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Stalag 17 Overview:

Stalag 17 (1953) was a Comedy - Drama Film directed by Billy Wilder and produced by Billy Wilder and William Schorr.

The film was based on the play of the same name written by Donald Bevan and Edmund Trzcinski performed at the 48th Street Theatre, NY from May 8, 1951 - Jun 21, 1952.

Academy Awards 1953 --- Ceremony Number 26 (source: AMPAS)

Best ActorWilliam HoldenWon
Best Supporting ActorRobert StraussNominated
Best DirectorBilly WilderNominated

BlogHub Articles:

Review: Stalag 17 (1953)

By 4 Star Film Fan on May 26, 2019 From 4 Star Films

I grew up with Hogan’s Heroes reruns on our Magnavox analog television. In fact, at one point it was my favorite show because it had such a colorful cast, it was perennially entertaining and utterly goofy to the extreme. But others have understandably?decried the show because they see it findi... Read full article

Stalag 17 (1953, Billy Wilder)

By Andrew Wickliffe on Apr 17, 2019 From The Stop Button

Stalag 17 opens with narration explaining the film isn?t going to be like those other WWII pictures, where the soldiers are superhuman and the film bleeds patriotism. No, Stalag 17 is going to be something different?first off, it takes place not on the battlefield, but a German prison camp. Through ... Read full article

The Reel Infatuation Blogathon: Sgt. J.J. Sefton of Stalag 17

By shadowsandsatin on Jun 16, 2016 From Shadows and Satin

Sgt. J.J. Sefton of Stalag 17. Hubba hubba! When I learned that Silver Screenings and Font and Frock were hosting a blogathon about favorite silver screen crushes, I was on board like a sailor after a weekend pass. (Or something like that. You know what I mean.) Why was I so excited about this parti... Read full article

Stalag 17 (1953)

By Beatrice on Oct 3, 2015 From Flickers in Time

Stalag 17 Directed by Billy Wilder Written by Billy Wilder and Edwin Blum from a play by Donald Bevin and Edmund Trzcinski 1953/USA Paramount Pictures Repeat viewing/Netflix rental Lt. James Skylar Dunbar: We sort of hope you’d laugh yourselves to death. Billy Wilder wise-cracks his way thr... Read full article

Stalag 17 (1953)

By 4 Star Film Fan on Apr 3, 2013 From 4 Star Films

Headlined by William Holden and directed by Billy Wilder, this is a great POW World War II film with its dramatic and comedic moments. Holden is the cynical camp scrounger Sefton and after some men are killed following an elaborate escape. everyone believes he is an informant. Tempers rise when two ... Read full article

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Quotes from

Sgt. Schulz: How do you expect to win the war with an army of clowns?
Lt. James Skylar Dunbar: We sort of hope you'd laugh yourselves to death.

Oberst Von Scherbach: Nobody has ever escaped from Stalag 17. Not alive, anyway.

Sgt. Schulz: [amused] You Americans are so *crazy*! That's why I like you!

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Facts about

According to the Virgin Film Guide, Otto Preminger's POW Camp Commandant character Colonel Oberst von Scherbach in this film is a play on Erich von Stroheim's similar character Captain von Rauffenstein in Jean Renoir's, La grande illusion. Although Preminger played a Nazi officer, in real life, he was Jewish.
William LaChasse, had a bit part in the movie. He was hired by Paramount Pictures to be in several films after WWII. They bought him a SAG card and gave him a few lines in each film. Back then, there was no Screen Extras Guild. The real reason they made him an actor was a cheap way to use him as an Assistant Production Designer. He was actually a Prisoner of War for almost three years in Germany after being shot down in his B-17 by German Messcherschmidt Fighter pilot, Otto Peter Stammberger. The production depended heavily on his recollection of how the prison camp looked. He said it started out as a "B" movie, but after "New York" saw the dailies they gave Billy Wilder "carte blanche."
The role of Sefton was originally written for Charlton Heston. But as the role evolved and became more cynical, William Holden emerged as the director's choice. Holden was asked to see the play on which the movie was based. He walked out at the end of the first act. He was later convinced to at least read the screenplay.
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Best Actor Oscar 1953

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