Stalag 17

Title: Stalag 17
Year: 1953
Director: Billy Wilder
Writers: Billy Wilder & Edwin Blum, based on the play by Donald Bevan & Edmund Trzcinski
Starring: William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss, Peter Graves, Neville Brand, Sig Ruman
Music: Leonid Raab
Distinctions: Oscar for Best Actor (Holden); Oscar nominations for Best Director and Best Supporting Actor (Strauss); currently #195 on IMDb’s Top 250
Synopsis: Americans in a WWII German POW camp regularly try to escape
Length: 120 minutes
How I saw it: on video (rented form Netflix), October 2008
Subjective Rating: 8/10 (Great).
Objective Rating: 9/10 (1 point off for cinematography) c. 3.5/4 (Very good).

Apparently not the basis for Hogan’s Heroes.  It’s a really good movie, although I’m not sure how it’d stand up to repeated viewings, since not knowing what was going to happen was a major factor. Wilder’s approach seems to be to just tell the story as effectively as possible, which makes for great movies but not so much with the pretty pictures.


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