Thursday, November 13, 2008

You Otto See It: Stalag 17 (1953)

Gutten Morgen, Sergeants. Nasty weather we're having, eh? And I so much hoped we could give you a white Christmas... just like the ones you used to know...

This is my last entry before the lecture, which is today. This project was a lot of fun and I'm a little sad it's almost over. My next post will be what I learned from Kevin's lecture, in the same style from the one I did last year for Elia Kazan. I still have a few more Otto Preminger films on my Netflix queue, and I can post about them in the future, but for now this series is complete.

I have one big, gigantic, enormous reason why you Otto see Stalag 17 (1953). Because Otto Preminger is in it! He plays Oberst von Sherbach, the Kommondant of a German prisoner of war camp. Preminger did so well with his Nazi type roles that it became part of his image, even though he was Jewish and very anti-Nazi. He also played Nazis in The Pied Piper (1942), Margin for Error (1943), They Got Me Covered (1943) and Where Do We Go From Here (1945) (I'm not 100% sure on the last one). Mind you, Stalag 17 is not directed or produced by Otto Preminger. This is Billy Wilder's film. But after watching so many Preminger-directed films, it was a nice change to see him acting in one.


  1. Raquel,
    Have a great lecture!

    Apparently Swedish DVD distributors hate Preminger. Even Bonjour Tristesse was a no-no...

    Being a nifty person, I found both on Ebay in no time so vengeance is soon to be mine...

  2. I love William Holden in just about any film I've seen of his! Stalag 17 was a childhood favorite of mine, a movie my grandfather and I would watch together. This was my first exposure to Otto (the actor, that is) and it wasn't until some years later that I started watching Preminger-directed films.

  3. Otto has my favorite "bit" in Stalag 17 -- when he calls his commander, he has his assistant put his boots on so he can click his heels, then when the call is over he has his assistant pull the boots off again. Gold.


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