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.

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)

Cubs Fan

More mistakes in Stalag 17

Trivia: One of the actors in the movie was Edmund Trzcinski. He was actually an American POW in a German Stalag, and wrote a play based on his experiences there. From there, the movie was made, based on the play, and he was actually cast in a role, as himself, re-creating it for the silver screen.

Robert Cotton

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.

More trivia for 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.

Sefton: Sprechen sie Deutsch [Do you speak German]?
Price: No, I don't sprechen sie Deutsch.
Sefton: Maybe just one word? "Kaput"? Because you're kaput, Price.

Movie Nut

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.

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