I've always felt this film was a Hollywood response to Bridge Over the River Kwai. Same upbeat marching music, same story of men fighting to keep their dignity in captivity. Both even have their own somewhat downbeat endings. That said, The Great Escape is a fine Hollywood film, about as good as it gets for an epic.
This edition has two features that really took me back. The first is a text commentary/fact track that gives wonderful insights into the film and the history. The second is a documentary on the man who inspired the character of Steve McQueen - a guy named, of all things, Davy Jones. His story is as amazing as the story of the film. He flew on the Doolittle Raid - the first bombing run on Tokyo after Pearl Harbor. He was shot down over North Africa and brought to a prison camp in Poland/Germany. He dug tunnels, but was moved before the escape. He was liberated by Patton, returned to flying for the Air Force, became a NATO commander, and was in the control room, he claims, when Apollo 11 lifted off and when man walked on the moon. This was an emotional short documentary.
There are other docs, including a very good documentary on the making of the film from the early 1990s. A wonderful DVD experience. If you can't see this movie on a huge screen, then this DVD set is the next best substitute. And if you want to know more about the kind of men who won World War II, well the extras on this DVD give this movie a great historical weight.