Stalag 17 (1953)


Stalag 17, a story about American POWs in World War 2.  The primary barracks the story centers around has a number of men who have attempted to escape, but every one seems to get caught, and the prisoners suspect a mole in the barracks.

I remember watching this movie in middle school, but in all honesty I remember very little of it.  It was a bit of a surprise to see how much shenanigans the prisoners got into.  It makes sense though to try to make the best of a bad situation.  One of the characters, clearly the comic relief of the movie, lived up to his role.  I found Animal an entertaining, fumbling buffoon of a character who provided more than his share of laughs.

The audience learns very early in the movie how the Germans find out the secrets of the barracks.  It seems simple and I found myself saying “Figure it out! Figure out what’s different in the barracks when they find out the information!”

William Holden won an Academy Award for his performance in this movie, and I must say that was very well deserved.  He takes on a calm, almost disinterested mercenary role just out to make the best of his circumstances, even if it means becoming friendly with the guards.  He is also the obvious mole suspect. As the primary suspect, though, he is not the actual mole.

This movie was told from the perspective of Cookie, William Holden’s character’s assistant.  He seems to be younger than everyone else, and interesting because he has special knowledge of

Stalag 17 is both entertaining and engaging.  I enjoy studying history, so a movie like this, though fictional, draws good parallels from what actually happened behind enemy lines.  While it’s probably not everyone’s favorite, it’s got drama, comedy, and suspense.

3.5 out of 5 stars.


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