The star-spangled, laugh-loaded salute to our P.W. heroes!
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- Run Time: 2 hours
- Video: Black & White
- Released: September 26, 2017
- Originally Released: 1953
- Label: Paramount
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- English, French
- Subtitles - English
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Starring||William Holden, Don Taylor & Otto Preminger|
|Performer:||Neville Brand, Peter Graves, Robert Strauss, Harvey Lembeck & Sig Ruman|
|Directed by||Billy Wilder|
|Edited by||Doane Harrison & George Tomasini|
|Screenwriting by||Billy Wilder & Edwin Blum|
|Composition by||Franz Waxman|
|Cinematography by||Ernest Laszlo|
|Art Direction by||Hal Pereira & Franz Bachelin|
|Produced by||Billy Wilder|
Academy Awards 1953 - Best Actor: William Holden
Rating: B+ -- William Holden won his first and only Best Actor Oscar for Billy Wilder's vastly entertaining serio comedy set in a POW camp. Full Review
Rating: 3.5/4 -- One could make an argument that, among 20th century directors, few were more versatile than Billy Wilder. Full Review
A raucous, cynical but compelling comedy-drama about the life led by American soldiers in a German prison camp in 1944. Not recommended for the kiddies. Full Review
Rating: 4/5 -- Simultaneously fiery and farcical, it's a fitting final third for Wilder's 1950s hat trick that also includes Sunset Blvd and Ace in the Hole Full Review
Rating: 4/5 -- Teens may enjoy this exceptional, exciting drama. Full Review
Common Sense Media
In the end, Stalag 17's irreverence likely didn't revolutionize moviemaking for adults so much as it paved the way for the likes of M*A*S*H and Animal House. Then again, that alone is an achievement worth celebrating. Full Review
The good greatly outweighs the bad, particularly in the profile of Holden's character, a pragmatic, self-centered cynic whose heroism, when it is finally called upon, appears to come from deep within the barriers he has placed inside of himself.
Billy Wilder's adaptation of the Broadway hit stars William Holden as the cynical Sefton. Set in the eponymous German prison camp during WWII, the director's broad, black comedy focuses on a group of decidedly unheroic prisoners. While they spend most of their time trying to entertain each other with comedy routines and pin-ups, they also occasionally entertain thoughts of escape. But escape is the last thing on the mind of the hard, calculating Sefton, a wheeler-dealer who's salted away a stash of creature comforts which are the envy of the barracks. When a couple of prisoners are killed while attempting to escape, Sefton collects the money he won by betting against their success, and many believe that it was he who informed the Germans. After a new prisoner, Lt. Dunbar (Don Taylor) talks openly about having bombed a German ammo train, he's immediately subjected to a harsh interrogation by sadistic commandant Oberst von Scherbach (Otto Preminger). Their suspicions confirmed, the prisoners take revenge against Sefton. A film whose depiction of American G.I.s as ordinary, even selfish, people probably seemed seemed edgier in the 1950s than it does now, it remains a durable entertainment, with incisive performances by Holden and Preminger.
- STALAG 17 served as the inspiration for the popular TV show HOGAN'S HEROES.
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