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The Tin Drum (1979)

Die Blechtrommel (original title)
R | | Drama, War | 11 April 1980 (USA)
In 1924, Oskar Matzerath is born in the Free City of Danzig. At age three, he falls down a flight of stairs and stops growing. In 1939, World War II breaks out.
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Alfred Matzerath
...
Agnes Matzerath
...
Oskar Matzerath
...
Maria Matzerath
...
Jan Bronski
Tina Engel ...
Anna Koljaiczek (jung)
Berta Drews ...
Anna Koljaiczek
Roland Teubner ...
Joseph Koljaiczek
Tadeusz Kunikowski ...
Onkel Vinzenz
...
Lina Greff (as Andréa Ferreol)
...
Greff
Ilse Pagé ...
Gretchen Scheffler
Werner Rehm ...
Scheffler
Käte Jaenicke ...
Mutter Truczinski
Helmut Brasch ...
Der Alte Heilandt (as Helmuth Brasch)
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Storyline

Danzig in the 1920s/1930s. Oskar Matzerath, son of a local dealer, is a most unusual boy. Equipped with full intellect right from his birth he decides at his third birthday not to grow up as he sees the crazy world around him at the eve of World War II. So he refuses the society and his tin drum symbolizes his protest against the middle-class mentality of his family and neighborhood, which stand for all passive people in Nazi Germany at that time. However, (almost) nobody listens to him, so the catastrophe goes on... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Academy Award Winner Best Foreign Language Film 1979 See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Language:

| | | | |

Release Date:

11 April 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Tin Drum  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut) | (1980 cut)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There are several references (on the English soundtrack/ subtitles) to 'Kashubians'. Jan Bronski is referred as a Kashubian by Alfred Matzerath. Kahsubia is an ethnic group, centred on north-central Poland, with the nominal capital being Gdansk (Danzig). Kashubians were considered by the Nazis as of German stock/ extraction. See more »

Goofs

When Agnes eats eels, a brown bottle is not visible in one cut, even though other nearby objects on the table can be seen. In the same series of cuts, the position of her empty glass and Alfred's beer glass also change. See more »

Quotes

Vendor: Look, if you please, at this extraordinary potato... this swelling, luxuriant flesh, forever conceiving new shapes... and yet so chaste. I love a potato, because it speaks to me.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Banned in Oklahoma (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Beautifully disturbing
15 July 2006 | by (Palm Springs) – See all my reviews

It's been a while since I've seen this German film but I am still struck by key images in the film and the overall tone set forth casually against a backdrop of the chaos of Nazi Germany's rise and fall.

I do wonder how much of my love for this film is owed to the Gunter Grass novel on which it's based It's a quirky slab of magic realism to be sure, like the film, but I have no idea how closely it hews to the original.

The performances are nuanced and striking in places. The cinematography is appropriately dreary and the editing crisp and unadorned. The centerpiece though, is the performance by the child actor at the core of the film. How much is owed to his voice-over narrative, I don't know, but the man growing inside of the still-grown little boy was handled just beautifully.

It's a disturbing and strangely uplifting movie at once. I recommend it -- especially for those who have seen only black and white view of World War II and the typically American view of our adversaries in German.


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