IMDb > Stalag 17 (1953)
Stalag 17
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Stalag 17 (1953) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   42,816 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Billy Wilder (written for the screen by) and
Edwin Blum (written for the screen by) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Stalag 17 on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 August 1953 (Brazil) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Hilarious, heart-tugging! You'll laugh...you'll cry...you'll cheer William Holden in his great Academy Award role! (from reissue print ad)
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A great film headed by a classic director and strong star William Holden See more (141 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

William Holden ... Sgt. J.J. Sefton
Don Taylor ... Lt. James Dunbar

Otto Preminger ... Oberst von Scherbach

Robert Strauss ... Sgt. Stanislaus 'Animal' Kuzawa

Harvey Lembeck ... Sgt. Harry Shapiro

Richard Erdman ... Sgt. 'Hoffy' Hoffman

Peter Graves ... Sgt. Frank Price

Neville Brand ... Duke
Sig Ruman ... Sgt. Johann Sebastian Schulz
Michael Moore ... Sgt. Manfredi
Peter Baldwin ... Sgt. Johnson
Robinson Stone ... Joey
Robert Shawley ... Sgt. 'Blondie' Peterson
William Pierson ... Marko the Mailman

Gil Stratton ... Sgt. Clarence Harvey 'Cookie' Cook (as Gil Stratton Jr.)
Jay Lawrence ... Sgt. Bagradian
Erwin Kalser ... Geneva Man
Edmund Trzcinski ... 'Triz' Trzcinski
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marie Ardell ... Russian Woman Prisoner (uncredited)
Irene Bacha ... Russian Woman Prisoner (uncredited)
Ross Bagdasarian ... Singing Prisoner of War (uncredited)
Rodric Beckham ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)
Richard P. Beedle ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)
Tina Blagoi ... Russian Woman Prisoner (uncredited)
Mike Bush ... Dancer (uncredited)
Don Cameron ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)
Janice Carroll ... Russian Woman Prisoner (uncredited)
Jarvis Caston ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)
Tommy Cook ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)
Beatrice Da Yarr ... Russian Woman Prisoner (uncredited)
James Dabney Jr. ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)
Zina Dennis ... Russian Woman Prisoner (uncredited)
Yvette Eaton ... Russian Woman Prisoner (uncredited)
Thomas B. Fleming ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)
Carl Forcht ... German Lieutenant (uncredited)
Ralph Gaston ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)
Jerry Gerber ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)
Lana Golubeff ... Russian Woman Prisoner (uncredited)
Ross Gould ... Von Scherbach's Orderly (uncredited)
Russell Grower ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)
Alla Gursky ... Russian Woman Prisoner (uncredited)
Willy Kaufman ... German Barrack Sergeant (uncredited)
William LaChasse ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)
Olga Lebedeff ... Russian Woman Prisoner (uncredited)
Forrest Lederer ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)
Peter Leeds ... Barracks #1 Prisoner of War Getting Distillery (uncredited)
Wesley Ling ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)
Harald Maresch ... German Lieutenant (uncredited)
Maurice Marks ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)
Svetlana McLe ... Russian Woman Prisoner (uncredited)
Bill McLean ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)
Constance C. Meyer ... Russian Woman Prisoner (uncredited)
John Mitchum ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)
Robin Morse ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)
William Mulcahy ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)
Joe Ploski ... German Guard - Volleyball Player (uncredited)
Harry Reardon ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)
Paul Salata ... Bearded Prisoner (uncredited)
William Schramm ... German Sentry (uncredited)
James R. Scott ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)
Bill Sheehan ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)
A. Gerald Singer ... Steve - The Crutch (uncredited)
Mara Sondakoff ... Russian Woman Prisoner (uncredited)
Warren Sortomme ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)
Fred Spitz ... German Barrack Sergeant (uncredited)
Robert R. Stephenson ... German Barrack Sergeant (uncredited)
Audrey Strauss ... Russian Woman Prisoner (uncredited)
Herbert Street ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)

Anthony M. Taylor ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Bob Templeton ... Bearded Prisoner (uncredited)
Del Tenney ... (uncredited)
Lyda Vashkulat ... Russian Woman Prisoner (uncredited)
John Veitch ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)
Steve Wayne ... Prisoner of War (uncredited)
Alexander J. Wells ... Bearded Prisoner (uncredited)
Max Willenz ... German Lieutenant Supervisor (uncredited)
William Yetter Jr. ... German Private (uncredited)

Directed by
Billy Wilder 
 
Writing credits
Billy Wilder (written for the screen by) and
Edwin Blum (written for the screen by)

Donald Bevan (based on the play by) and
Edmund Trzcinski (based on the play by)

Produced by
William Schorr .... associate producer
Billy Wilder .... producer
 
Original Music by
Franz Waxman (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Ernest Laszlo (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
George Tomasini 
 
Casting by
Bill Greenwald (casting) (uncredited)
Bert McKay (unit casting director) (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Franz Bachelin 
Hal Pereira 
 
Set Decoration by
Sam Comer 
Ray Moyer 
 
Makeup Department
Wally Westmore .... makeup supervisor
Harry Ray .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Hugh Brown .... assistant production manager (uncredited)
Don Robb .... unit production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Frank Baur .... assistant director (uncredited)
Charles C. Coleman .... assistant director (uncredited)
Harvey Dwight .... assistant director (uncredited)
Al Mann .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Earl Olin .... props (uncredited)
Tom Plews .... props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Gene Garvin .... sound recordist
Harold Lewis .... sound recordist
John Camarda .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Lyle Figland .... boom operator (uncredited)
Charles Kelly .... mike grip (uncredited)
August Van Koughnet .... sound cable (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Gordon Jennings .... special photographic effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Neal Beckner .... camera operator (uncredited)
Don English .... still photographer (uncredited)
Thomas E. 'Pep' Lee .... best boy (uncredited)
Walter McLeod .... grip (uncredited)
Roy Roberts .... gaffer (uncredited)
Harlow Stengel .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Allan Sloane .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Doane Harrison .... editorial advisor
Robert Lawrence .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Franz Waxman .... musical settings
Larry Bunker .... musician: percussion (uncredited)
Leonid Raab .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Troy Sanders .... music advisor (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Irving Cooper .... script clerk (uncredited)
Harry Hogan .... dialogue coach (uncredited)
Max Kolpé .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Art Sarno .... publicist (uncredited)
Edmund Trzcinski .... technical advisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
120 min | Germany:116 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:G | Finland:K-16 | Germany:16 (DVD rating) | Ireland:G | Norway:12 | South Korea:12 (2004) | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1988) (2002) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Approved (MPAA rating: certificate #15866) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Things that were more verbal and stage-bound in the original were worked out in more visually innovative ways during shooting. For instance, the discovery of the true informer came about on stage in an overheard conversation. On film, Billy Wilder used the visual clue of the light cord with the loop in it.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Cookie starts to remove the radio from the pants leg of the soldier on crutches, it's visible right at the hem, but when the camera cuts away and then cuts back a moment later, Cookie is reaching farther up the pants leg to remove the radio.See more »
Quotes:
Duke:Come on, Trader Horn, let's hear it. What'd you give the krauts for that egg?
Sefton:45 cigarettes. Price has gone up.
Duke:They wouldn't be the cigarettes you took us for last night?
Sefton:What was I gonna do with them? I only smoke cigars.
Duke:Niiice guy. The krauts shoot Manfredi and Johnson last night, and today he's out trading with them.
Sefton:Look. This may be my last hot breakfast on account of they're going to take that stove out of here, so would you let me eat it in peace?
Animal:Now ain't that too bad? Tomorrow you'll have to suck a raw egg.
Shapiro:Oh, he don't have to worry. He can always trade the krauts for a six-burner gas range. Maybe a deep freeze, too.
Sefton:What's the beef, boys? So I'm trading. Everybody here is trading. So maybe I trade a little sharper. That make me a collaborator?
Duke:A lot sharper, Sefton. I'd like to have some of that loot you got in those footlockers.
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
I Love You (Je t'aime)See more »

FAQ

Is "Stalag 17" based on a novel?
Why didn't Sefton tell the others the identity of the traitor immediately when he found out?
Where is the reference to adultery in "Stalag 17"?
See more »
52 out of 60 people found the following review useful.
A great film headed by a classic director and strong star William Holden, 4 August 2004
Author: Andrew DiMonte (NoArrow) from My House, Canada

William Holden is always in the shadows in `Stalag 17', he's always behind the characters or off to the side of the camera. You see, despite Holden's character Sgt. J.J. Sefton being the film's main character, he is only seen through the eyes of his fellow POWs, rarely ever alone. When they start to think he's the spy so do we. Oh, sure, we know he isn't the rat (movies don't do things like that), but since the story is told by all of the POWs who think Sefton is the rat, we start to think like them too. That is the mastery of Billy Wilder's `Stalag 17', it takes the film's most interesting character and sets him apart from the rest for most of the film, letting us learn about him as the characters do.

The story focuses on a group of POWs living in the American section of Stalag 17, supposedly the 's best POW camp. Among them are barracks chief Hoffy (Richard Erdman), Price (Peter Graves), Shapiro (Harvey Lembeck) and Animal Casava (Robert Strauss). They all have their own special job when their fellow prisoners try to escape, Price, for instance, is ‘security'. The film starts when two prisoners try to escape the barracks. Everyone inside is enthused, thinking the two will make it very far, except Sefton, who bets precious cigarettes that they wont make it past the outer forest. When he turns out to be right the POWs start thinking there's a rat and that rat is Sefton. And as the first hour passes we think so too, it's only logical, Sefton has any luxuries because of his deals with the s.

The POWs start to bully Sefton, and once they beat him to a pulp he decides to discover who the real rat is (at this point, of course, we know he is ). His investigation isn't handled with dialogue though, we get this by seeing his facial expressions and his lurking in the shadows of the barracks.

So, what starts as a light, `gung-ho' type war movie (there's lots of comedy in the first hour) turns into a dark, sort of gritty thriller with a twist that left me with my mouth open. I wont reveal it, but I'll just say that Sefton smartly solves the mystery and redeems himself to the rest of the barracks (I didn't spoil anything, come on, it's expected).

As I said, there's lots of comedy in the first hour and some in the second, mostly from Strauss and Lembeck's characters. Some of the comedy is key in showing how these characters cope with their nearly hopeless situation, handled well by Wilder and the actors (Strauss' performance even gained him an Oscar nomination) but some of it just seems tacked on and out of place, like when a drunken Strauss thinks that Lembeck is a hell.

But that is a small qualm, and the rest of the film is excellent. The direction and writing are great in showing us a war film, a mystery, a thriller and a dark comedy all at once. I'd have to say I like the acting the most though, Holden (who won a leading Oscar for his work in this) is suave and charming, as well as mischievous and cynical, he creates a real `cool' character without trying too. And the rest of the cast - Graves, Otto Preminger - are admirable as well. The POWs aren't clichés or caricatures, they're all their own separate people.

`Stalag 17' is great as a war movie, a mystery, a thriller and a dark comedy. It's a classic film, for all who appreciate good cinema, 8.5/10.

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