing Kuhn and letting himself be chased and killed by soldiers, while running away from Bartlett and MacDonald.

Fussen railway station.

The Great Escape has one of the most testosterone-driven casts in history, headed by Steve McQueen, James Garner, Charles Bronson and James Coburn. Initially, United Artists executives felt that scenes should be filmed showing some of the women intermingling with German women at various points of their daring escape. However, director John Sturges vetoed the plan because the script was already too long. Some United Artists executives then put forth this idea: in the scene where David McCallum's character is shot to death at the train station, the dying man was to be cradled in the arms of a buxom woman who tries to comfort him. The sole reason for this was to have theatre owners stage local contests for "Miss Prison Camp" beauties. The winner would have presumably had the bit role in the movie. Fortunately, Sturges vetoed that idea as well.

(1st June 1889)

(Bahnhof Fussen around 1910s)

 

Dear Mister Whistance,
 as a citizen of Füssen I´m a big fan of the movie "The great escape" and few days ago I had a nice conversation with Mrs. Türk and Mr. Riml nearby my hometown.
It was shown the movie and afterwards their book was published and so I came to your webpage and contact.
 
First I´d like to say, that you're running a very interesting and informable side, which is a good source to get known about this movie and it´s locations.
 
But the main reason why I´m writing to you is that we´ve got a really serious problem here in our nice town.
As you might know, in September this year, a special exhibition about the 50th anniversary of the "The great escape"-movie is taken place in the museum of Füssen. After the exhibition our old and famous trainstation from 1886 is going to be destroyed by the actual owner company "Hubert Schmid Bauunternehmen GmbH" from Marktoberdorf and get rebuilded as a modern convenience-centre with many facilities such as gym, stores etc. which is open 24 hours, seven days a week.
 
My letter to you is to ask, if you might know someone, which likes to own and safe this nice piece of history and to restore it likely perhaps with a "The great escape"-museum in it, as Mrs. Türk proposed.
I know, this is not the way of a first contact but in the case of short time I just found it a possibility to get a serious investor for our trainstation  who´s going to safe it and run it of course economically. The actual owner paid something about approx. 300.000 Euros to the former owner "Ideal Mobil AG" from Munich.
 
It would be a pleasure, if you´ve can help the people of Füssen and the many tourists with this.
 
Thank you very much.
 
Attached I´m sending you a picture from our trainstation which shows it around the 1920s.
 
Many regards from south Bavaria....

 

(The westend of the Bahnhof Fussen)

(The eastern entrance gate)

(The westend and the middle part of the Bahnhof Fussen seen from the south)

   

(The eastern part of the Bahnhof Fussen with the post office in the background)

   

(Waiting hall of the Bahnhof Fussen)

 

 

(The station clock in the waiting hall of the Bahnhof Fussen)

(The station pub)

(The demolition of Fussen Railway Station.....October 2014)
   
(Fussen Railway Station - November 2016)
   

 

 

The cafe scene in Fussen involved James Coburn, two waiters and a group of German generals.

Australian Flying Officer Louis Sedgwick (James Coburn), "the manufacturer", makes many of the tools they need, such as picks for digging and bellows for pumping breathable air into the tunnels  hides in a boxcar and makes it all the way to France, and while resting in a café the local Resistance stages a drive-by assassination of three Nazi generals sitting in a roadside cafe. James Coburn is spirited out of the way by a timely phone call. After realising he is an Allied POW, the Resistance enlist the help of a guide to get Sedgwick into Spain.

(Interesting that the waiter was an "extra" in the film The Great Escape)

Site of cafe where Sedgwick hides as the resistance shoot-up the Germans. On southern edge of original (medieval) bridge into Fussen old town. Same bridge as the boat escapees picture of the 'tunnellers'

 

St Mang's Basilica and former monastery viewed from the bridge over the River Lech. The oldest fresco in the whole of Germany can be found in the crypt of St Mang's Basilica. It dates back to about the year 980. 

Fussen Bridge 1930

(The monastery St. Mang with the old town of Fussen, taken over the bridge across the river Lech)

 

 

The Lech river in Fussen is the scene where 'the tunnel kings' row away to safety.

Two other POWs evade capture and make it to safety. They are  Flight. Lt. Danny 'The Tunnel King' Velinski (Charles Bronson) and Flight Lieutenant William 'The Tunneller' Dickes (John Leyton) - "the tunnel kings" steal a rowboat and proceed downriver to the Baltic coast, where they successfully board a Swedish merchant ship.

The row boat has apparently been discovered in a yard, almost fifty years after appearing in the film....

 

Under new pedestrian bridge over river Lech at south eastern edge of town. Underneath junction of roads 16 and 17.

New pedestrian bridge, original road 16 where it meets 17 out of town and weir in background.

 

West of original (medieval) bridge into Fussen old town from the 17.

The town of Fussen can been seen in the background.

 

 

 

Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th century Bavarian castle. Located in Germany, near Hohenschwangau and Füssen in southwest Bavaria, the castle was built by Ludwig II, King of Bavaria, as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner, the King’s inspiring muse. 

   

 

 

 

As you drive along the road towards the castles in Hohenschwangau there is a car park on the right. Park up and there will be a 'clearing' nearby. Walk into this 'clearing' and the James Coburg 'Spain' scene can be located....

 

 

THE OLD TOWN of FUSSEN

Bartlett and MacDonald attempt to board a bus in the town, but MacDonald is tricked into revealing his nationality with the same trick he had warned Haynes about before the escape—a German speaks to him in English and he responds in his native tongue. They both flee, but MacDonald is caught shortly afterwards.

Brotmarkt (bread market), old town, Fussen.

" Good luck !"

 

The brown shutters have changed to a glass window....

The tall church is the point of reference for this scene....

Where in Old Fussen is this archway where the bike accident happened ?

 

The 'roof top' scene is in the corner of Old Fussen. Walking away from this scene, you turn a corner and it opens up into this scene with the Archway on the right. On the wall is the faded remains of LSR....

 

This scene was 'imitated' 50 years later....

A 'local' cyclist was called over to help with the scene. He looked at the ipad, showing The Great Escape scene where Gordon Jackson collides with a cyclist, and shouts out, "That's my father."

 

Coincidences such as this one, happened throughout the construction of this website....

Match the black & white photo with the scene below. Interestingly the shutter behind the car is 'open' whilst in the film it is closed....

The spot where brutal German pursuers finally push Gordon Jackson against a wall - now an Italian restaurant. The window which was seen in the movie next to Jackson is bricked up but still visible.
 

(Deleted scene....)

 

 

Bartlett is stopped in Old Fussen....

This scene is just up the street from where Gordon Jackson falls over a bike. The garage on the left is now painted a different colour and is the point of reference for this scene. Opposite the garage the building has changed....

The 'Zigaretten' machine was on the right side of the wall of Marys Boutique in Old Fussen.

This scene is located at the corner where a boutique shop now stands....

 

Bartlett escapes over rooftops. However, after Bartlett fools some pursuing Gestapo, he is recognised by his previous captors.

 

 

 

 

The barbed wire in the film has now been replaced with modern day orange tiles. The scene was filmed in the corner of Old Fussen with the church in the distance.

 

 

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