Pros:Good story, good cast and solid acting.
The Bottom Line: Stalag 17 is based on a true story about 630 Americans in a German POW camp. It's a good story that most anyone would enjoy seeing.
Von Scherbach, All right then, gentlemen, we are all friends again. With Christmas coming on I have a special treat for you. I'll have you all deloused for the holidays and I'll have a little Christmas tree for every barrack.
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Directed by Billy Wilder
William Holden as Sgt. J.J. Sefton
Robert Strauss as Animal
Don Taylor as Lt. Dunbar
Otto Preminger as Col. Von Scherbach
Stalag 17 1953
Stalag 17 is set in the mid 1940s during World War II. A Stalag is a German prisoner of War camp. This Stalag was somewhere on the Danube river. Stalag 17 was a very large P.O.W. camp and contained several separate compounds. In one of these compound was 630 American Enlisted men. Not only were these 630 men enlisted, they were all sergeants. When you put 630 sergeants in one camp with no one to boss around but each other things will get interesting. To add to the misery of being in a German Prisoner of War camp, they were placed right next to the Russian female compound. They could look but never touch.
Then one day the German guards started to know their every move. The men were planning an escape and were caught. The men built a radio and the guards new right where to find it. It quickly became clear that they had a spy in their midst. How do you uncover a spy among 630 men? This was the question and they had to find out. Men were dying and they had no contact with the world. An American collaborating with the enemy has gotten several Joes killed. This was the ultimate betrayal but how would they find this traitor?
Quote From Stalag 17
Shapiro Hey Schultz, sprechen Sie Deutsch?
Shapiro: Then droppen Sie dead!
I have been looking for this film for a couple of years. The review received some good reviews from fellow writers here at Epinions. I finally found the film on Block Buster online movie rentals. I am new to Block Buster online and am very pleased with their selection of older films. Stalag 17 is a unique film because it is a film about a World War II German POW camp. When someone usually thinks of a German POW camp, places like Dachau, Auschwitz and Sobibor come to mind. These places were brutal places of death where millions people were exterminated and the guards were monsters.
Stalag 17 was not an extermination camp, it was a prison camp. Stalag 17 was as light hearted a film about a P.O.W. camp that you will ever see. This film is in sharp contrast to the slew of other World War II P.O.W. films such as; To End All Wars, The Great Escape, and The Bridge on The River Kwai. Stalag 17 has very little killing and is mostly comedy. It is not a spoof at all, it just has a lot of good comedy. Even the German guard in the film has a good sense of humor. Humor in a film about German P.O.W. camps is a first for me. I enjoyed the film. The comedy was good and added a twist to a miserable place and a story that was based on true accounts. This group of guys made the best of a very bad situation.
The plot was good and keeps us wondering who the traitor is (I didn't figure it out). It also has some funny sub plots and like any P.O.W. camp, there are lots of escape attempts. The acting by most of the cast was very good. The sets, directing and cinematography was all solid and convincing. They clearly took a lot of time and effort to build these elaborate P.O.W. compound sets. Stalag 17 was made in 1952 and released in 53 so it is black and white. I really liked the film and I will purchase it and add it to my DVD collection. I believe most people would enjoy seeing this film at least once. Its a good story, full of suspense with a full twist of comedy. I give Stalag 17 four of five stars.
My Rating: 8 of 10 Stars
Rating: [NR] Would be rated PG-13 for some war violence.
Run Time: 2 hours
Top Ten World War II Films
Top Ten War Films
Thanks for the read,
© Joe McMaster
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