Stalag 17

[Screenshot]I missed out on a chance to watch this at the HCSSiM 34th reunion shindig (it was late at night), and figured I might as well rent it to see what it was. What it was is a weird kettle of going in too many directions at once, really. The overwhelming majority of the screentime is taken up by the comic capers of Strauss and Lembeck, playing off of some wacky-Nazi stereotypes and prisoner-of-war gags. This would be fine, in a lightly comic way, except it decides about two-thirds of the way throguh that it really wants to be a drama, with accusations of collaboration and a daring escape and sacrifice and whatnot. These two separate films are, I’m afraid, rather clumsily stapled together. Holden does his best to deliver a dramatic role, but really, it’s too little and too late.

There is no reason war can’t be simultaneously dramatic and funny, mind. Dr. Strangelove managed it, as did Catch-22 (the book, not the movie). War is one of those staple scenarios for black humor. But you have to twist the knife more, and more often. When the joke is itself gruesome or self-conscious, the switch from humor to life-and-death ntensity makes a bit more sense. Stalag 17 never really managed to reconcile its distinct parts.

See also: IMDB, Wikipedia.

Advertisements

IFComp 2009: Collected reviews and thoughts

I’m done judging the IFComp. All of my reviews, along with some other comp-related comments, are at crochetgeek.

IFComp 2009: “Beta Tester”

This is a game from the 2009 IFComp. Last one!

Spoilers inside

IFComp 2009: “Byzantine Perspective”

This is a game from the 2009 IFComp.

Spoilers inside

IFComp 2009: “Condemned”

This is a game from the 2009 IFComp.

Spoilers inside

IFComp 2009: “Trap Cave”

This is a game from the 2009 IFComp.

Spoilers inside

IFComp 2009: “Resonance”

This is a game from the 2009 IFComp.

Spoilers inside