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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   1,283 votes »
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Writers:
Bertolt Brecht (text by)
Béla Balázs (adaptation) ...
(more)
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:
Outbrechts Brecht 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)

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


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

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:
Soundtrack:
Die DreigroschenoperSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Outbrechts Brecht, 16 September 2012
Author: chaos-rampant from Greece

You have to appreciate this is from a time when a battle was being fought over the soul of Germany from the streets to the screen. That was true when Brecht wrote the play, and even more so three years later in this film incarnation. On one side you had Pabst, socially-conscious, humanist, and on the opposite end Riefenstahl's visions of mystical , sensuous and heaven-defying purity (and all that prefigures).

And I write this from a country that experiences an eerily similar situation almost a century later, is ravaged by recession, well-to-do people of three years ago are now sleeping in benches, and that horror and despair has brought actual neo-Nazis in the parliament and racial hate in the streets. So, this hits unexpectedly close to home, and makes me lament that we don't have talents of Pabst's calibre.

Ingenious moments in this extremely cynical vision of a world ruled by money include a 'king of beggars' who runs a powerful beggar-union of fake beggars, and a crook who is sprung from prison only to discover he is president of a London bank.

Pabst plays free and loose with Brecht's text, drops several musical numbers, and makes at least two powerful additions of his own: his ire is aimed at both left and right, with the beggar-union clearly standing in for socialists (their slogans include "give to be given back") who exploit the despair of the people for petty gains, and goes on to show a public riot (only threatened in Brecht) that ends not in triumphant Soviet-revolution but failure and obscurity.

The guy (with his team of close collaborators) was a genius, just not necessarily in this field.

Individual scenes are superb, but the whole feels sluggish and protracted. Scenes open several moments before we need the information and end several moments later. And for a film like this, you need a Marx Bros - Dr. Strangelove madcap rhythm to keep the zap of ferocious energy from dissipating.

But you just need to look at the opening to see what these guys were capable of, what astounding visual language they had refined.

The sparsity works because they're not going for comedic effect yet. It could be the opening to any type of film, say a melodrama. We are introduced to our crook through a public show in the Italian manner, sung and pointing to illustrated panels of the action (our film), and go on to meet him as he courts and swiftly convinces a young girl to marriage. All of that happens in a matter of minutes, no more than four scenes tops. There is a minimum of dialogue. The courting - a dance of seduction - happens in a dance club, and is actually shown as other couples dancing. We don't hear what he says to her, only lips moving. We only find out later (maybe) when she sings about it.

Pabst was the master of allusive filmmaking in the late silent era. You just can't afford to miss his Diary of a Lost Girl.

These days, Eisenstein is the backbone of MTV. You can see Riefenstahl's mark all over the coverage of sports and public events. Expressionism has been made cute and pop. Unlike them, this mode of using a scene to portray unseen bits of narrative that would have been wholly ordinary if simply shown is still new and untapped.

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