The 3 Penny Opera (1931)
"Die 3 Groschen-Oper" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Musical  |  19 October 1956 (East Germany)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,356 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 30 critic

In London at the turn of the century, the bandit Mack the Knife marries Polly without the knowledge of her father, Peachum, the 'king of the beggars'.


(as G.W. Pabst)


(text by) (as Brecht) , (adaptation) (as Balazs) , 2 more credits »
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A group of German infantrymen of the First World War live out their lives in the trenches of France. They find brief entertainment and relief in a village behind the lines, but primarily ... See full summary »

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Stars: Fritz Kampers, Gustav Diessl, Hans-Joachim Möbis
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Thymiane is a beautiful young girl who is not having a storybook life. Her governess, Elizabeth, is thrown out of her home when she is pregnant, only to be later found drown. That same day,... See full summary »

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Stars: Louise Brooks, Josef Rovenský, Fritz Rasp
Pandora's Box (1929)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The rise and inevitable fall of an amoral but naive young woman whose insouciant eroticism inspires lust and violence in those around her.

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Stars: Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner, Francis Lederer
Comedy | Crime | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Stars: Albert Préjean, Florelle, Gaston Modot
Comradeship (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Plea against war and for friendship between peoples, through the story of French miners rescued by German colleagues after a firedamp explosion.

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Stars: Alexander Granach, Fritz Kampers, Ernst Busch
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Edwin, a taxi driver, lives with Annie, a neurasthenic model. They plan to spend Sunday at the Nikolassee beach with Wolfgang, an officer, gentleman, antiquarian, gigolo, at the moment a ... See full summary »

Directors: Curt Siodmak, Robert Siodmak, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Erwin Splettstößer, Brigitte Borchert, Wolfgang von Waltershausen
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

At an all-girls boarding school, Manuela falls in love with a teacher, to terrific consequences.

Directors: Leontine Sagan, Carl Froelich
Stars: Dorothea Wieck, Hertha Thiele, Emilia Unda
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man climbs a 12,000-foot mountain to search for his wife, who was lost on their honeymoon. Another couple makes the dangerous climb with him.

Directors: Arnold Fanck, Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Stars: Gustav Diessl, Leni Riefenstahl, Ernst Petersen
Le Million (1931)
Musical | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An impoverished painter and his rival engage in a race across Paris to recover a jacket concealing a winning lottery ticket.

Director: René Clair
Stars: Annabella, René Lefèvre, Jean-Louis Allibert
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Albert is smitten for Pola but ends up wrongly committed in jail, in the meantime her affections are sort after by his friend, and on his release both love and friendship must be tested.

Director: René Clair
Stars: Albert Préjean, Pola Illéry, Edmond T. Gréville
Night Mail (1936)
Short | Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Shows the special train on which mail is sorted, dropped and collected on the run, and delivered in Scotland overnight.

Directors: Harry Watt, Basil Wright
Stars: Arthur Clark, John Grierson, Stuart Legg
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
Director: Wolfgang Staudte
Stars: Curd Jürgens, Hildegard Knef, Gert Fröbe


Complete credited cast:
Rudolf Forster ...
Carola Neher ...
Reinhold Schünzel ...
Fritz Rasp ...
Jenny (as Lotte Lenja)
Hermann Thimig ...
Ernst Busch ...
Vladimir Sokoloff ...
Smith, the Jailer (as Wladimir Sokolow)
Paul Kemp ...
Mackie Messer's Gang Member
Gustav Püttjer ...
Mackie Messer's Gang Member
Oskar Höcker ...
Mackie Messer's Gang Member
Krafft-Raschig ...
Mackie Messer's Gang Member (as Kraft Raschig)
Herbert Grünbaum ...
Sylvia Torf ...
Whorehouse owner


In London at the turn of the century, the bandit Mack the Knife marries Polly without the knowledge of her father, Peachum, the 'king of the beggars'. Written by Brian rawnsley <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Musical


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

19 October 1956 (East Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The 3 Penny Opera  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (censored) | (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


For those who try and translate the title as "The Three Dime Opera" or the "Thirty-Cent Opera," it should be noted that German title "Die 3 Groschen-Opera" translates very well into English as the "Threepenny Opera." 3d (Threepence) in the UK was, in pre-decimal times (pre-1971), the closest equivalent to 3% of a pound. (There were 240 pence in the pound, not 100) See more »


Version of Three Penny Opera (1963) See more »


Die Dreigroschenoper
Composed by Kurt Weill
Libretto by Bertolt Brecht
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Life is Money, Food, Sex, Nothing
4 September 2005 | by (Derby, UK) – See all my reviews

Sometimes, if I ever feel especially depressed at something going off in the world I like to trot this one out to make me take an even more jaundiced view of things. This surely would be no. 1 in the Top 100 Most Cynical Movies Ever, even after all these years (the simultaneous French version is not so earthy, a more flowery artiness coming out instead). For me, it's the best movie I've seen of Pabst's, most of his post-WW2 stuff has eluded me so far.

The Guild Of Thieves' leader gets married to the Guild of Beggars' leader's daughter, causing friction between the two highly organised and respected professions, but inertia in the police who are in the Thieves' power. Prostitution, aberration, bigamy, thievery, extortion, bribery, corruption (and complete cynically cheerful indifference to it all), you name it it's here - after all it is all that Man can do! Laconic-looking Ernst Busch's searing inter-ditties leave you with the distinct impression that someone was rather tired with the world! The savage sounding German words spew out, whilst reading the English subtitles is sometimes heavy going in digesting all of the conceptual opinions in time to digest the next. Would that Bobby Darin had got his tonsils round a few more of the extraordinary gossamer Brecht/Weill songs from this! Lotte Lenya sparkled doing her Pirate Jenny number, being just a part of my favourite bit in the idling whorehouse.

All of the people involved in 3G are "lost to sight", except to the handful of Artheads who occasionally hold cultural revivals of Weill, Brecht or Pabst. There was a memorable series of events in London in 2000 to mark the 50th anniversary of Weill's death, but 99.99% of the general public passed it by.

Soon we will all be lost to sight too, along with all of our fractious opinions and silly vices.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Songs? WillBarks
Discuss The 3 Penny Opera (1931) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: