Stalag 17

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.

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.

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.

More mistakes in Stalag 17

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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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?

Cubs Fan Premium member

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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