Welcome to today’s show, Stalag 17 (1953), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Remember this show is completely free and independent. All I ask is that you jump over to iTunesand give me a review.
I love this movie. It’s been my favorite movie for most of my adult life. Occasionally it is eclipsed by A Bridge Too Far (1977) when I’m focused on bureaucracies. But I jump back to Stalag 17 (1953) when I’m feeling real cynical. William Holden, who I think is a much better actor than most people believe is amazing as Sefton, a POW with no redeeming societal values. Holden’s wife told him he only received the best actor Oscar for this role as an apology for not winning it for Sunset Blvd. (1950).
However, it is …
William Holden began working in Hollywood as a piece of beefcake. But when he got the roll of Joe Gillis opposite Gloria Swanson in Sunset Blvd (1950) the world found out he not only looked good, he could act.
William Holden (1918 – 1981) won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1953 for his role in Stalag 17. Holden starred in some of Hollywood’s most popular and critically acclaimed films, including Sunset Blvd (1950), The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1954), Sabrina (1954), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), The Wild Bunch (1969), Picnic (1955), The Towering Inferno (1974), and Network (1976).
Living in Pasadena, Holden was spotted by a talent scout from Paramount Pictures in 1937 while playing the part of an 80-year-old man. Holden’s birth name was William Franklin Beedle, Jr. His last name was changed to Holden by an agent that was still in love with his ex-wife. The ex-wife was Gloria Holden who starred in Dracula’s Daughter (1936).
Holden had two uncredited roles before his first starring …