[[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 William Holden, 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.

!!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 Fuhrer is enough."
* AmbiguouslyJewish: Harry Shapiro.
* AntiHero:
** Sefton's a dick but he is an American at heart.
** [[LawfulStupid Duke]] is [[TheBrute worse]].
* BillingDisplacement:
** Cookie narrates the movie from his time at Stalag 17, but he was also something of a lancer for Sefton, yet Gil Stratton, Jr.'s billing in the movie was near the bottom of the cast list... even under William Pierson (Marco the Mailman who really only had three significant scenes).
** Dunbar doesn't have too many scenes in the movie (yet his sabotage of an ammunitions trains in Berlin was an important, major plot point) despite Don Taylor having second billing.
* 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. 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: 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.
* 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 works out who the ''real'' mole is. Ironically saving the how 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 Schultz 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 Price, 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.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: If you're seeing this film ''after'' ''HogansHeroes'', there are some similarities -- enough that the makers of the film sued Bing Crosby for making the show.
** The Sergeant of the Guard is Schulz; Schultz in ''HogansHeroes''...
** The [=POW=]s even [[RefugeInAudacity dress up as Hitler!]]
** In another ''HogansHeroes'' episode, Newkirk sets off a book of matches, and tosses it into the back of a German truck, causing the truck to blow up... in this movie, Dunbar explains how he made a time bomb to blow up the German amunition train: light a cigarette, slip it into a book of matches, tossing it into a car full of straw, three minutes later, the fire would spread, eventually blowing up the ammunition train.
** That volleyball scene shows up in one episode of ''HogansHeroes'', almost to the letter.
** Additionally, some camera angles and scenes in ''TheGreatEscape'' are very similar to this movie.
** The original pilot of ''HogansHeroes'' uses the same basic plot (simplified for the shorter format and reworked for comedy).
* DoorstopBaby: A POW gets a letter from his girlfriend [[BlatantLies saying she found one]].
* {{Dramedy}}. It fits, but see MoodWhiplash, below.
* 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. 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.
* FiveManBand:
** TheHero: Sefton
** TheLancer: Dunbar
** TheSmartGuy: Shapiro
** TheBigGuy: Animal
** TeamDad: Hoffy
** [[TheBigGuy 2nd Big Guy]]: Duke
** TheQuietOne: Joey
* ForeignCussWord: Cookie uses the word "schweinhund" to describe Schulz; schweinhund is the German equivilant 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.
* 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 Price 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.
* HeyItsThatGuy: Also doubles as HeyItsThatVoice, but the short, bearded prisoner seen throughout the movie, especially singing at the Christmas party, is Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., more commonly known by his stage name, [[Franchise/AlvinAndTheChipmunks David Seville]].
* 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: Price 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 Nazi 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 Price.
** MoleInCharge: And he's 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.
* 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 Price realizes that Sefton has proven to rest of the [=POW=]s that he's the double agent.
* PlayingAgainstType: Richard Erdman usually played comedic roles, so Hoffy was the first time he played a serious character, Billy Wilder even told him he couldn't laugh (or even titter) at all in the movie, and as such, Hoffy is rarely seen cracking a smile. In fact, because of this, Erdman said he couldn't get another comedy part for years, because he was one of the only characters from this movie who wasn't funny.
* POWCamp: The ''ENTIRE'' film is set in one.
* PunchClockVillain: Schulz.
-->(Upon seeing all the prisoners with Hitler mustaches) [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEi5PAFkiNI "Bah! One Fuhrer is enough!"]]
* TheReveal / BluffingTheMurderer: When Sefton tricks Price into revealing when and where he heard about [[WorldWarII Pearl Harbor]]. "6:00. I was eating dinner," 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 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 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 Price and Schulz.
* TheSpeechless: Joey, as he's suffering from severe combat fatigue (or, as it's more commonly known today, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).
* SpellMyNameWithAThe: Animal goes back and forth being refered 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!"
* WeNeedADistraction: In the climax, Sefton comes up with the idea of using 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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