Stalag 17

Stalag 17 (1953)

18 mistakes

(3 votes)

Factual error: When Lt. Dunbar is being interrogated in the Commandant's office you can see a map on the far wall. It is a map of Germany dictated by the Treaty of Versailles which ended World War I because it shows E. Prussia separated from Germany and does not include the annexation of Austria and Czechoslovakia. These annexations were completed before the start of World War II in '39 and certainly before late '44, early '45 when the film took place. It is highly unlikely any German officer would have this map displayed not only because it's inaccurate but because it displayed the territorial losses brought on by the humiliating defeat of World War I.

Continuity mistake: When William Holden is laying on his bunk and first notices the shadow of the hanging electric bulb, he turns around to look at the bulb, but there is no light source beyond the bulb to cause such a shadow.

Stalag 17 mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When the POWs are preparing to move Dunbar, Sefton draws his pocketknife and throws it into the table, slanted, near a square etched into the tabletop. In the following shot, the knife is farther away from the square, and it stands up straight. (01:48:15)

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Continuity mistake: As Sefton talks to Price, he toys with the black chess pieces. If you look closely at the table, there's no square carved in the top, yet at the climax there is.

Movie Nut

Continuity mistake: When Steve is getting on his crutches with smudge pot tied to his leg, watch his left hand. The string goes around the back of the crutch to his handle. A moment later, the string goes directly to his hand through the crutch.

Movie Nut

Other mistake: When Hoffy goes to blow out the single candle used to light the room, there's an extra second of light before it gets dark. Also, there's too much light to be explained by one candle, and no electric lights (The Germans would have cut the lights off from outside).

Movie Nut

Revealing mistake: When the smudge pot is set off, it's on the ground, smoke coming of the ends. A moment later, along with a huge cloud, if you look at the bottom of the scene, there's an area about five feet wide billowing smoke.

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Continuity mistake: When Steve sits so Blondie can get the radio, he lifts the pants leg, and you see the bottom of the radio. After a cut scene, there is a close up, the radio is hidden by the pants leg, and Blondie re-exposes the radio.

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Continuity mistake: When the camp is trying to save Dunbar with the smoke screen, the smoke pattern changes between the shots. For example, the wide shot shows the smoke going off perfectly without any wind, but in the next shot when they show a close-up of the commandant going outside to see what's wrong, the smoke is now carried by a lot of wind.

Continuity mistake: The outside shots that show the barracks roof show 2 stove chimneys per barrack, but the inside shots show only 1 stove.

Continuity mistake: After one of the prisoners shouts that there are new women in the Russian camp, the men rush out to see them. On his way, animal falls in the mud, covering his backside and the backs of his legs with mud. A few moments later, he makes it to the wire and begins calling to the women. When he turns his overalls are clean.

Other mistake: When the Geneva man is inspecting the barracks, he is told that "each barrack holds seventy-five men." At best count, there's only thirty to thirty-five at any time, and the correct number of bunks.

Movie Nut

Continuity mistake: When Price gets his "love note" out of the black queen and reads it, he quickly puts it and the queen in his left pants pocket. However, later Sefton reaches into Price's jacket and gets it out.

Movie Nut

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Suggested correction: It's the next day. It's perfectly reasonable that Price could have moved it. It's also reasonable that Sefton, who was watching him closely, would have seen where he put it.

Continuity mistake: When Harry and Animal are painting on the wall to see the Russian women, the amount of paint on the corner post changes between shots.

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Revealing mistake: When Manfriedi and Johnson are in the tunnel at the beginning, the second one has a lighter going to light the way. Trouble is, there is no way that the little flame could light the area as it did. Also, the lighter couldn't have provided light to cast its own shadow inside an area that perfectly round, thereby revealing that it was lit with a light close to the camera.

Movie Nut

Factual error: At the start when Manfriedi and Johnson are ambushed outside the wire, check out the "German" crew served machine gun. It is actually a U.S. mod. 1919 air cooled 30 Cal. Browning. Germans used MG 34 and later MG 42s. But for a rear area POW camp they would surely use 34s to save the newer faster 42s for the front.

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Suggested correction: Captured weapons would have been used because it would have been even cheaper than using 34s.

Other mistake: When Shapiro goes to get the teabag out for Dunbar's tea, you can see that there is a wet spot where it was in his pocket, suggesting multiple takes.

Movie Nut

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Suggested correction: Or he'd simply used the teabag before using it in Dunbar's tea.

Other mistake: 2 prisoners from barrack 2 bring in a phonograph for the exchange of Sgt Sefton's brew distillery, but where is the music coming from, given the phonograph is fake?

Don Hendrick

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The phonograph isn't fake. Why would they exchange a fake phonograph for a working distillery?

Duke: What'd you give the Krauts for that egg?
Sefton: Forty-five cigarettes. The price has gone up.
Duke: They wouldn't be the cigarettes you took us for last night?
Sefton: What was I going to do with them? I only smoke cigars.

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Trivia: Although it is difficult to tell for sure because the movie is in B&W it appears that the Commandant & guard staff are members of the Wehrmacht(regular army). Due to the extensive bombing campaign there was intense anger toward allied flyers many of whom were immediately killed upon capture; therefore POW camps containing fliers were guarded by the Luftwaffe(air force). It was felt fellow airman would be more empathic and treat the prisoners better.

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Question: I've heard that, because the film was shot in sequential order, some of the actors were unaware who the spy is until the last three days of filming. When they were offered their roles, wouldn't they have received a copy of the script to read in advance to learn their lines?

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Answer: The cast would have received copies of the script but with parts of the last scene omitted. They would be given the missing pages during the last days of the shoot, in which time they learn their lines, rehearse, then film the ending. Considering the time involved in filming a movie, actors do not necessarily memorize the entire script beforehand, but do so as each scene is shot. Also, it's questionable as to whether or not any of the cast did not know the ending as the movie was based on the Broadway play.

raywest Premium member

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