Directed by Billy Wilder • 1953 • United States
Starring William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger
Billy Wilder’s wryly comic POW thriller stars an Oscar-winning William Holden in one of his most iconic roles as J. J. Sefton, a cynical, every-man-for-himself American GI cooling his heels in a German prison camp during World War II. When his fellow inmates—a colorful cross-section of rough-and-ready archetypes—suspect him of being an informant for the Nazis, Sefton must clear his name by rooting out the real rat. Deftly balancing sharp-witted banter, goofball slapstick, and dramatic tension, Wilder crafts a masterfully entertaining study of the psychology of caged men.