[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/StalagSeventeen_6303.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:[[TrailersAlwaysLie Actually, the girl is barely in the movie...]]]]

->''"There are two people in this barracks who know I didn't do it. Me and the guy that did do it."''
-->-- '''Sefton'''

'''''Stalag 17''''' is a 1953 war movie set in a {{World War II}} German [=POW=] camp, starring Creator/WilliamHolden, Creator/OttoPreminger, Don Taylor, Robert Strauss, Neville Brand, Harvey Lembeck, Sig Rumann, and Creator/PeterGraves, and directed by Creator/BillyWilder. Based on the Broadway play of the same name which in turn was based on the real-life [=POW=] experiences of the play authors Donald Bevan and Edmund Trzcinski.

The movie opens the narrator, Cookie (Gil Stratton), recalling the attempted escape of two prisoners, Manfredi and Johnson, whose capture and death cause the American [=POW=]s to suspect that a traitor in their midst had tipped off the Germans. The primary suspect is Cookie's friend, the cynical and somewhat antisocial Sefton.

The film is built on a double allegory: the same paranoia that causes the [=POW=]s to target Sefton had 1) enabled the Nazis easily to scapegoat the Jews and 2) induced Hollywood shortly before the movie's release to institute the [[RedScare Blacklist]] scapegoating left-leaning scriptwriters, performers, and others.

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!!This movie contains examples of:

* AffablyEvil: Colonel von Scherbach makes light-hearted speeches to the prisoners:
-->All right then, gentlemen, we are all friends again. And with Christmas coming on I have a special treat for you. I'll have you all deloused for the holidays and I'll have a little Christmas tree for every barrack. You will like that.
** And he says this while the bodies of Manfredi and Johnson lie in the mud in front of him.
** Sergeant Schulz may claim to be your friend. But he's not.
* AllGermansAreNazis: Averted with PunchClockVillain Schulz. His reaction to all the prisoners mockingly dressing as Hitler is a muttered "One Führer is enough."
* AmbiguouslyJewish: Harry Shapiro.
* AntiHero:
** Sefton's a dick but he is an American at heart.
** [[LawfulStupid Duke]] is [[TheBrute worse]].
* BlatantLies:
** After the other prisoners beat Sefton up thinking he was a traitor Sefton explains the bruises to the Geneva Representative by saying that he was playing pinochle.[[note]]Pinochle is a card game, and is not in fact a "rough game".[[/note]] The representative knows it is a lie but without Sefton saying anything else he cannot do a thing about it.
** A POW gets a letter from his wife claiming she just "found" a doorstop baby that happened to look just like her.
* BodyguardBetrayal: [[spoiler:Price is the designated security guy who greenlights all of the [=POW=]s' secret projects. And he's the mole.]]
* BoisterousBruiser: Animal.
* BookEnds: A prison break opens and closes the film.
* {{Bowdlerize}}: Billy Wilder made no other film for Paramount after this because they wanted to change the mole from a German to a Pole in the German-dubbed version so as not to cause offense among ex-Nazis.
* CelebCrush: Animal's obsession with Betty Grable; he's got pinups of her all around his bunk, and even drinks himself drunk when he finds out she married an orchestra leader. We also have:
** ImYourBiggestFan: When a drunken animal dances with Harry thinking he's Betty Grable, he tells "her" about how he's seen every movie she ever made -- six times -- and is always so fixated on her that he won't even open his bag of popcorn.
* ChromosomeCasting: Save for the barely-glimpsed female Russian prisoners, all the characters are male.
* ClearMyName: All of Sefton's wheeling and dealings with the Germans comes back to bite him as it makes him the perfect guy for the mole to put all the blame on. Oddly enough he doesn't really complain or care about it and even uses the animosty in his favor while he works out who the ''real'' mole is. Ironically saving the Stalag in the process.
* CoverIdentityAnomaly: A CriticalResearchFailure which ultimately does TheMole in. He got the date when the Pearl Harbor attack occurred right, but failed to take into account the time zone.
-->'''Sefton:''' Six o'clock in Berlin. They were having lunch in Cleveland.
* CutHimselfShaving: The wonderful excuse Sefton gives to explain his injuries from his bunkmates beating him is to say, "Nobody beat me. We were playing pinochle. It's a rough game."
* DeadpanSnarker: A good chunk of the cast, including Sefton, Shapiro, Animal, and Marco. The whole camp is pretty much a WorldOfSnark, with even von Scherbach and Schulz getting in on the action. This is justified since most of the cast are either prisoners or guards who aren't happy to be where they are but who don't have the option of using physical violence (unless things turn deadly serious.)
* DeathByIrony: Once the identity of the mole is revealed once and for all, Sefton uses him to act as a diversion so he and Dunbar can escape. The [=POW=]s tie tin cans to the mole and throw him out of the barracks in the loudest manner possible, thus drawing the attention of every guard, watchdog, and machine gun tower in the camp, which proves [[KarmicDeath to be very lethal.]]
* [[DefiantStoneThrow Defiant Ocarina Throw]]: During the Colonel's AffablyEvil instance above, Animal throws Joey's ocarina in the puddle to dirty the Colonel.
* DoorstopBaby: A POW gets a letter from his girlfriend [[BlatantLies saying she found one]].
* {{Dramedy}}. It fits, but see MoodWhiplash, below.
* DumbStruck [=/=] TheSpeechless: Joey, as he's suffering from severe combat fatigue (or, as it's more commonly known today, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).
* DuringTheWar: It takes place 1944 near the Danube River in Germany.
* FailedASpotCheck: No one in the bunker noticed the light over the chessboard changing lengths from being tied up to hanging free, and so missed that this was how the spy was contacting the Germans.
* FakeAmerican: In-universe example. [[spoiler:Price]] is actually a German who lived for many years in the United States and thus speaks fluent English and can fake an American accent. This makes him very effective as an infiltrator.
* FirstPersonPeripheralNarrator: Cookie acts as narrator, though he is not the main character.
* ForeignCussWord: Cookie uses the word "schweinhund" to describe Schulz; schweinhund is the German equivalent of calling someone a bastard.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: In the scene where Sefton is lying back in his bunk while the other [=POWs=] are gathered around ready to pounce on him and beat the tar out of him -- note which one of them gives the signal to start the beating. It's TheMole.
** There are other little subtleties as well that hint as to who TheMole is:
*** [[spoiler: During the initial bet of how far Manfredi and Johnson will make, when Sefton bets they don't make it out of the forest, everybody just glances at him, but notice who snaps his head towards him? TheMole.]]
*** [[spoiler: Also notice that he's also the one who asks Sefton, "How come you were so sure Manfredi and Johnson wouldn't make it out of the forest last night?"]]
*** [[spoiler: ''And'', he's also the one who half-jokingly asks Schulz the following morning, "You guys have some machine gun practice last night?"]]
*** [[spoiler: When Dunbar is taken away by von Sherbach, much to Bagradian's surprise, he's also the one whose quick to offer, "You two must have shot your mouths off all the way from Frankfurt to here!"]]
* FreudianExcuse: Schulz is convinced that [[TheSilentBob Joey]] is "fooling us with that crazy business", though in Joey's defense, Hoffy retorts with, "Oh yeah, how would YOU like to see the guts of nine pals splattered all over YOUR plane?"
* GenreSavvy: After Sefton is accused of being the spy, he lets the other [=POW=]s think such while he figures things out, knowing von Scherbach will either move the mole or kill the whole barracks if he says anything before then.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Considering the time this movie was released, the scene with a drunken Animal hallucinating that Harry wearing a straw wig is Betty Grable, and even becoming increasingly aroused, much to Harry's discomfort, was very controversial at the time. The studio heads at Paramount Pictures were incredibly uncomfortable with the scene. Nowadays though, it just seen as a silly moment in the film that breaks up the tension.
* GratuitousGerman: In their mock Nazi rally, Bagradian is simply yelling every German word he knows (the script simply says HarpoDoesSomethingFunny)
-->'''Bagradian:''' Czechoslovakia und Poland -- kaput! Und der Fräulein mit der Glockenspiel und der Bustenhalter -- verboten! Und der Apfelstrudel mit der Liederkranz -- Gesundheit! Everything is Gesundheit, kaput und verboten!
* HairTriggerTemper: Animal.
* HeroicBSOD: Joey maintains [[ThousandYardStare one]] throughout the film. Except when TheMole is caught and about to be killed. He smiles then. He also looks shocked and a bit happy when he gets a new ocarina.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Shapiro and Animal.
* HilarityEnsues: Pretty much any scene involving the dynamic duo of Shapiro and Animal.
* IAmSpartacus: At one point Animal splashes mud on von Scherbach's boots. Not seeing who did it, von Scherbach demands that the guilty party step forward or all would suffer, which Animal does...followed by the rest of the [=POW=]s.
* TheInfiltration: One of the prisoners is actually a German spy who has been inserted into the POW barracks to glean intelligence.
* {{Jerkass}}: Sgt. J.J. Sefton. With the exceptions of Cookie and Joey, he sees everyone in the compound as simply an opportunity to get resources to trade for goods. This comes to bite him in the ass in the beginning of the story; when he barters with the German guards using the cigarettes he won from a bet involving a botched escape attempt, he is suspected of being an agent planted by the Germans. He eventually becomes a JerkWithAHeartOfGold when he decides to help save Dunbar and gives what's left of his stash to Cookie. Sefton defends this view because his first week in a prison camp netted him lost clothes, and bruises when he tried to do something about it. Being out for himself did him better...
* LargeHam:
** Von Scherbach. The colonel goes through great effort to put on his shiny boots ''just to make a phone call''. (So he can click the heels together, ach so...)
** Animal is also one of the [[IncrediblyLamePun largest]] members of the prisoners.
* {{Leitmotif}}: The melody of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" is a recurring part through the movie.
* MilitaryMoonshiner: Sefton runs a still among his various other moneymaking enterprises.
* TheMole: Film's plot in a nutshell. Revealed to be [[spoiler:Price]].
** MoleInCharge: And he's [[spoiler:Security for the whole bunker]], allowing him open access to most any plots or information the men might have.
* MoodWhiplash: The constant tonal shifts between broad comedy and deadly serious drama may put people off.
* MoreHeroThanThou: When the men were going to pull a man's dogtag out to select someone to save Dunbar, Price grabs it and claims this. He wants to volunteer to atone for his lousy job as Security. Sefton picks now to do the big reveal.
* NobodysThatDumb: When the [=POWs=] start putting their plan into action to subdue the Gestapo and get Dunbar to safety, they begin pressing out into the compound in a hurry, to which Marco the mailman tells them to take it easy, "Remember, just because the Krauts are dumb, that doesn't mean they're stupid."
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Schulz. He acts as though he's trying for an over-the-top Wacky Nazi trying to be pseudo-friends with the Americans. Actually, it's an effective cover so they don't realize he's running a spy inside the American barracks.
* OhCrap: The moment TheMole realizes that Sefton has proven to rest of the [=POW=]s that he's the double agent.
* POWCamp: The whole film is set in one.
* PunchClockVillain: Schulz.
-->(Upon seeing all the prisoners with Hitler mustaches) [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEi5PAFkiNI "Bah! One Führer is enough!"]]
* TheReveal / BluffingTheMurderer: When Sefton tricks [[spoiler:Price]] into revealing when and where he heard about [[WorldWarII Pearl Harbor]]. "6:00. I was eating dinner," [[spoiler:Price]] answers. Sefton points out that he'd only be able to do that if he lived in Central Europe, and not Cleveland like he said.
** Well, that and [[spoiler:Price]] was stupid enough to keep the hollowed-out chess piece in his breast pocket.
* RightUnderTheirNoses: Harry and Animal attempt to sneak into the Russian women's compound by painting a white line on the ground and past the guard post. [[TheGuardsMustBeCrazy It works... for about 30 seconds.]]
* {{Sacrificial Lamb}}s: Manfredi and Johnson die in the first few minutes of the movie.
* SelectiveObliviousness: One of the [=POW=]s gets a letter from home from his wife, who writes to tell him about this beautiful baby just left on her doorstep. The guy ''wants'' to totally buy his wife's story, while the other [=POW=] he's reading the letter to just [[BreakingTheFourthWall stares at the camera]] with an "I can't believe he's buying this" expression.
-->[''reading''] "...and you'll ''never'' believe this, but she has just my eyes and my nose!" Why does she keep saying I'll never believe it? I believe it. I ''believe'' it!
* ShellShockedVeteran: Joey. He saw the guts of his squad mates hit his plane. He only appears happy when playing, getting a new ocarina, and watching as [[spoiler:Price]] is caught and about to be killed.
* SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids: Sefton in a nutshell.
-->My first week here I lost my blanket, a carton of cigarettes, and my left shoe. Since then I've wised up.
* SmartPeoplePlayChess: The chessboard on the barracks table which is used as a secret mailbox for [[spoiler:Price]] and Schulz.
* SpellMyNameWithAThe: Animal goes back and forth being referred to as, "Animal" and, "The Animal".
* ThoseTwoGuys: Shapiro and Animal, natch.
* ThoseWackyNazis: In variety.
* TookALevelInDumbass: Animal does this very briefly, after hacking on Sefton's moonshine, and pulling his cap down over his eyes; after Sefton remarks, "All the house guarantees is you don't go blind", Animal starts freaking out because he thinks he's gone blind. Even Harry remarks, "Blind? How stupid can you get, Animal?" before pulling his cap back over his head.
* VerbalTic: Marco the Mailman's "At ease! At ease!"
* WaxingLyrical: Von Sherbach comments on the nasty weather, and says he wishes they could have a white Christmas, "[[Music/IrvingBerlin just like the ones you used to know]]".
* WeNeedADistraction: In the climax, Sefton comes up with the idea of using [[spoiler:Price]] as this so he can get to Dunbar safely and they can escape the P.O.W camp.
* WhamLine: In-universe. See TheReveal above.

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