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.