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Jacob the Liar (1975)
"Jakob, der Lügner" (original title)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 783 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 5 critic

A Jewish ghetto in the east of Europe, 1944. By coincidence, Jakob Heym eavesdrops on a German radio broadcast announcing the Soviet Army is making slow by steady progress towards central ... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Jacob the Liar (1975)

Jacob the Liar (1975) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vlastimil Brodský ...
Erwin Geschonneck ...
Henry Hübchen ...
Blanche Kommerell ...
Manuela Simon ...
Dezsö Garas ...
Zsuzsa Gordon ...
Friedrich Richter ...
Dr. Kirschbaum
Margit Bara ...
Josefa
Reimar J. Baur ...
Herschel Schtamm
...
Roman Schtamm
Hermann Beyer ...
Wachhabender
Klaus Brasch ...
Najdorf
Jürgen Hilbrecht ...
Schwocj
Paul Lewitt ...
Horowitz
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Storyline

A Jewish ghetto in the east of Europe, 1944. By coincidence, Jakob Heym eavesdrops on a German radio broadcast announcing the Soviet Army is making slow by steady progress towards central Europe. In order to keep his companion in misfortune, Mischa, from risking his life for a few potatoes, he tells him what he heard and announces that he is in possession of a radio - in the ghetto a crime punishable by death. It doesn't take long for word of Jakob's secret to spread - suddenly, there is new hope and something to live for - and so Jakob finds himself in the uncomforting position of having to come up with more and more stories. Written by c.winter

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

radio | ghetto | hope | death | anti semitism | See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama | War

Certificate:

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Details

Language:

Release Date:

17 April 1975 (East Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Jacob the Liar  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Popular German actor Heinz Rühmann was considered for the role of Jakob. Frank Beyer was unsure whether he should cast a good friend and great, but lesser known actor (Vlastimil Brodský) or cast Rühmann in an effort to make the film accessible to a larger audience. The fact that Rühman was from West-Germany caused a lot of controversy. In the end, 'Erich Hoenecker' , political leader of East-Germany himself decided that Frank Beyer should desist from casting Heinz Rühmann. See more »

Quotes

Kowalski: I'm asking you as a friend. What would you invest in?
Jakob Heym: Maybe luxury goods of some kind. They were crazy for them after the last war. David built a house with the profits on the schnapps he sold.
Kowalski: You're right. Do you think we'll have potatoes to make schnapps?
Jakob Heym: Probably not. Everything will be short. You need good instincts.
See more »

Connections

Version of Jakob the Liar (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very good, though a tad sanitized
20 November 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This East German movie is a very unusual movie about the Holocaust because it focuses on life within the ghetto. However, the film seemed a bit sanitized in how the residents looked and how they were treated. Unlike some later films, some of the Jews in this film looked awfully well-fed and conditions didn't seem all that bad. The cattle car where the remaining Jews were placed seemed rather spacious and not all that bad either--even though in reality many died on the cars due to conditions. In addition, some of the German soldiers seemed pretty nice. Perhaps this might have been that the Soviet-dominated East Germans were more willing to talk about their sordid past but were still struggling with fully accepting it. Whatever is the case, this aspect of the film did surprise me a bit.

Now as for the rest of the film, it was marvelous and provided an odd insight into life in the ghettos. The acting was excellent and the film is very much worth seeing, though not nearly as compelling as THE SHOP ON MAIN STREET, SCHINDLER'S LIST or AU REVOIR LES ENFANTS. I have not seen the recent remake starring Robin Williams, so I can't really compare the two, but my inclination is almost always to go with the originals.

PS--The English captioning for this film is pretty poor. Instead of directly translating what is said, it's often summarized or even wrong. My knowledge of German isn't too bad, and several times what they said did not correspond at all to the captioning. You can't blame the film makers for this, but the company that released the film.


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