Not only is Stalag 17 one of my favorite movies EVER, but it also happens to be one of my favorite Christmas movies – I watch it every December. It may not look like an obvious candidate for the title of ‘Christmas movie’, but the story takes place around Christmas time, there are several Christmas-y scenes, and if I’m not mistaken, the thrilling conclusion takes place on Christmas Day. (Everything from when the POWs jump the Germans and get Dunbar to the final, whistled notes of ‘When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again’, I believe.) So, in my opinion, it’s a Christmas movie.
There are a few other scenes I could’ve chosen to focus on, but the one that always comes immediately to mind whenever I think of Stalag 17, the one that always moves me to tears, is the scene where all the POWs sing ‘Oh Come, All Ye Faithful’, ringed around the tiny Christmas tree that they decorated with their dog-tags and a few candle stubs, and ‘the gang’ gives Joey a new ocarina. I love, love, love that part.
Now to illustrate the scene with some screenshots…
This is such a little scene, but also a powerful one that illustrates the spirit of Christmas. Which is why I love it – and why it’s my favorite moment in the entire film.