7.3/10
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Jacob the Liar (1974)

Jakob, der Lügner (original title)
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 »

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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 | secret | jew | hope | See All (173) »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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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

The original screenplay was rejected by the East German production company DEFA. Author Jurek Becker published it as a novel, which became a huge success, prompting DEFA to reconsider. See more »

Quotes

Rosa Frankfurter: [playing checkers with her dad] You take ages to make a move.
Frankfurter: You want to win by rushing me, or by playing better?
Rosa Frankfurter: You're winning.
Frankfurter: By thinking.
Rosa Frankfurter: Each game lasts at least 2 hours.
Frankfurter: Better to win one than lose 5 time.
[he finally makes a move, his Rosa too]
Frankfurter: No, you'll lose your last checker.
[she makes another move]
Frankfurter: Wrong move.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Version of Jakob the Liar (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

My feelings on this award winning movie.
15 April 2003 | by (Pennsylvania, USA) – See all my reviews

Jacob the Liar

I liked this movie, and I think it had good lessons to learn from. I liked Lena's character. She was completely innocent throughout the entire movie, and I felt that she showed not everyone had lost hope during the time. Even at the end, she was excited that they were going away, and she had no clue where. She was just being a kid, and going anywhere is exciting when you are young. Jacob starting telling stories about the Russians and other things he knew about the war. The reality was that he knew nothing more than anyone else. In a way, it did help the people's spirits though. But in the end, everyone was unhappy because their optimism was crushed with the sign that said everyone was to gather together with less than 5 kilos in luggage so they could `go away'.

I think my favorite scene was when the old man thought he heard voices in the freight car. While I was watching the movie, I thought he was crazy and apparently so did everyone else. They all thought he was just hearing things that weren't there. The reality was that there was someone in the car, but they never showed who and a guard shot the old man before he could tell anyone. The scene sparked my curiosity on who it was exactly in the car and why that person was being held in there, or if they were being held in the at all.

The whole radio lie caused a lot of problems in the movie, and that's why I said above that there were some good lessons to be learned in the movie. One lie sparked another for him, and that got him in deeper into his stories until so many people were asking about the radio that he just couldn't make anything else up and he finally told his friend. Surprisingly enough, the friend took the news very well. In a way, it almost seemed like he was expecting it all along. The movie shows that lying for whatever cause is never a good cause no matter how much you think it may help the situation. The lies turned everyone against him in the end, and they all ended up the same way anyhow unfortunately. Although this wasn't my favorite movie in class so far, I did enjoy watching it, and it kept my attention throughout the story.


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