- Hendley and Colin may not have seen eye to eye (no joke or pun intended) about a lot of things. But the moment Hendley stands up for Colin just before the breakout is very moving.Hendley: Colin's not a blind man as long as he's with me. And he's going with me!
- After that Hendley suggests Colin make them some tea (which Hendley earlier stated he wasn't very found of). Colin is more than happy to oblige.
- While most of the ending is both Tear Jerker (because of the fifty deaths) or awesome (because Hilts and some of the others survived), hearing ol' 'Cooler King' Hilts throwing that baseball at the wall once again gives reasons to smile. It makes the audience remember that while the men went through a terrible tragedy, they will endure... and they did.
- In a real-life example, one of the camp commandants who replaced the man in charge at the time of the escape was so disgusted with the Gestapo's actions that he allowed the inmates to erect a memorial to the fifty outside the camp. It still stands today◊. We should also keep in mind that Hitler wanted to kill them all outright. Himmler was the one to get him to settle with just fifty. Keep in mind that the fifty was only those executed after being recaptured, and does not include the handful who were killed during recapture.
- Willy's dedication to making sure Danny escapes with him (much like Hendley and Colin above). Unlike the ill-fated Hendley and Colin, Willy and Danny are among the very few escapees who successfuly avoid being recaptured. The last time we see them they're being rescued from a rowboat by a Swedish ship.
- Willy catching up to Danny when the lights go out, and calming him down.
- Hilts shows a number of times that his selfish cockiness is a facade, not hesitating to stick his neck out for his companions.
- He confronts an armed guard in an attempt to save a doomed Ives, and does the same when Cavendish is discovered at the end of the tunnel.
- He sacrifices his own escape for the greater good, getting recaptured so he can provide Barlett with the intelligence needed for the escape.
- When he discovers that the tunnel is several feet short, he immediately appoints himself lookout and stands by in the nearby woods to give go-ahead signals to the others.
Heartwarming / The Great Escape