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

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Overview

User Rating:
8.0/10   44,436 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 1% 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:
"Nobody has ever escaped from Stalag 17. Not alive, anyway." See more (146 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:
One day during an afternoon break in filming, William Holden "entertained" a young actress in his dressing room. Later that day, while shooting one of the final scenes with Don Taylor in the water tower, he looked down and saw his wife standing on the set with a stricken look on her face. Convinced she had learned about the dressing room incident, he climbed down, certain his marriage was over. He was greatly relieved when he realized she had only come to tell him she had accidentally wrecked their car.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: When Dunbar climbs out of the water tank he nudges two icicles that move. If they were real icicles they would have broken.See more »
Quotes:
[after Sefton cuts through the barbed wire to let them escape]
Sefton:Let's blow, Chauncey.
Lt. James Skylar Dunbar:Let's.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Jingle BellsSee more »

FAQ

How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Where is the reference to adultery in "Stalag 17"?
Is is really possible that the traitor would have returned to Germany when the war broke out despite being an American?
See more »
19 out of 24 people found the following review useful.
"Nobody has ever escaped from Stalag 17. Not alive, anyway.", 17 February 2008
Author: ackstasis from Australia

Director Billy Wilder was certainly no stranger to the horrors of World War Two. He was born in Austria-Hungary {now Poland} in 1906, but moved to Berlin to begin a career in movies. However, following the rise of Adolf Hitler, Wilder – being Jewish – fled for Paris and then the United States. His mother, grandmother and stepfather died at the Auschwitz concentration camp. As such, I think it'd be safe to presume that Wilder housed a considerable hatred towards Nazis, which makes his POW-picture, 'Stalag 17 (1953),' all the more remarkable. Whereas the film might have developed into a bleak, depressing drama, the screenplay by Wilder and Edwin Blum {adapted from a play by Donald Bevan and Edmund Trzcinski} effortlessly blends drama and comedy, clearing the path for other similarly-themed war-time films {David Lean's 'The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)' and John Sturges' 'The Great Escape (1963)'} and even TV series {'Hogan's Heroes (1965-1971)' clearly used Wilder's film as a template – including an identical Sgt. Schulz – despite a failed court case in which producers sued for infringement}.

The year is 1944, in the week before Christmas. Stalag 17, a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp, is situated somewhere along the Danube River, and hundreds of captured Allied sergeants have been imprisoned there. The Americans of Barrack 4 endure a dull, deprived lifestyle, with each day consisting of unwholesome meals, tedious labour and uncomfortable living conditions. Displaying that typical American cleverness and resourcefulness, many of the prisoners have banded together to ensure themselves a few added luxuries – such a makeshift radio to listen to the latest war news – and to build an effective escape tunnel beneath the camp. However, it soon becomes apparent that there is a Nazi spy within their midst. After two escaping prisoners are immediately shot down, and their escape passage is inexplicably discovered, the men turn their suspicions towards J.J. Sefton (William Holden), a selfish and arrogant prisoner with a dog-eat-dog mentality that sees him openly bribing the German guards for luxuries. An unsympathetic character, one who nonetheless exhibits a certain streak of integrity, Sefton decides to uncover the true traitor of Barrack 4.

Though he was reluctant to play such an unlikable character, Holden won the Best Actor Oscar for his powerful performance {via the second-shortest acceptance speech in Academy Awards history – a simple "thank you"}. The other actors in the film also create distinct and likable personalities, and I particularly enjoyed the big, oafish Animal (Robert Strauss) and Shapiro (Harvey Lembeck). Goodness knows what compelled the writers to make Sgt. Schulz (Sig Ruman), a loathsome tyrant in any other film, a jolly and hearty buffoon, but it works absolutely perfectly, his character's incompetence best highlighted in the sequence where he is distracted into playing volleyball, and enjoys the game so much that he hands his loaded weapon to the nearest POW. As Sefton attempts to uncover which fellow prisoner is leaving secret messages for their Nazis captors, Wilder intersperses the drama with an episodic flow of comedic situations, placing particularly emphasis on the means by which prisoners will alleviate their desire for the opposite sex. A hilarious sequence sees the drunken Animal mistaking his dressed-up bunk-mate for the cinema beauty Betty Grable, of whom he has an undying obsession.

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