7.0/10
9,507
94 user 35 critic

Slaughterhouse-Five (1972)

A man tells his story of how he became unstuck in time and abducted by aliens.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Mother Night (1996)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An American spy behind the lines during WWII serves as a Nazi propagandist, a role he cannot escape in his future life as he can never reveal his real role in the war.

Director: Keith Gordon
Stars: Nick Nolte, Sheryl Lee, Alan Arkin
Catch-22 (1970)
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man is trying desperately to be certified insane during World War II, so he can stop flying missions.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Alan Arkin, Martin Balsam, Richard Benjamin
Soylent Green (1973)
Mystery | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

With the world ravaged by the greenhouse effect and overpopulation, an NYPD detective investigates the murder of a CEO with ties to the world's main food supply.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, Leigh Taylor-Young
Logan's Run (1976)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An idyllic sci-fi future has one major drawback: life must end at the age of 30.

Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan
Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

H.G. Wells pursues Jack the Ripper to the 20th Century when the serial murderer uses the future writer's time machine to escape his time period.

Director: Nicholas Meyer
Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Mary Steenburgen, David Warner
Comedy | Fantasy

"God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian" is Kurt Vonnegut's exploration of death that pays tribute to life.

Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A starship crew goes to investigate the silence of a planet's colony only to find two survivors and a deadly secret that one of them has.

Director: Fred M. Wilcox
Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen
THX 1138 (1971)
Crime | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Set in the 25th century, the story centers around a man and a woman who rebel against their rigidly controlled society.

Director: George Lucas
Stars: Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasence, Don Pedro Colley
Certificate: M Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Thinking this will prevent war, the US government gives an impenetrable supercomputer total control over launching nuclear missiles. But what the computer does with the power is unimaginable to its creators.

Director: Joseph Sargent
Stars: Eric Braeden, Susan Clark, Gordon Pinsent
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The concurrent sexual lives of best friends Jonathan and Sandy are presented, those lives which are affected by the sexual mores of the time and their own temperament, especially in ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Candice Bergen, Ann-Margret
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

A portrait of a fictional town in the mid west that is home to a group of idiosyncratic and slightly neurotic characters. Dwayne Hoover is a wealthy car dealer-ship owner that's on the ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Rudolph
Stars: Bruce Willis, Nick Nolte, Albert Finney
Certificate: GP Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In a future where all flora is extinct on Earth, an astronaut is given orders to destroy the last of Earth's botany, kept in a greenhouse aboard a spacecraft.

Director: Douglas Trumbull
Stars: Bruce Dern, Cliff Potts, Ron Rifkin
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Sacks ...
...
...
Edgar Derby
Sharon Gans ...
Valencia Merble Pilgrim
...
Montana Wildhack
Holly Near ...
Barbara Pilgrim
...
Robert Pilgrim
...
Roland Weary
Friedrich von Ledebur ...
German Leader (as Friedrich Ledebur)
Ekkehardt Belle ...
Young German Guard (as Nick Belle)
...
Lionel Merble
...
Wild Bob Cody
...
Prof. Rumfoord
Gary Waynesmith ...
Stanley
Richard Schaal ...
Edit

Storyline

Using his own terminology, Billy Pilgrim is "unstuck in time", which means he is moving between different points in his life uncontrollably, although he is aware of it at certain of those points as witnessed by the letter to the editor he writes to the Ilium Daily News about his situation. Primarily, he is moving between three general time periods and locations. The first is his stint as a GI during WWII, when, as a pacifist, he was acting as a Chaplain's assistant for his unit. This time is largely as a POW, where he was in Dresden the day of the bombing, spending it with among others an older compassionate GI named Edgar Derby, and a brash loudmouth GI named Paul Lazzaro. The second is his life as an optometrist in Ilium in upstate New York, eventually married to the wealthy and overbearing Valencia Merble, and having two offspring, Robert, who would spend his teen-aged years as a semi-delinquent, and Barbara, who would end up much like her mother. And the third is as an abductee on... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Man Becomes Unstuck In Time In The Film That Became A Classic. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

15 March 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Matadero cinco  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario - edited)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Dirk Benedict auditioned for the part of Robert Pilgrim but director George Roy Hill preferred Perry King. See more »

Goofs

In the scenes of Tralfamadore, the planet Jupiter (easily recognizable by its giant red spot, which is a massive permanent storm) is visible in the background, but it never rotates. See more »

Quotes

Tralfamadorian speaker: We know how the world ends and it has nothing to do with Earth, except that it gets wiped out too.
Billy Pilgrim: Really? How does it end?
Tralfamadorian speaker: While we're experimenting with new fuels, a Tralfamadorian test pilot panics, presses the wrong button, and the whole universe disappears.
Billy Pilgrim: But you have to stop him. If you know this, can't you keep the pilot from pressing ...
Tralfamadorian speaker: He has always pressed it, and he always will. We have always let him, and we always will let him. The moment is structured that way.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda: Slaughterhouse Six (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Concerto No. 5 for Harpsichord in F minor, BWV 1056 - 2nd movement 'Largo'
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach (as J.S. Bach)
Glenn Gould, Piano
Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Vladimir Goldschmann, Conductor
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Luminous and haunting
12 July 1999 | by (NAS Whidbey Island, WA) – See all my reviews

There seems always to be something exhilaratingly depressing about Vonnegut's work. It's as if our lives were slowly coming apart at the seams. There always seems to be an element of tragic waste in his characters' lives, and never is the feeling more evident than in the book and film of "Slaugherhouse-Five." It's not surprising to learn that Vonnegut really did live through the firebombing of Dresden during World War II.

If there's a weak element of the film, it's the bombing itself. By never letting the audience see outside the bomb shelter Pilgrim was in (and if so, not making it vivid enough for me to remember it), the horror and sheer magnitude of the event is downplayed. Two hundred thousand people died in the destruction of one of the greatest, most majestic cities in all of Europe, and all we're given is a shaking camera. Those who've read the book know that the trajedy was conveyed all to well by Vonnegut's skillful, near-photographic descriptions of the event and its aftermath. Very little of it made it to the screen.

Aside from that, George Roy Hill does an excellent job of communicating the existential dread of what must have been thought to be an unfilmable novel. The fate of Pilgrim's wife through her reckless driving could have come off as tasteless black comedy, but any cheap laughs are thankfully avoided, and the sequence is as shocking as it is heartbreaking. The really far-out parts of the novel (the four-dimensional aliens, Vonnegut's conception of the future and the end of the universe) are done with complete seriousness; another director might have had a condescending approach to the material, and killed the magic. The novel, by itself, is one of the best I've ever read -- it gleefully trashes the rules of standard novel-making, narration, and continuity, and manages to tell a real whale of a tale (there's a lot of weird stuff to swallow in it.) When I saw Hill credited as director, I moaned in agony, recalling the headaches that were induced by his smug, syrupy box office smashes "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "The Sting." After those two, I gave up all hope in Hill, the same way I did with Richard Lester after "Petulia" and "Help!" By the end of the movie, however, I ate my words. It's a beautiful, thought-provoking, and enchanting film, and does justice to a fine novel.


26 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The trouble with sequels... claster
Does it do the book justice? rbarry2
Remake clive-ihd
Thought he was Black. FirstoftheFallen
Michael Sacks phildall
What Ever Happened to Mchael Sacks? bradleykent
Discuss Slaughterhouse-Five (1972) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?