Stalag 17 (1953) - Comedy, Drama, War

Hohum Score



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

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: William Holden, Don Taylor
Length: 120 Minutes
PG Rating: N/A
Reviews: 20 out of 155 found boring (12.9%)

One-line Reviews (96)

The story is compelling enough.

It's not as good as THE GREAT ESCAPE, but is still worth watching.

gripping P.

What is trapped inside this film is a wonderful, intense mystery drama.

This is by all means the funny and entertaining version of the POW camp, much less sombre, depressing and hopeless as it is shown in King Rat, similar by location and topic and the ways of the main character.

Too much propaganda .

Themix of light comedy and intense drama works very well.

Also the interaction with the spy and the rest of the barracks once we know he is the spy is gripping.

Toss him out with Shapiro, and the "Animal" and actually you might have a very enjoyable film.

It's no wonder it's a smart, sharp, snappy film.

A very predictable drama with way too much slapstick comedy that provides a far too euphemistic view of what it must have been like in a German POW camp during WWII.

Sunset Boulevard) and even lesser films like The Emperor Waltz were still worth watching.

It quickly became unwatchable, with Holden like a fish out water in a different film in awkward contrast.

And if there was ever a more entertaining ensemble of previously unseen (and sadly subsequently unheard of) supporting players - with the possible exception of Casablanca - I would love to see it.

Adapted from a Broadway play this film is an uneasy but enjoyable mix of comedy and Steve McQueen's sections from The Great Escape.

but a prison camp story tinctured with dark but entertaining humor .

However, in spite of that the film is very well worth watching for its underlying plot and the interaction between many others of the cast.

in bridges at toko-ri, word is holden took the role only on condition that Hollywood wouldn't clean up the blistering ending and save him; if only someone had injected that grit into stalag 17; holden tries to; very good performance, edgy, intelligent, cynical; but it's downhill from there despite billy wilder; way too much of the movie centers on a duffus zero mostel wannabe who dances, clowns, dresses up and such with his pals; there is more than one very long dance sequence; problem being that every time holden build some edge, tension, even develops the very slow plot, in comes a new prisoner who does impressions of cary grant, ho ho ho- and we're talking gilligan's island level of comedy; again and again it kills holden's sharpness; a split personality movie; about 1/3 is very good, edgy, intriguing; 2/3 is a hogan's heroes without the laugh track; a nod to neville brand playing neville brand as he always did; preminger as commandant way over the top; watch this and it seems likely that wilder was more often put over the top by actor's performances than his script or direction; camera in stalag is basically filming a stage play; like the genre?

A great powerful, entertaining classic, which was truly ahead of its time.

Worth watching.

The film as a whole has the potential to be a very good one; it has an exciting plot, some well-observed characterisation and some well-written dialogue.

An Occasionally Biting but Rousingly Entertaining Black Comedy.

All though the latter isn't a movie that makes the greatest philosophical statement, it is much more entertaining throughout than this movie is.

Very entertaining and highly approved.

Despite this fact, its a very absorbing and involving drama.

The acting, directing, and of course writing are all terrific in this one-of-a-kind thriller that plays very well and very entertaining.

Basically this movie is a propaganda piece, although by the time it was made the war was long over, and the only war was "cold" with the Russians.

Movies are deliberate distortions of life, and that's why they're fun and entertaining.

Some of the conflicts appear contrived.

The Germans, especially Otto Preminger as the Commandant, come off as cartoonishly evil, and the Abbott & Costello-like antics of Robert Strauss & Harvey Lembeck become tiresome midway thru the film.

I just finished watching this amusing movie for the second time in a week, and found it just as enjoyable as the first time.

Unfortunately, the scenes in which the Shapiro and "Animal" characters all-too often dominate are virtually unbearable.

As a result, films about these camps (such as this one and THE GREAT ESCAPE) are few and far between--they would just be too dull to merit a movie.

On one simple level, it's enjoyable as a tightly made film, period.

Very funny and very suspenseful...

Shapiro and ¨the animal¨ characters: absolutely unbearable, overacted, so unfunny and annoying!!

Billy Wilder's account of the antics of the enlisted men of Barracks 4 is gripping & engrossing, due mainly to the Oscar-winning performance by William Holden as the headstrong shyster of the bunch who finds himself accused by his fellow soldiers of leaking info to the Nazis.

I really enjoyed it when I first saw it as a kid half a century ago, now I'm less inclined.

The story is that of the coming of age of the last named, William Holden.

Still, Stalag 17 is very entertaining and the inspiration of Hogan's Heros, still a popular sit-com in reruns.

The acting is superb, the dialogue quick, the plot unexpected.

This absorbing and very entertaining movie creates a believable and interesting cast of characters, puts them into an intriguing story, and uses its settings, props, and other resources very creatively.

Stalag 17, Billy Wilder's adaptation of the 1951 Broadway hit, is a rowdily entertaining prisoner of war movie, screened as a lusty comedy-melodrama, loaded with gallant, masculine humor and the original's uninhibited earthiness The film surrounds the inhabitants of one of the myriad prisoner of war camps established by Germany during World War II – Stalag 17.

i highly recommend it.

Some of the set-piece scenes, particularly towards the climax, are particularly thrilling.

Escape seemed improbable, and pointless so near the end of the war.

Reading the plot Before I watched the movie I thought I was gonna set through a predictable , out-dated movie , this is not the case here , despite this movie was made before about 56 years ago it still holds its charm and it's absolutely more refreshing and original than almost every movie has ever tried to tease these genre , after all this years I think it stands out as the best Escape movie of all time , not counting The Shawshank Redemption .

So, the prisoners enjoyed a little more freedom and were constantly trying to deal with the incredible boredom of being locked up with very little to do.

It's a long scene, and at first seems like journeyman work, and when we realize when it's over that Holden heard everything that two characters were talking about, the effect is nearly breathtaking, and the movie, which had been a little fuzzy around the edges up till this time, comes sharply into focus, and stays there till the end.

There are a lot of funny and exciting moments.

It is uproariously funny, it is immensely suspenseful & it has characters you will root for (though not necessarily William Holden - the designated hero!

Similarly, the sequence of men dancing with other men to romantic music is funny at first, then gets boring and even a bit disconcerting after the sequence is prolonged and the men give no further evidence that this is at least partly being done in fun.

This is the most enjoyable war film, that isn't the most traditional war film.

This exciting POW drama has to be one of Wilder's best films.

Some of the ways the bored prisoners create their own fun are incredibly funny (especially the "MEIN KAMPF" scene) and some of the moments are poignant and exciting (such as the escape at the end of the film).

It is a true cinema masterpiece and I highly recommend it.

The hammy guy doing the mail delivery, the gags on the Germans (I love the "Many Adolfs" gag); Animal (Richard Strauss) slobbering over real-life WWII pinup photos of Betty Grable; the fake-jolly cutesy German guard (Sig Rumann); and the typical nasty Nazi (Otto Preminger) - all wisecrack their way thru this cold dreary December...

It's beautifully photographed and atmospherically lit, still managing to look aesthetically pleasing while still making the claustrophobic setting as evocative as possible and never looking too flashy or static.

Robert Strauss who is Stanislas Kasava and Harvey Lembeck, as Harry Shapiro play the camp clowns and bring much humor into an otherwise dreary existence.

The dialogue feels like it was written by a mechanic, it is so repetitive.

The film makes lively and entertaining viewing, and has been released in a restored version on Blu-Ray.

This is a thrilling and funny film that leaves you guessing.

) and suspenseful.

Whenever I feel low, or feel like bored, I get hold of a Wilder film and his films have each time surprised me, from "Major Or Minor" to "One,Two,Three" there is a charisma that I believe, only Wilder could bring to the film.

Its quite different from most of the other POW movies that we are used to see & quite entertaining too.

Many people have talked about the story, the actors, the "interplay" and such, but this is really just the biggest advert for Hollywood self-indulgence and misrepresentation of history.

An enjoyable POW movie .

Suspenseful and Engaging .

Stalag 17 has a very compelling story, with a good mix of the hilarious, the poignant and the foreboding, emotions are never forced, the pacing is both controlled and exciting, for me the comedy didn't get too much or too goofy and the suspense and tension reach nail-biting heights.

This is thoroughly entertaining, with comedy, drama, and edge of your seat suspense.

It makes the movie entertaining as well as effectively powerful.

But any hope this movie has of making it is dashed by cartoon like performances, cliché characters, preposterous situations and eye rolling stupidity throughout.

and the plot my goodness, sooo predictable and obvious you can see it coming from miles away...

First-rate film works well as both funny comedy and compelling drama, which is quite well directed and acted as well.

This is a breezy movie with little material to offend or bore.

There's a lot of humor, some unexpected, some that are meant to be big laughs (i.

The secret informer is quite compelling although I would have made Dunbar fake the sabotage story.

This movie has always been a very entertaining movie for me.

It is , all in all , a very good film, due above all to William Holden's stunning portrayal of a selfish, cynical Sefton with a tarnished sense of patriotism and duty that shines brightly when put to the final test.

The story of a bunch of POW sergeants trying to deal with prison camp life despite having a spy in their ranks, "Stalag 17" is mostly comedy with some light drama, an unexpected format for a war film.

Beware this is no Great Escape, it is a dated, boring, unrealistic depiction of a silly story trying to make itself seem legitimate in the horrors of WW2 prison camps.

The Americans of Barrack 4 endure a dull, deprived lifestyle, with each day consisting of unwholesome meals, tedious labour and uncomfortable living conditions.

"Stalag 17" is about 30 minutes of compelling film starring William Holden padded out with about 90 minutes of strained "comedy.

It's simply a really entertaining movie that has transcended its period, thanks to Wilder's faith in (and more than likely proponent of) an ironic, witty sensibility to otherwise dark and gloomy cinematic terrain.

Like all of Wilder's works, it is not transparently jaded, preachy or egocentric but an astounding blend of revelatory, entertaining and riveting.

The ending is very effective, with an unexpected twist, and the final impression is one of a strong prison drama enacted superbly by its all male cast, thanks to the solid direction of Billy Wilder.

This is why the movie is so exciting.

Absorbing & Very Entertaining .

The film begins with POWs attempting to escape they boredom of their lives.

Far better than the bloated and pretentious Kwai.

However it's still quite entertaining – even if it is a little uneven.

When an artist crosses the line between telling the truth, and starts to engage in propaganda he becomes a hack.

It's a Hollywood movie, and a very entertaining one.

His menacing, insinuating monotone seemed to suggest a parody of German commandants rather than that of a real person.

There's fun in that, and in being able to 2nd guess who the informant really is- at one point I thought the old adage "it's the quiet ones you got to watch" would come forward- but Wilder is brilliant at transforming this as some solid suspense and dramatic tension while ALSO making a really snappy (sometimes) dark comedy.

MINOR SPOILERSI found this film entertaining from start to finish.