Saturday, April 12, 2014
STALAG 17 (1953)
STALAG 17 is nearly a great film. The thing that holds it back from being a great film is the unneeded comedic elements. I understand that Billy Wilder always enjoyed mixing genres, but watching this film now the comedic parts are so horribly dated(?) and unfunny that they're almost painful to watch. The tension's going along good when suddenly you got two morons singing, dancing and slapping a guard in the face with a wet paint brush. I guess audiences liked it though since Robert Struss actually got a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his ridiculous performance! Holden ended up winning the Oscar for Best Actor, but I think it should have gone to Montgomery Clift for FROM HERE TO ETERNITY instead.
Minus the "funny" parts STALAG 17 is an excellent film. Strong cast, great looking sets, compelling story with lots of tension. Definitely worth a watch.