Stalag 17 (1953)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Stalag 17 survives the jump from stage to screen with flying colors, thanks to Billy Wilder's typically sterling direction and a darkly funny script.


Movie Info

The scene is a German POW camp, sometime during the mid-1940s. Stalag 17, exclusively populated by American sergeants, is overseen by sadistic commandant Oberst Von Schernbach (Otto Preminger) and the deceptively avuncular sergeant Schultz (Sig Ruman). The inmates spend their waking hours circumventing the boredom of prison life; at night, they attempt to arrange escapes. When two of the escapees, Johnson and Manfredi, are shot down like dogs by the Nazi guards, Stalag 17's resident wiseguy … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Billy Wilder, Edwin Blum
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 14, 1999
Runtime:
Paramount Home Video

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Cast


as `Animal' Stosh

as Lt. Dunbar

as Oberst Von Scherbach

as Schulz

as Manfredi

as Johnson

as Cookie/Narrator

as Bagradian

as Geneva Man

as Singing Prisoner of ...

as German Lieutenant

as German Lieutenant

as Prisoners with Beard

as Prisoners with Beard

as Prisoners with Beard

as The Crutch

as Prisoners of War

as Prisoners of War

as Prisoners of War

as Prisoners of War

as Prisoners of War

as Prisoners of War

as Prisoners of War

as Prisoner of War

as Prisoners of War

as Prisoners of War

as Prisoners of War

as Prisoners of War

as Russian Women Prison...

as Russian Women Prison...

as Russian Women Prison...

as Russian Women Prison...

as Russian Women Prison...

as German Orderly

as Dancer

as German Guard Volley

as German Lieutenant Su...

as Barracks No. 1 POW

as Prisoner of War

as Prisoner of War

as Prisoner of War

as Prisoner of War

as Prisoner of War

as Prisoner of War

as Prisoner of War

as Prisoner of War

as Russian Woman Prison...

as Russian Woman Prison...

as Russian Woman Prison...
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Stalag 17

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (8)

As rowdily entertaining on the screen as it was on the stage.

Full Review… | December 5, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

The resulting letdown is terrific, but along the way there is some of the funniest men-at-loose-ends interplay that Wilder has ever put on film.

Full Review… | August 14, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

One could make an argument that, among 20th century directors, few were more versatile than Billy Wilder.

Full Review… | August 14, 2007
ReelViews
Top Critic

A lusty comedy-melodrama, loaded with bold, masculine humor and as much of the original's uninhibited earthiness as good taste and the Production Code permit.

Full Review… | August 14, 2007
Variety
Top Critic

The good greatly outweighs the bad, particularly in the profile of Holden's character, a pragmatic, self-centered cynic whose heroism, when it is finally called upon, appears to come from deep within the barriers he has placed inside of himself.

May 13, 2006
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

In the end, Stalag 17's irreverence likely didn't revolutionize moviemaking for adults so much as it paved the way for the likes of M*A*S*H and Animal House. Then again, that alone is an achievement worth celebrating.

Full Review… | April 1, 2006
AV Club
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Stalag 17

½

A group of American POWs discovers that there is an informant in their midst.
Kind of a war movie lite, Stalag 17 is more entertaining than moving and more delightful than most war films typically are. William Holden's characteristic insouciance fits right in, and the rest of the cast basically follows suit. Once one gives in to the film's tone, it becomes worth watching, even if the reveal comes too early, diffusing most of the potential suspense.
Overall, this is a strong, entertaining, genre-defying film, but it's not perfect.

hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

½

A spectacular prison camp drama that is not only compelling in regard to its intriguing mystery but also very funny and touching when showing the camaraderie between those prisoners of Barrack 4, with several scenes that make it an unmissable classic.

blacksheepboy
Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer

½

When a self-serving operator in a WWII prison camp is suspected of collaboration with the enemy, he is forced to uncover the true culprit. Another of Billy Wilder's cynical classics, there is a lot more humour in the material than you would think. In fact it is often so broad it can resemble an extended episode of Sgt. Bilko, full of fast paced wise-cracking and army camaraderie. It is Holden's character of course that provides the real drama, and he plays it pitch perfectly. Unlike most prisoner of war films that are full of stiff upper lipped heroics, his cynical attitude never wavers and the sharp, witty dialogue makes for some fine black comedy. Easily one of the best examples of the genre.

garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Stalag 17 Quotes

– Submitted by Adam O (17 months ago)
– Submitted by Adam O (17 months ago)
– Submitted by Adam O (17 months ago)
– Submitted by Joakim A (2 years ago)

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