#123movies #fmovies #putlocker #gomovies #solarmovie #soap2day Watch Full Movie Online Free – It’s a dreary Christmas 1944 for the American POWs in Stalag 17. For the men in Barracks 4, all sergeants, have to deal with a grave problem – there seems to be a security leak. The Germans always seem to be forewarned about escapes and in the most recent attempt the two men, Manfredi and Johnson, walked straight into a trap and were killed. For some in Barracks 4, especially the loud-mouthed Duke, the leaker is obvious: J.J. Sefton, a wheeler-dealer who doesn’t hesitate to trade with the guards and who has acquired goods and privileges that no other prisoner seems to have. Sefton denies giving the Germans any information and makes it quite clear that he has no intention of ever trying to escape. He plans to ride out the war in what little comfort he can arrange, but it doesn’t extend to spying for the Germans. As tensions mount and a mob mentality takes root, it becomes obvious that Sefton will have to find the real snitch if he is to have any peace and avoid the beatings Duke and others have inflicted on him.
Plot: It’s a dreary Christmas 1944 for the American POWs in Stalag 17 and the men in Barracks 4, all sergeants, have to deal with a grave problem—there seems to be a security leak.
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Paranoid Political Propaganda or…
… subtly incisive lampoon. Released at a time when anyone not a fully subservient paid up member of the holier than though patriots club was considered a threat, alien, liberal or too progressive, the perceived interpretation of 1950s society is its suspicion of those exhibiting these tendencies, observed through the prisoners reactions to William Holden’s character. It’s no surprise, as a result that, when given the opportunity to flee one of the 52 Stalags, or 50 as it would have been in 1953 that he takes it. Ironically it’s someone exhibiting near perfect homogenous and home grown tendencies, characteristics and traits that emerges as the agent of chaos, suggesting perceptions built on preconceived views are the real enemy. A problem that societies the world over continue to struggle and juggle with today.
If Billy Wilder were making this today.
Stalag 17 is my favorite Billy Wilder film. This is Wilder at the top of his cynical game. Not a frame of film is wasted in this movie and even the most minute performances shine.
Of course the big prize here is the Oscar won by William Holden for Best Actor of 1953. In a recent biography of Wilder, I learned that Kirk Douglas was Wilder’s original choice to play Sefton. Douglas wanted to do it and I’m sure would have been very good in the part, but he had prior commitments. So Wilder turned to Holden with whom he had done Sunset Boulevard and the results were sensational.
While making the film, Holden grew to hate his character. He urged Wilder to do something to soften Sefton and Wilder refused. I think the results vindicate Wilder and Holden was the first to agree.
Stalag 17 was a play set in only the barracks for the stage. To adapt it for the screen, Wilder created one character that was not in the original play, that of Cookie. Gil Stratton’s performance blends so nicely in with the cast that that fact came as something of a surprise to me. Cookie is the offscreen narrator and it is through his eyes in which we see the action unfold.
Wilder has such a marvelous sense of the absurd here. In Stalag 17 he created in my opinion one of the great absurd moments in film history. During the mail call scene Harvey Lembeck is getting a ton of letters and poor Bob Strauss is pining away that no one wrote to him. He questions Lembeck and he finds that all the letters were from a collection agency about his overdue payments on his Plymouth.
Instead of love letters to “Sugar Lips” Shapiro, the collection agency wants “the third payment on the Plymouth, the fourth, the fifth, the sixth, they want the Plymouth.”
I don’t know about the rest of you, but the sublime absurdity of a collection agency tracking some soldier all the way to a POW camp in Germany for overdue car payments just cracks me up every time I see Stalag 17.
Lembeck and Strauss were a great team together. Strauss was nominated for best Supporting Actor, but lost to Frank Sinatra.
Lembeck has another favorite moment of mine in the film. The main plot is to discover who in the barracks is a stoolie. Almost at the end of the film when the stoolie is discovered, the stoolie tries to protest. Lembeck, who’s been a comic character throughout the film, drops his voice down and just says “he said to shut up.” There is such a chill in his voice it will frighten the audience. Again sublime film technique by a master.
If Billy Wilder were making the film today some of the homoerotic overtones would be a lot more explicit. These men have not had any female companionship for a while and I’m sure some of the other prisoners would have started looking good. There’s the Christmas dance in which poor Bob Strauss with some homemade hooch in him, starts dancing with Harvey Lembeck and thinking she’s Betty Grable because Lembeck is in some impromptu drag.
Also at the dance the blonde naive pretty kid Peterson played by Robert Shawley who you see being held rather tightly by one of the other prisoners. That was about as far as you could go back in 1953.
In fact one of the reasons that Holden is hated so much by the rest of the barracks is that he’s worked it out so he could consort with the Russian female prisoners in another part of the camp. The best thing the rest of them have in that barracks is Robert Shawley. He’d be a lot more explicitly gay by necessity or maybe even inclination today.
Fellow director Otto Preminger is great as the camp commandant and Billy Wilder favorite Sig Ruman is Sergeant Schultz. But he’s not your Hogan’s Heroes Sergeant Schultz. In fact as the plot unfolds Ruman is not quite the buffoon as we are originally led to think. It’s a very subtle piece of acting by Sig Ruman, probably the best performance in his career.
In fact Stalag 17 is a wonderful ensemble gathering of great players performing a timeless story.
Original Language en
Runtime 2 hr (120 min), 1 hr 56 min (116 min) (Germany)
Rated Not Rated
Genre Comedy, Drama, War
Director Billy Wilder
Writer Billy Wilder (written for the screen by), Edwin Blum (written for the screen by), Donald Bevan (based on the play by), Edmund Trzcinski (based on the play by)
Actors William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss
Awards Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 5 nominations.
Production Company Paramount Pictures
Sound Mix Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Aspect Ratio 1.37 : 1
Film Length (12 reels)
Negative Format 35 mm
Cinematographic Process Spherical
Printed Film Format 35 mm