Watch Stalag 17 putlocker
||IMDB Rating: 8.1/10 from 41,514 votes
||Release: 10 August 1953 (Brazil) /
||Genre: Comedy, Drama, War
||Director: Billy Wilder,
||Stars: Don Taylor, Gil Stratton, Harvey Lembeck, Michael Moore, Neville Brand, Otto Preminger, Peter Baldwin, Peter Graves, Richard Erdman, Robert Shawley, Robert Strauss, Robinson Stone, Sig Ruman, William Holden, William Pierson
||Synopsis: 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
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Watch Stalag 17 - Alternative Versions.
There was surprisingly enough a lot of humor in the American attitude
toward the Nazis and the Germans during World War II. Life goes on even
under the conditions of being prisoners of war, and people need to
laugh. In such circumstances, they especially need to laugh. We can see
that in some of the songs from that time and in this play from Donald
Bevant and Edmund Trzcinski that Billy Wilder made into an unusually
good movie. It should be realized that the full extent of the horror
that the Nazis had visited upon Europe was not known until after the
war was over and we saw the films of the concentration camps.
William Holden stars as Sgt J.J. Sefton whose amoral cynicism and gift
for the cheap hustle allow him to feather his nest even while a
prisoner of war.
He's the guy who always had a storehouse of cigarettes, booze, silk
stockings, candy, etc. under his bunk, the guy who always won at cards,
whose proposition bets always gave him the edge. We had a guy like that
when I was in the army. We called him "Slick."
But William Holden's Sefton is more than Slick. He is outrageously
cynical and uncommonly brave. He takes chances because he doesn't have
the same kind of fear that others have. Most people would feel
self-conscious (and nervous) eating a fried egg while everybody else in
the barracks had watery-thin potato soup. Others might feel
uncomfortable with bribing German guards for bottles of Riesling or
tins of sardines. Not Sefton. He flaunts his store of goodies.
Perhaps that is overdone. Perhaps the real hardships that prisoners
went through are glossed over in this comedic drama--a comedy,
incidentally, that plays very much like a Broadway musical without the
music. Perhaps it is the case that from the distance of 1953 the
deprivations of Stalag 17 have faded from memory and it is the "good
times" that are recalled.
At any rate, I think it is this kind of psychology that accounts for
the success of this unusual blend of quasi-realism and burlesque.
Certainly Stalag 17 has been widely imitated, most familiarly in the TV
sit-com "Hogan's Heroes" and to some extent on Rowan and Martin's
"Laugh-In." Roberto Benigni's Life Is Beautiful, on the other hand,
which also finds humor in the horrific, is of a different genre. Like
Ionesco's Rhinoceros, Benigni's movie is from the theater of the
absurd, not the Broadway stage.
Holden won an Oscar for his performance and Robert Strauss who played
Animal was nominated in a supporting role. Otto Preminger, the
legendary director and producer, was excellent as the two-faced Col Von
Scherbach, the ex-calvary commander and camp commandant who can only
take a phone call from the high command with his boots on so he can
click his heels. I also liked Sig Rumann as Sgt Johann Sebastian Schulz
("always making with the jokes, you Americans") whose previous career
as a wrestler in the US accounts for his English-language skills. Gil
Stratton, who for years did the sports for CBS Channel 2 in Los
Angeles, is interesting as Sefton's sidekick and funky.
Indeed, what is responsible for the success of this movie as much as
anything is this fine cast playing well-defined character roles. By the
way, Strauss and Harvey Lembeck ("Sugar Lips" Shapiro) were reprising
their roles from Broadway.
Important is the fine plot line in which Sefton is accused of being a
spy for the Nazis while the real spy is exposed step by step. At first
we don't know who it is, and then we do, and then the prisoners find
This should be compared with Sunset Boulevard (1950). While very
different movies they have similar elements which reveal part of the
psyche and methods of director Billy Wilder. First there is the
anti-hero as the protagonist, in both cases played by William Holden.
Then there is a lot of the old Hollywood crowd appearing in both films
including directors appearing as actors, Erich von Stroheim (not to
mention Cecil B. DeMille in his memorable cameo as himself) in Sunset
Boulevard, and Otto Preminger here. Sig Rumann has over a 100 credits
going back to at least the early thirties. Finally there is the
discordant mix of comedic and dramatic elements, a mix that works on
our psyches because life is to some very real extent filled with
tragedy in close congruence with the laughable.
But see this for William Holden who was the kind of actor who was best
playing a compromised character as here and as the failed
writer/reluctant gigolo in Sunset Boulevard, an actor who drank too
much and tended to undistinguished, but when carefully directed could
rise above his intentions and give a sterling performance.
(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut
to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it
Tags for Stalag 17 Full Movie
, Gil Stratton
, Harvey Lembeck
, Michael Moore
, Neville Brand
, Otto Preminger
, Peter Baldwin
, Peter Graves
, Richard Erdman
, Robert Shawley
, Robert Strauss
, Robinson Stone
, Sig Ruman
, William Holden
, William Pierson
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