Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Memorable Monologue: Stalag 17

"I don't know about you, but it always makes me sore when I see those war pictures... all about flying leathernecks and submarine patrols and frogmen and guerillas in the Philippines. What gets me is that there never w-was a movie about POWs - about prisoners of war. Now, my name is Clarence Harvey Cook: they call me Cookie. I was shot down over Magdeborg, Germany, back in '43; that's why I stammer a little once in a while, 'specially when I get excited.

I spent two and a half years in Stalag 17. "Stalag" is the German word for prison camp, and number 17 was somewhere on the Danube. There were about 40,000 POWs there, if you bothered to count the Russians, and the Poles, and the Czechs. In our compound there were about 630 of us, all American airmen: radio operators, gunners, and engineers. All sergeants. Now you put 630 sergeants together and, oh mother, you've got yourself a situation. There was more fireworks shooting off around that joint... take for instance the story about the spy we had in our barracks..."

~ Gil Stratton as Clarence Harvey 'Cookie' Cook in Stalag 17 (1953)

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