IMDb > The 3 Penny Opera (1931)
Die 3 Groschen-Oper
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The 3 Penny Opera (1931) More at IMDbPro »Die 3 Groschen-Oper (original title)

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Overview

User Rating:
7.4/10   1,140 votes »
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Down 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
Bertolt Brecht (text by)
Béla Balázs (adaptation) ...
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Contact:
View company contact information for The 3 Penny Opera on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 February 1932 (Japan) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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'. See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
CLASSIC FAILURE See more (21 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Rudolf Forster ... Mackie Messer
Carola Neher ... Polly
Reinhold Schünzel ... Tiger-Brown
Fritz Rasp ... Peachum
Valeska Gert ... Mrs. Peachum

Lotte Lenya ... Jenny (as Lotte Lenja)
Hermann Thimig ... The Vicar
Ernst Busch ... The Street Singer
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 ... Filch
Sylvia Torf ... Whorehouse owner
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marcel Merminod ... (uncredited)
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Directed by
Georg Wilhelm Pabst  (as G.W. Pabst)
 
Writing credits
Bertolt Brecht (text by) (as Brecht)

Béla Balázs (adaptation) (as Balazs) &
Léo Lania (adaptation) (as Lania) &
Ladislaus Vajda (adaptation) (as Vajda)

Produced by
Seymour Nebenzal .... producer (as S. Nebenzahl)
 
Cinematography by
Fritz Arno Wagner  (as F.A. Wagner)
 
Film Editing by
Jean Oser  (as Hans Oser)
 
Art Direction by
Andrej Andrejew 
 
Costume Design by
Max Pretzfelder 
 
Makeup Department
Paul Dannenberg .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Wilhelm Löwenberg .... production manager
Gustav Rathje .... unit manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gerbert Rappaport .... assistant director
Marc Sorkin .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Eugen Hrich .... assistant sound
Adolf Jansen .... sound
H. Meller .... assistant sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Baberske .... second camera
Rudolf Brix .... still photographer
Hans G. Casparius .... still photographer
Walter Hrich .... assistant camera
Carl Moeller .... assistant camera
 
Music Department
Theo Mackeben .... musical director
Kurt Weill .... music by: "Die Dreigroschenoper"
 
Other crew
Guido Bagier .... supervisor: Tobis Filmkunst
Gus Schlesinger .... supervisor: Warner Bros.
 
Crew believed to be complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Die 3 Groschen-Oper" - Germany (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
112 min | France:104 min (censored version) | Spain:106 min (DVD edition)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Tobis-Klangfilm)
Certification:
Finland:K-16 (1951) | Finland:(Banned) (1932-1951) | Germany:(Banned) (1934-1945) | USA:Not Rated | West Germany:18 (nf)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The German title "Die 3 Groschen-Oper" should translate properly into English as "The Three-Dime Opera" or "The 30-Cent Opera", since the Groschen was a coin worth ten Pfennig, and the Pfennig was the equivalent of a penny in pre-Euro currency.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in "Omnibus: Lotte Lenya" (1979)See more »
Soundtrack:
Die DreigroschenoperSee more »

FAQ

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12 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
CLASSIC FAILURE, 7 March 1999
Author: jan onderwater from Amsterdam, The Netherlands

This adaptation of Brecht/Weill's Musikspiel is considered by many a classic masterpiece. Classic it may be (and as such historically important), but a masterpiece it is not. I am not interested in the changes vis-a vis the play: recent research has found out that most changes were already proposed by Brecht himself and other research has found out that Brecht was not the writer at all, but Elisabeth Hauptmann. Nor am I interested in the fact that Weill's music is reduced and that not all songs are performed, which was unavoidable.

The point is that although there was real potential for a masterpiece (set designer, cast, director, cameraman etc.), Pabst never succeeds in making this adaptation into a real filmic adaptation. Scenes are presented in order, but never there is a feeling of a close and tightly held drama; the film is more or less subdivided. This may have been on purpose (considering the structure of the play), but for me it just does not work as film. It seems if no real choice was made between a documentation of the play or a truly filmic adaptation; what we are left with is something that lies in between, and that never comes alive. Are we seeing the result of all the (judicial) troubles director and writers had with Brecht and Weill? Or were the makers just too involved in making a masterpiece?

So, is this a mediocre or even bad picture? Certainly not. Individual scenes are fine due to sets and cast and the way in which Wagner and Pabst know how to use them (no room here to analyze this). But, on the other hand: do we really see or feel a menacing threat from the army of beggars? Do we really need Ernst Busch as the street singer?; do his scenes really add something? And are most songs not just registered as if they were performed on a stage? And is the editing not just adequate?

Today was my 5th or 6th viewing. I still cannot see why this film ever could be acclaimed a masterpiece.

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