John Sturges," Right lads I need about 16 trucks to pop down to Deining in a convoy. Don't all rush.....there will be NO close ups McQueen so you can stay in bed as you already live in Deining !! Drive steadily through Deining as Daniel Frapp will be up on a crane taking the shoot with the Alps in the distance. I want this to be the 'opening scene'.Then I want you to all drive onto Egling. Yes Egling can stay in Munich and play poker with someone if you don't fancy a drive through beautiful Bavaria.
Drive towards Wolfratschausen carefully because on your left will be hidden St.Sebald church with a small chapel nearby. We will call it the 'poppy field'.....Coburg you too don't have to 'pop' along if you think flowers are for sissies. Wind up a narrow road and Egling church will be down in the valley....this will be known as 'the winding road' scene. If you wind me up again McQueen you'll be off the picture and Garner will be the star. Shit where is that poser with the white roller-neck jumper ? Then the convoy will roll into the camp back at Bavaria Studios and you'll all become famous. Even you Pleasence. Because everybody loves a bald headed, short sighted loser like you Donald.  Then 50 years later there will be a variety of 'fans' following in our footsteps searching for these obscure locations. So who's going to drive the first I said at the beginning....don't all rush!"

Where was the opening scene location?

The 'opening' scene was filmed approaching the town of Deining only a few Kms from Grunwald near the Bavaria Studios ?  The crop in the bottom right hand corner suggests Upper Bavaria....
John Sturges worked with story boards to help with the sequencing of the story line.

It is suggested that the opening scene was sequenced around the Bavaria Studios area in Geiselgasteig as follows:

Suggest 1: The road is approaching Deining with the Alps in the distance and the 'tall thin tree' on the corner

Suggest 2: The 'poppy road' is somewhere along the Deining road

Suggest 3: The winding road with the small church in the background and convoy is in the Deining area

Suggest 4: The convoy enters the camp at Bavaria Studios and the film begins....




Corn crops in Upper Bavaria....

Opening scene suggestion which got the thought processes working:  it is possible, that is at Warngau between Osterwarngau and Oberwarngau. But I must visit this place with the Opening picture to be sure.
Markt Schwaben is too far away. The film is taken with a wide angle lens, therefore I think it is less than 30 km to the Alps.
In our region is the Taubenberg, 15 km before the Alps. It is too high and it prevents the sight to the Alps from some locations. So same places are not compatible with the picture. I have added a picture from Warngau taken at the feed of the taubenberg with viewing to the south. At the right of "1" begins the valley of Lake Tegernsee.
Best greetings,

Another suggestion: I've another idea for the convoy scene: It could be done near Deining (as far as I know Steve McQueen lived near Deining during the filming). Deining is not more than 15 kilometers south of Bavaria Filmstudio. I've looked at my old photos and I have created a panoramic view for first impression.
The work of Leo with the comparison of his photo with the convoy scene was very well-done, especially how he improved the sharpness of the original photo.
But I don't believe that it is the valley of Lake Tegernsee in the background like in his photo from Taubenstein. The mountain on the left end of his photo can't be seen on the convoy photo.
But the first thing what gave me the idea that it could be Deining was that single slim tree near that curve of the street. I know this scenery around Deining very well...
Such single slim tree is quite unique in our landscape.
On my panoramic shot there is also a big valley leading into the mountain range. This is the valley of the river Isar.
And we have this big mountain on the right side (Benediktenwand) and we have a church (of Deining).
My photo is taken maybe 100 m left of the road. The filming location could be 200 meters right of the road. And we have had not that clear view on the mountains during the filming.
I can go to this place and try to find a better viewpoint.
I definitely don't believe that it is filmed near Sauerlach... the scenery there is very flat, it's not so hilly like on the photos of the filming locations.
Best regards,

Deining Panorama....

Convoy Scene:
Green arrow = approximately the original viewpoint of the camera (not the junction as someone meant, which is almost opposite (a bit north)  of Lohberg)
Orange arrow: Claude's viewpoint (because of the Maize field)
Blue arrow: the tall slim tree


Red Circle = Camera situated on a crane and vehicle positioned on the road rather than in the middle of the corn crop !!

Green Circle = Tall tree

Yellow Circle = The church in Deining

The Tall Thin Tree

Searching the right viewpoint of the grand opening scene (convoy scene) of the movie "The Great Escape" (starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, and Richard Attenborough). In this year(2013) the film has it's 50th anniversary.

You can find a lot of information about this film on the excellent web pages of Don J Whistance: who has an inexhaustible detail knowledge of the making of the film and who is able to motivate us even from afar to search for original locations of the film :-) by Claude@Munich




There seems to be a big house with a fine garden  (castle or church and a smaller one, maybe a hut roof could be reflected or a covered woodstock)....

Poppy road:  This IS the Poppy field road .

The camera was positioned looking back up the 'Deining' road towards the Bavaria Studios. There were three buildings which have been knocked down through time...

The RED arrow is a suggestion to where the camera was situated...

The Winding road:
Red arrow below was considered to be the 'poppy road' but this is wrong and should be ignored as the visit in August 2014 suggests the 'poppy field road' is now on the Deining Road.  Green circle: St Sebald church. Orange arrows: the original winding road now hidden away by the growth of vegetation and time. A barrier restricts transport up to the 'winding road' but can be reached on foot...

The line of trees in the above photograph is the opening scene where the convoy of lorries can be seen through a line of trees. It then winds round and up the 'winding road' old road. This is represented by the first long orange arrow in the above image.

These trees can also be seen between the two white lines in the top left corner of the photograph below...

The view and the angles onto the village match....

(For the winding road - an old roadmap (from 1954) where you can see the "S" of the road)

The Red box: One red arrow shows the winding road and the other red arrow shows the line of trees where the convey of lorries can be seen in this scene...

Orange arrows = old Road... the rest of the road seems to be gone....
Blue arrow = New "old"  Road - the big road above (no arrow)  is the the new Ring road around Egling  (built maybe in the 1990ies)
Red circles = this whole area has been rebuilt, even the houses!
Green circle = St.Sebald church

Egling Church


Where was this scene filmed? Church in the background may give a clue....

Is this scene the winding road St2070 with Egling in the background...

They were panning the camera...but also the old road had a wider radius as you can see on the photo below (orange marks).

Location near Egling, opening scene... (photos by Christian)


Red Line = Poppy road

Brown cross = St.Sebald church with small chapel

Blue Line = Convoy winding round (today the road is replaced by new roads and a ring road

Green cross = Location of the camera

Note - the little lake is dammed up for some fish lakes further in that valley

The Winding road today is hidden by bushes, grass and trees with two major roads skirting it.....leaving its secrets to vegetate !!


The row of trees still stand today although the road behind may have changed...

The photograph below shows the 'line of trees' from a different viewpoint so that you can now see the 'new' roads on the left and on the right where the brown hut can be seen in the distance. The clump of trees in the middle of the photograph (to the right of 'the line of trees') is where the 'winding road' is now covered by 50 years of vegetation...

So this is what is around the bend....the 'old' road has been filled in with earth so that the 'new' road can be built. Behind the bushes is the 'new' road...



Looking back down from the bend...






4  The 'camp' is at Geiselgasteig


The real-life escape was on the night of 24 March 1944, and the ground was snow-covered

The German town near the prison camp, called Neustadt in the film, was really Sagan (now Zagan, Poland). At the town of Neustadt, Roger, Mac, Ashley-Pitt, Hendley and Blythe catch the next train, which is also boarded by Gestapo agents. Fearing scrutiny, Hendley and Blythe jump from the train as the others continue without incident to the next town.

The photograph below is very similar to the scene in The Great Escape film above...

McQueen takes an interest in the filming and discusses the scene with John Sturges...and James Garner.

Compare the window in the scene above as James Garner and Donald Pleasence arrive at the station with the scene on the right where the 'same' detailed window can be seen behind the seated Garner. The motor bike was in the scene when the German police arrived at the station....

The Neustadt train station was filmed near the Bavaria Film Studios.( Go back to the Homepage and click on "Return To The Great Escape Featurette" (1993) [2 of 3] and move to 8:10 to locate the station used in the film and how the station looked in 1993).

(Microphone appears in this scene....)

The Great Escape scene at  Neustadt Railway Station shows both James Garner and Donald Pleasence entering to the side of the brick building........

The building to the left of the photograph is Neustadt Railway Station used in The Great Escape film. The station platform, which was situated between the two railway tracks, is no longer in existence and the station is no longer used as a modern day railway station.

(Wally Floody, James Garner, Donald Pleasence and Richard Attenborough relax during filming at the railway station)




The Neustadt station (without the "R" as in the above videos!!) can be reached by either going directly to the 'TENNIS CLUB' at Grosshesselohe or by the scenic route via stairways, tunnels, rivers, canals and gorges.....

Neustadt station in the film was actually Grosshesselohe Railway Station....


Markt Schwaben