War Movie #3
Synopsis: Ever wanted to watch a two-hour episode of Hogan’s Heroes in glorious black-and-white? It’s your lucky day... [Seriously, this film and the original stage play were totally ripped-off by the creators of Hogan’s Heroes, although the case was eventually settled]
Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “During World War II, a group of GIs are thrown together in the notorious German prison camp Stalag 17. For the most part, they spend their time scheming to help each other escape. But when two prisoners are killed in an escape attempt, it becomes obvious that there is a spy among them.”
What Did I Learn?: "Droppen sie dead!" is not proper German.
You Might Like This Movie If: You believe there's nothing funnier than a WWII POW camp.
Really?: I had trouble believing any of the scenes featuring “Animal” and Shapiro, but the capper was their infiltration and escape from the Russian women’s sector. I’m pretty sure both of them would have been shot on the spot, or rounded up and executed later.
Rating: I have to give Stalag 17 something of a mixed review. While I quite liked William Holden’s Oscar-winning performance as the cynically realistic J.J. Sefton (he plays more-or-less the same role in Bridge on the River Kwai, incidentally), Billy Wilder’s moments of screwball comedy (see: “Really?”) don’t mesh well with the serious storyline of a spy amongst prisoners of war. At times, I felt I was watching two very different films pieced together. 7/10 stars.