Tag Archives: Stalag 17

“I don’t really know why, but danger has always been an important thing in my life – to see how far I could lean without falling, how fast I could go without cracking up.” — William Holden

It’s his birthday today. In a career of famous roles in famous films, I think his best – and perhaps most characterstic and essence-driven – of his roles is Sgt. J.J. Sefton in Stalag 17. Sefton has not just a … Continue reading

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Talking 1953 movies with Jason Bailey and Mike Hull: A Very Good Year podcast

My pal Jason Bailey and his pal Mike Hull host a fascinating podcast called A Very Good Year, which they describe as: “Each week we invite a guest (filmmakers and actors, critics and historians, comedians and musicians) who loves movies, … Continue reading

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June 2023 Viewing Diary

Succession (2018-2023) I finally watched, having somehow resisted the DEAFENING buzz over the last couple of years. I like Jeremy Strong, liked his small moment in Zero Dark Thirty, he totally stood out in The Big Short (directed by one … Continue reading

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Podcast: The Last Thing I Saw: Focus on Billy Wilder

It was so much fun appearing on Nicolas Rapold’s “The Last Thing I Saw” to discuss Billy Wilder. The other guests were Farran Smith Nehme (a good friend of mine), and Steven Mears. The inspiration to discuss Billy Wilder was … Continue reading

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April 2021 Viewing Diary

Jewel Robbery (1932; d. William Dieterle) This glittering pre-Code, starring William Powell as a jewel thief, and Kay Francis as a married woman in love with her jewels, is such a subversive delight. Powell is devastatingly charming and Francis is … Continue reading

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Francois Truffaut on Sgt. J.J. Sefton in Stalag 17

This is, perhaps, the best analysis of that character, played by William Holden, that I have ever read. Sefton is intelligent; that’s why he acts as he does. For the first time in films the philosophy of the solitary man … Continue reading

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Seeing Stalag 17 On the Big Screen:

Tonight I joined up with my cousin Liam (full of frenzy about War and Peace – he’s about 100 pages ahead of me and his book has MAPS and lists of characters and I am tremendously envious of that), his … Continue reading

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“There are two people in this barracks who know I didn’t do it. Me and the guy that did do it.”

It’s a hot night. I’ve had a long day. So it’s time for more work on my 8th ongoing project. Here’s just a taste. I love this movie. And God, do I love his face. And. What might be my … Continue reading

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The Tone of Stalag 17

What a strange movie. A comedy set in a German prison camp? Well, yes. That’s what it is. But, like with all of Wilder’s movies, he doesn’t sacrifice HEART in order to get the comedy. All those guys in the … Continue reading

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