On one hand, Dana Polan’s Dreams of Flight does exactly what we might expect a monograph devoted to a single film to do: provide a meticulously detailed analysis of its production history and formal qualities. On the other hand, this book expands in myriad and often surprising directions as it traces not only the many sources and influences of the classic 1963 film The Great Escape, but its resonances across time as well—in popular culture and even within individuals’ hearts and imaginations. As Polan states, “My goal in the following pages is to account for both the making of the film and how the tale of the escape has contributed—both before and after this film adaptation’s release—to a legacy of memory, fandom, and ongoing pop-culture referencing” (20). Thus, readers of this excellent book will be rewarded twofold, gaining both a deep appreciation for this film (or, for those who...

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