Stalag 17 (1953)


“Remember, just because the krauts are dumb doesn’t mean that they’re stupid.” – Marko the Mailman

Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (video, DVD, 28 May 2013)

Brief Synopsis – American POW’s in a German Prison camp must deal with the Germans and with a spy within their midst

My Take on it – Growing up, I saw this movie so many times because my step-father loved it when he was in high school and he knew most of it by heart.

The movie is based on a Broadway play and Billy Wilder did an amazing job adapting it.  The story is tight and the characters are likable and the plot is peppered with just the right amount of humor that helps lighten the situation a bit but not detract from the seriousness of the subject matter.

It makes me wonder how this movie was so well received so soon after the war by former POW’s.

Supposedly, the movie was filmed in sequence and most of the actors didn’t know the outcome until they got that part of the script the day beforehand.

William Holden is great here as the POW most suspect is the spy. Is he? or are they wrong? He deservingly won the Best Actor Oscar for this role.

The TV show Hogan’s Heroes was partially based on this movie and there was even a law suit related to it.

Bottom Line – Excellent movie. A classic. Great “who done it” plot in an unlikely place.  Plenty of laughs to help balance out the heavy material.

Rating – Oscar Worthy

13 thoughts on “Stalag 17 (1953)

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