Tell you what, it has politics that are assimilable by 90% of Americans, and a script that is not much better than that. The camerawork is unremarquable and the dialogue grating at time with the same tricks used to the seam. Yet I am rather happy to have watched it, and I am the picky kind, so you might want to give it a chance.
Yet again another example how well Wilder balances drama and comedy. The goofiness of Harry and Animal (that Betty Grable dance scene is hilarious) and the excitement of trying to find the traitor are two opposite ends of the spectrum, but the overall tone of the movie is never awkward or faltering.
If all of the allies were anything like William Holden's character, they likely would have lost WWII, but Sgt. Sefton made his own selfish contribution to the war and it worked to the benefit of the allies. Billy Wilder is in rare company as one of the top directors of all time, I think.
Maybe it's because I began this at about 11:15 pm after a very long day, but I didn't love Stalag 17 like everyone said I would. I mean, I like it. It's funny, and very smart. William Holden is a BAMF. But it just didn't work for me. I think the main thing was Holden's voiceover. It just irked me, and it's used so often that it throws the whole film off.
Funny, funny movie in a POW camp. This was before MASH made the situation of war funny, but it led to its own TV show too. The men have to keep themselves entertained, Holden plays another POW cynic (he does it well), and there is a mystery thrown in to find a traitor in the camp.