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Stalag 17 (1953)

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NOTE: This commentary is only available on the 2006 Special Collector's Edition DVD.

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Actors Richard Erdman and Gil Stratton and co-playwright donald Bevan Rating:7.3/10 (3 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Glenn Hopp on April 1st, 2006:Find all reviews by Glenn Hopp
This commentary will only appeal to those who favor the personal commentaries with stories and anecdotes rather than those with film-class type of analysis. Usually, I don't care that much about those personal stories, unless the film is an older one, like this one where most of the participants have died. All of the commentators here are in their 80s, and they have many interesting stories to tell about Billy Wilder, William Holden, and the shooting of the movie. Ideally, Paramount should have gotten Wilder biographer Ed Sikov to do a separate commentary on interpretive aspects of the film itself (Sikov appears in the documentary on the DVD), which would have balanced this mostly anecdotal commentary really well. The actors who participate are the two who played Hoffy (a really humorless role in the film--but intentionally so, as the commentary explains) and Cookie. I thought all in all it brought to life the period of the film. Erdman indicates at one point when some humor in the film is forced (that happens at times in this movie), and discusses the comic performance of Robert Strauss appreciatively (he plays Animal). Others will probably fault this commentary for morbidness since again and again these men ask one another about various cast members only to learn that each person in question has recently died--but probably that will happen when aged actors get together to share their memories. It's good that Paramount rounded them up and got them talking.