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.

SYNOPSIS

One of the greatest of the postwar WWII movies isn't a flag-waving storm-the-beaches epic or a homefront melodrama, but this POW-camp adventure with a black-comic edge. Wilder's biting, cynical dialogue looks presciently forward to the antihero war movies that would follow in the late '60s and the '70s. In a camp run with an iron fist by sadistic commandant Preminger, G.I.s keep themselves sane by planning escapes and pulling pranks on the guards. Keeping his mates at arm's length, Holden rejects the patriotic motivations of his comrades and engages in black-market trade with his captors and the women's compound. When a spy infiltrates the ranks, Holden's the obvious suspect. But after a beating, Holden uncovers the culprit and volunteers - for his own commercial reasons - for a heroic assignment. One of Wilder's greatest scripts (and he shot it nearly word-for-word), given a terrific reading from Holden and a deep cast of supporting actors.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).

.

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

AwardRecipientResult
Best ActorWilliam HoldenWon
Best Supporting ActorRobert StraussNominated
Best DirectorBilly WilderNominated
.

BlogHub Articles:

William Holden is a prisoner in “Stalag 17”

By Stephen Reginald on Mar 26, 2021 From Classic Movie Man

William Holden is a prisoner in “Stalag 17” Stalag 17 (1953) is an American comedy-drama directed by Billy Wilder set in a German prisoner of war camp during World War II. The film is based on the Broadway play of the same name written by Donald Bevan and Edmund Trzcinski. Bevan and... Read full article


There's a Spy in Stalag 17

By Rick29 on Nov 24, 2019 From Classic Film & TV Cafe

William Holden as Sefton. Considering it was made by one of Hollywood's most versatile directors, it's no surprise that Billy Wilder's Stalag 17 flows back and forth effortlessly between drama and comedy. Set in a German prisoner of war camp during World War II, the dramatic storyline focuses on a ... Read full article


COMEDY GOLD #16: Animal and Shapiro from Stalag 17 (1953)

By Carol Martinheira on Jun 22, 2019 From The Old Hollywood Garden

COMEDY GOLD #16: Animal and Shapiro from Stalag 17 (1953) On June 22, 2019June 22, 2019 By CarolIn Uncategorized Birthday boy Billy Wilder’s flair for balacing comedy and drama in the same movie is legendary and revered. And, barring The Apartment (1960), one cou... Read full article


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


See all Stalag 17 articles

Quotes from

Oberst Von Scherbach: All right then, gentlemen, we are all friends again. And 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. You will like that.


Oberst Von Scherbach: I'm grateful for a little company. I suffer from insomia.
Lt. James Skylar Dunbar: Did you ever try 40 sleeping pills?


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


read more quotes from Stalag 17...

Facts about

Kirk Douglas claimed he was offered the William Holden role, but turned it down because he had not been impressed by the stage play on which the film was based.
Stanislas Kasava supposedly has been a POW for some time, yet when he looks through the telescope to see Sefton at the Russian compound, it's clear that he took off his wedding band for the movie because you can see the tan line on his ring finger.
Billy Wilder filmed the movie at a studio-owned ranch in Calabasas, California. He wore his best shoes and made sure cast and crew saw him with those shoes on in the mud. Wilder felt he could not ask his co-workers to work in the mud unless they saw him do the same.
read more facts about Stalag 17...
Share this page:
Visit the Classic Movie Hub Blog CMH
book or play


See All Film Adaptations >>
Best Actor Oscar 1953






See more Best Actor awards>>
Also directed by Billy Wilder




More about Billy Wilder >>
Also produced by Billy Wilder




More about Billy Wilder >>
Related Lists
Create a list




See All Related Lists >>
Also released in 1953




See All 1953 films >>
More "Spies" films



See All "Spies" films >>
More "Based on Play" films



See All "Based on Play" films >>
More "World War II" films



See All "World War II" films >>