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Stalag 17 (1953)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Drama, War  |  10 August 1953 (Brazil)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 41,579 users  
Reviews: 139 user | 76 critic

When two escaping American World War II prisoners are killed, the German POW camp barracks black marketeer, J.J. Sefton, is suspected of being an informer.



(written for the screen by), (written for the screen by), 2 more credits »
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Title: Stalag 17 (1953)

Stalag 17 (1953) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Taylor ...
Sgt. Stanislaus 'Animal' Kuzawa
Sgt. Harry Shapiro
Sgt. Frank Price
Sig Ruman ...
Michael Moore ...
Sgt. Manfredi
Peter Baldwin ...
Sgt. Johnson
Robinson Stone ...
Robert Shawley ...
Sgt. 'Blondie' Peterson
William Pierson ...
Sgt. Clarence Harvey 'Cookie' Cook (as Gil Stratton Jr.)


It's a dreary Christmas 1944 for the American POWs in Stalag 17. For the men in Barracks 4, all sergeants, have to deal with a grave problem - there seems to be a security leak. The Germans always seem to be forewarned about escapes and in the most recent attempt the two men, Manfredi and Johnson, walked straight into a trap and were killed. For some in Barracks 4, especially the loud-mouthed Duke, the leaker is obvious: J.J. Sefton, a wheeler-dealer who doesn't hesitate to trade with the guards and who has acquired goods and privileges that no other prisoner seems to have. Sefton denies giving the Germans any information and makes it quite clear that he has no intention of ever trying to escape. He plans to ride out the war in what little comfort he can arrange, but it doesn't extend to spying for the Germans. As tensions mount and a mob mentality takes root, it becomes obvious that Sefton will have to find the real snitch if he is to have any peace and avoid the beatings Duke and ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

german | barracks | escape | spy | guard | See All (56) »


Hilarious, heart-tugging! You'll'll'll cheer William Holden in his great Academy Award role! (from reissue print ad)


Comedy | Drama | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

10 August 1953 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Infierno en la tierra  »

Box Office


$1,661,530 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Sig Ruman, who plays Sgt. J.S. Schulz, also plays Col. Ehrhardt in Ernst Lubitsch's To Be or Not to Be (1942), who has a lot of difficulties with his assistant officer Capt. Schultz. See more »


When Sefton is explaining how he got hold of the telescope, he explains that he got together a "few lenses and a mirror". The telescope he has in the barracks is a refractor telescope, which doesn't use mirrors. See more »


Hoffy: They ought to be under the barbed wire soon.
Shapiro: Looks good outside.
Animal: I hope they hit the Danube before dawn.
Price: They've got a good chance. The longest night of the year.
Duke: I'll bet they make it to Friedrichshaven.
Animal: I bet they make it all the way to Switzerland.
Sefton: And I bet they don't get out of the forest.
Duke: Now what kind of crack is that?
Sefton: No crack. Two packs of cigarettes say they don't get out of the forest.
Hoffy: That's enough, Sefton. Crawl back in your sack.
See more »


Featured in Paramount Presents (1974) See more »


I Love You (Je t'aime)
(1923) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Archer
Lyrics by Harlan Thompson
Played on a record and sung by Ross Bagdasarian
Played also as dance music
Sung a bit by Robert Strauss
See more »

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User Reviews

Suspenseful and Engaging
20 November 2005 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I'm a woman younger than 30.

Saw it for the first time in 2005- knew nothing about the director or the actors- and I couldn't turn away because I needed to know the answer to the mystery. The acting is superb, the dialogue quick, the plot unexpected. The film seems fresh and subtle compared to Hollywood films of now. Perhaps this is because the special effects are simple; the emphasis is on dialogue. We also watch for clues in the changing surroundings and the characters in the shadows.

I held my breath for the last few minutes. Even after the movie had ended, I wondered "What will happen now? Will the guards burst into the barrack? What will happen the next morning?" The last seconds of the film are peaceful, but the whistling at the end seems too hopeful...surely something will go still wrong!

44 of 60 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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