‘Stalag’ is the German word for prison camp. There are 630 POW in camp 17, they all are Sergeants of various nationality. In the initial scene we notice that two prisoners got killed in a secret attempt to escape and it becomes quite obvious that there’s a spy among the prisoners who reversed the course of full proof plan. All doubts are unanimous about one smart chap Sergeant J.J. Sefton but is it he or somebody else?
Director Billy Wilder and Actor William Holden once again combined after 1950’s ‘Sunset Boulevard’ for this gripping World War II POW film. The result was another Best Director nomination for Wilder (his forth), and Best Actor Oscar for Holden. Holden plays Sergeant Sefton, the leader of notorious prisoners. Wilder smartly blends drama and comedy with the surprising element of suspense running through the film. Not only the prisoners but audience also eager to know who is the informer rat in a barrack making their every plan another debacle. Famous critic Leonard Martin called it ‘the granddaddy of all World War POW films’.
Recommended for B& W classic Hollywood lovers.