Wednesday, June 9, 2010

#120 Stalag 17: Maybe he just wanted to steal our wire cutters

1953. dir. Billy Wilder, starring William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss, Harvey Lembeck.

Seen it before? No.

Feels like we've seen this one before... we just saw Bridge On The River Kwai, which also featured William Holden in a POW camp. Well now he's in Germany in black and white, instead of Japan and in color, and his fellow inmates think he's a spy. I really can't blame them, as the first thing we see him do is bet cigarettes that the two guys trying to escape will fail. I mean, right or wrong, that's a dick move. He quickly becomes the barracks pariah due to his negative attitude and suspicions about his loyalty.

It's a pretty serious story, which makes all the slapstick goofiness seem out of place. The show stealers here are the big hairy guy who loves Betty Grable, and Sgt. Schultz, who is basically the character from Hogan's Heroes. In fact the makers of this movie sued the makers of the show for stealing their idea.

Position on the list: 212
Hey! It's that guy! OK, this is a weird one, but apparently Ross Bagdasarian, a.k.a. Dave Seville, the Chipmunks guy, plays a soldier.

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