Thursday, December 29, 2005

Stalag 17

If you've never seen this gritty, yet humorous movie, you're in for a surprise.

William Holden plays a Sgt. Sefton, an American soldier in a German POW camp, who has a way of getting what he wants. He trades with the Germans—cigarettes, hosiery, wine—to get an extra ration of food, perhaps an egg, or maybe even a visit to the Russian female prisoners compound.

But there is something amiss at Stalag 17. The last two American prisoners to escape didn't make it out alive. And it looks like someone is ratting out the information to the Germans.

But who is it? The zany comedians Animal and Shapiro? What about Joey, the POW with a haunted look in his eyes who never speaks? Is it Sefton? Whoever it is, the rest of the guys in the barracks are determined to find out.

When two pilots are captured and put into the barracks, one of them is taken to the commandant's headquarters and questioned about his role in the sabotage of a German train. The situation becomes dire when the pilot is about to be taken into Gestapo headquarters. Can they rescue him in time or will the snitch claim yet another American life?

The television show Hogan's Heroes was based on this movie. Although there are moments of comedy, it also brings a relatively realistic look at what life was like in a German POW camp. While it may be a bit too far-fetched in places, it still is an excellent film.


Bailey Stewart said...

I just jogged over from Toni's site - this is fantastic! I have a bachelor's in history and although my emphasis is on the American West and Native American studies (hence the minor in anthropology) I have a deep love of WWII. In fact, I watch Tora! Tora! Tora! every December 7. My father was a veteran of WWII as well as 11 other relatives on both sides of the family. We were very pleased to have his name and three others put on the WWII National Monument in Washington D.C. In fact, one of my uncles was a ranger that participated in The Great Raid - yes, the same as the movie. Yes, he was one of Mucci's men. And, furthermore, although I now live in Texas, I was born next door to you in Des Moines. We used to go to Nebraska a lot as I had an Aunt who lived outside of McCook. I guess this post is long enough - I just love that you're doing this and I plan to bookmark it.

Melissa Marsh said...

Hi Eve!

Thanks so much for commenting!

Wow, another gal who likes WWII! I was beginning to think I was the only female out there who enjoyed it. :-)

Funny - my husband was in Des Moines only two weeks ago for training. Only a short three hour drive from Lincoln to Des Moines - not bad!

Bailey Stewart said...

Yes Melissa, I love WWII. Mother listens to a radio station that plays a lot of Big Band music, so I hear that every morning. I guess having a father as a WWII vet contributed to that love somewhat. Have you seen the movie The Great Raid? It's very good. Anyway, I'm glad you are doing this, it's a great website.

Are you feeling any better?

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