When two escaping American World War II prisoners are killed, the German POW camp barracks black marketeer, J.J. Sefton, is suspected of being an informer.

Price: Are you questioning me?
Sefton: Getting acquainted. I'd like to make one friend in this barracks.
Price: Well, don't bother, Sefton. I don't like you, I never did, and I never will.
Sefton: A lot of people say that, and the first thing you know it, they get married, and live happily ever after.
[last lines]
Duke: [referring to Sefton's safe escape with Dunbar] Whadda ya know? The crud did it.
Shapiro: I'd like to know what made him do it.
Animal: Maybe he just wanted to steal our wire cutters. You ever think of that?
Sefton: There are two people in this barracks who know I didn't do it. Me and the guy that did do it.
Sefton: [questioning Price] When was Pearl Harbor, Price, or don't you know that?
Price: December 7th, '41.
Sefton: What time?
Price: [smugly] 6:00. I was having dinner.
Sefton: [smirks] 6:00 in Berlin.
[to the other barrack members]
Sefton: They were having lunch in Cleveland. Am I boring you boys?
Hoffy: Go on.
Sefton: He's a Nazi, Price is. For all I know his name is Preissinger or Preishoffer. Oh, sure, he lived in Cleveland. But when the war broke out, he came back to the Fatherland like a good little Bundist. He spoke our lingo, so they sent him to spy school and fixed him up with phony dog tags.
Sefton: Okay, Herr Preisshoffer, let's have the mailbox.
Price: The what?
Sefton: The one you took out of the corner of your bunk and put in this pocket!
[pulls a black queen out of Price's jacket]
Sefton: Let me show you how they did it. They did it by mail.
Harry Shapiro: Mail?
Sefton: That's right. Little love notes between our Security officer and Von Scherbach, with Schulz the mailman.
[gestures to a lightbulb hanging above a table]
Sefton: Here's the flag. They used to put a loop in the cord.
[does so]
Sefton: Did you ever notice? And here's the mailbox. Hollow black queens.
[pops the two queens open]
Sefton: Cute, huh? They delivered the mail or picked it up whenever we were out of the barracks, like for appell. And when there was a special delivery, they'd pull a phony air raid to get us out of here, like last night for instance. There wasn't a plane in the sky. Or was there, Price?
[Sefton is cooking an egg]
Animal: Where'd it come from?
Sefton: From a chicken, bug-wit.
Duke: Come on, Trader Horn, let's hear it. What'd you give the krauts for that egg?
Sefton: 45 cigarettes. Price has gone up.
Duke: They wouldn't be the cigarettes you took us for last night?
Sefton: What was I gonna do with them? I only smoke cigars.
Duke: Niiice guy. The krauts shoot Manfredi and Johnson last night, and today he's out trading with them.
Sefton: Look. This may be my last hot breakfast on account of they're going to take that stove out of here, so would you let me eat it in peace?
Animal: Now ain't that too bad? Tomorrow you'll have to suck a raw egg.
Shapiro: Oh, he don't have to worry. He can always trade the krauts for a six-burner gas range. Maybe a deep freeze, too.
Sefton: What's the beef, boys? So I'm trading. Everybody here is trading. So maybe I trade a little sharper. That make me a collaborator?
Duke: A lot sharper, Sefton. I'd like to have some of that loot you got in those footlockers.
Sefton: Oh you would, would you? Listen, stupe. The first week I was in this joint, somebody stole my Red Cross package, my blanket, and my left shoe. Well, since then I've wised up. This ain't no Salvation Army - this is everybody for himself, dog eat dog.
Triz' Trzcinski: [after reading letter from home] I believe it. My wife says, "Darling, you won't believe it, but I found the most adorable baby on our doorstep and I've decided to keep it for our very own. Now you won't believe it, but it's got exactly my eyes and nose." Why does she keep saying I won't believe it? I believe it! I believe it.
Shapiro: Hey Schultz, sprechen Sie Deutsches?
Sgt. Schulz: Ja?
Shapiro: Then droppen Sie dead!
Hoffy: They ought to be under the barbed wire soon.
Shapiro: Looks good outside.
Animal: I hope they hit the Danube before dawn.
Price: They've got a good chance. The longest night of the year.
Duke: I'll bet they make it to Friedrichshaven.
Animal: I bet they make it all the way to Switzerland.
Sefton: And I bet they don't get out of the forest.
Duke: Now what kind of crack is that?
Sefton: No crack. Two packs of cigarettes say they don't get out of the forest.
Hoffy: That's enough, Sefton. Crawl back in your sack.
Shapiro: He'd make book on his own mother getting hit by a truck.
Sefton: Anybody call?
Sefton: I told you boys I'm no escape artist. For the first time, I like the odds, because now I got me a decoy.
Hoffy: What's the decoy?
Sefton: Price. When I go, I want you to give me five minutes - exactly five minutes - to get Dunbar out of that water tank. And then you throw Price out onto the compound, nice and loud. He'll draw every light from every goon tower. It's our only chance to cut through. Well, what do you say, barracks chief?
Bagradian: He's right, Hoffy. It's either Price or Dunbar.
Animal: He killed Johnson and Manfredi, didn't he?
Hoffy: It's all yours.
Oberst Von Scherbach: I'm grateful for a little company. I suffer from insomia.
Lt. James Skylar Dunbar: Did you ever try 40 sleeping pills?
Sgt. Schulz: [amused] You Americans are so *crazy*! That's why I like you!
[after an angry inmate throws something at him]
Sefton: Give that man a Kewpie doll.
Sgt. Schulz: [on seeing the men wearing Hitler moustaches] Bah! One Fuhrer is enough!
Geneva man: [a Red Cross official is inspecting the camp just after Sefton was beaten on suspicion being an enemy informant. The official sees his injuries] What happened to you? Were you beaten?
[Sefton doesn't answer]
Geneva man: Why don't you answer?
[to the German officer escorting him]
Geneva man: What did you do to this man?
Sefton: They didn't do nothing.
Geneva man: Who beat you?
Sefton: Nobody beat me. We were playing pinochle. It's a rough game.
Sgt. Schulz: How do you expect to win the war with an army of clowns?
Lt. James Skylar Dunbar: We sort of hope you'd laugh yourselves to death.
[Duke wants to know who the German spy is]
Sefton: It's no use, Schulz, you might as well come clean. Why don't you just tell them it's me, because I'm really the illegitimate son of Hitler, and after the Germans win the war, you're going to make me the Gauleiter of Zinzinnati!
Hoffy: What's the matter with you, Security? You were always so calm. Especially when you let Manfredi and Johnson go out there.
[after hearing gunshots, Sefton, who bet against the escapees, glumly collects]
Duke: Hold it, Sefton. I said hold it! So we heard some shots. So who says they didn't get away?
Sefton: [sadly] Anybody here want to double their bet?
Sefton: If I ever run into any of you bums on a street corner, just let's pretend we've never met before.
Shapiro: I'm tellin' ya, Animal, these Nazis ain't kosher.
Animal: Ya can say that again!
Shapiro: I'm tellin' ya, Animal, these Nazis ain't kosher!
Animal: I said ya can say it again, that doesn't mean ya hafta repeat it!
Oberst Von Scherbach: Curtains would do wonders for this barracks. You will not get them.
Sefton: What is this anyway, a kangaroo court? Why don't you get a rope and do it right?
Duke: You make my mouth water.
Sefton: You're all wire-happy, boys. You've been in this camp too long. You put two and two together and it comes out four - only it ain't four.
Hoffy: What's it add up to you, Sefton?
Sefton: It adds up that you got yourselves the wrong guy. Because, I'm telling you, the krauts wouldn't plant two stoolies in one barracks. And whatever you do to me, you're gonna have to do all over again when you find the right guy.
Sgt. Schulz: We will grab some shovels and we will undig that tunnel which you digged.
Animal: Shulz, why don't we just plug up the tunnel with the Commandant in one end, and you in the other?
[after Sefton cuts through the barbed wire to let them escape]
Sefton: Let's blow, Chauncey.
Lt. James Skylar Dunbar: Let's.
Sefton: The Germans know where Dunbar is.
Hoffy: How do they know?
Sefton: You told them, Hoffy.
Hoffy: Who did?
Sefton: You did.
Hoffy: Are you off your rocker?
Sefton: Uh-huh. Fell right on my head.
Marko the Mailman: Are the doors covered?
[the men cover the doors]
Hoffy: Yeah, they're covered.
Marko the Mailman: Okay, Steve, give them the radio.
[Blondie pulls a radio and earphones from under Steve's pant leg]
Marko the Mailman: You can keep it for two days.
Hoffy: Two days? We're supposed to have it for a week.
Marko the Mailman: You're lucky to get it at all! The boys are afraid the Jerries will find it in here. This barracks is jinxed!
[Opening narration]
Cookie: 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 Magdeburg, 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...
Shapiro: Tea is being served on the veranda. Animal, where are the napkins?
[Animal puts down some napkins as Dunbar and Bagradian approach the table]
Bagradian: [Imitating Ronald Colman talking to his real-life wife, Benita Hume] Do be seated, Benita. Hwah, hwah, what a perfectly charming table arrangement. They must have copied the pattern from "House Beautiful."
[the new arrival does impressions of movie stars]
Animal: Hey... do Grable.
Bagradian: Now see here, Scarlett... I'm crazy about you and always have been. I gave you kisses for breakfast, kisses for lunch, and kisses for supper... and now I find that you're eating out.
Animal: Not Gable - GRABLE.
Marko the Mailman: Remember, just because the krauts are dumb doesn't mean that they're stupid.
Oberst Von Scherbach: Nobody has ever escaped from Stalag 17. Not alive, anyway.
[Shapiro received 7 letters at mail call]
Animal: What do all those broads say?
Shapiro: What do they always say?
Animal: Lemme read one.
Shapiro: It's not good for you, Animal.
Animal: Hey, this is with a typewriter... it's from a finance company.
Shapiro: So it's from the finance company. So, it's better than no letter at all. So they want the third payment on the Plymouth.
[dropping each letter on the floor in turn]
Shapiro: So they want the fourth... the fifth... the sixth... the seventh... So they want the Plymouth.
Animal: Sugar Lips Shapiro. Amazing, ain't it?
Price: Must you two always be last?
Animal: Oh, yeah? You try jumping in those trenches first. Everybody jumps in on top of you.
Shapiro: How do you think I got my hernia?
Sgt. Schulz: [preparing POWs for an important inspection] The barracks should be schpic, and also schpan!
Oberst Von Scherbach: All right then, gentlemen, we are all friends again. And with Christmas coming on I have a special treat for you. I'll have you all deloused for the holidays and I'll have a little Christmas tree for every barrack. You will like that.