Stalag 17

PhotobucketPhotobucketAbsorbing drama about American POWs in a German World War II camp. Apparently, someone amongst the prisoners is a traitor, but who? Fascinating assortment of characters exhibit real camaraderie. Although there is an expected gravity underlying the proceedings, never before has a POW camp been enlivened by so much humor. Even legendary film director Otto Preminger as the evil camp commander, appears humorously benevolent. In the hands of a lesser director, the mix of comedy and drama would be jarring, but writer-director Billy Wilder flawlessly adapts the 1951 Broadway play with a discerning eye. Actor William Holden is also brilliant as the cynical and self centered prisoner, J.J. Sefton, ostracized for the preferential treatment he receives from the enemy. It’s a brilliant achievement that earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor. His portrayal anchors a film already overflowing with brilliant performances.


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