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Die Blechtrommel
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The Tin Drum (1979) More at IMDbPro »Die Blechtrommel (original title)

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The Tin Drum -- Oskar is born in Germany in 1924 with an advanced intellect. Repulsed by the hypocrisy of adults and the irresponsibility of society, he refuses to grow older after his third birthday. While the chaotic world around him careers toward the madness and folly of World War II, Oskar pounds incessantly on his beloved tin drum and perfects his uncannily piercing shrieks.


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Down 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Jean-Claude Carrière (writer)
Günter Grass (additional dialogue)
View company contact information for The Tin Drum on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
11 April 1980 (USA) See more »
Academy Award Winner Best Foreign Language Film 1979 See more »
Danzig in the 1920s/1930s. Oskar Matzerath, son of a local dealer, is a most unusual boy. Equipped with... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Oscar. Another 15 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
One of the most memorable films of all time See more (81 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Mario Adorf ... Alfred Matzerath

Angela Winkler ... Agnes Matzerath

David Bennent ... Oskar Matzerath
Katharina Thalbach ... Maria Matzerath

Daniel Olbrychski ... Jan Bronski
Tina Engel ... Anna Koljaiczek (jung)
Berta Drews ... Anna Koljaiczek
Roland Teubner ... Joseph Koljaiczek
Tadeusz Kunikowski ... Onkel Vinzenz
Andréa Ferréol ... Lina Greff (as Andréa Ferreol)
Heinz Bennent ... Greff
Ilse Pagé ... Gretchen Scheffler
Werner Rehm ... Scheffler
Käte Jaenicke ... Mutter Truczinski
Helmut Brasch ... Der Alte Heilandt (as Helmuth Brasch)

Otto Sander ... Musiker Meyn
Wigand Witting ... Herbert Truczinski
Mariella Oliveri ... Roswitha
Fritz Hakl ... Bebra
Emil Feist ... 1.Clown
Herbert Behrendt ... 2.Clown
Karl Heinz Tittelbach ... Felix

Charles Aznavour ... Sigismund Markus
Marek Walczewski ... Schugger-Leo
Ernst Jacobi ... Löbsack
Wojciech Pszoniak ... Fajngold
Gerda Blisse ... Frl. Spollenhauer
Joachim Hackethal ... Hochwürden Wiehnke
Henning Schlüter ... Dr. Hollatz
Zygmunt Hübner ... Dr. Michon (as Zygmunt Huebner)
Mieczyslaw Czechowicz ... Kobyella
Bruno Thost ... Obergefreiter Lankes
Alexander von Richthofen ... Pvt. Herzog
Lech Grzmocinski ... Stauer (as L. Grzmocinski)
Stanislaw Michalski ... 1.Gendarme (as S. Michalski)
J. Kapinski ... 2.Gendarme
Dietrich Frauboes ... Oberartz - Medical Chief
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Horst Gentzen ... Felix (voice) (uncredited)

Adolf Hitler ... Himself (voice) (archive footage) (uncredited)
Reinhard Kolldehoff ... Eel Catcher (voice) (uncredited)
Günter Meisner ... Gesundheitspolizist (uncredited)

Beata Pozniak ... Extra (uncredited)
Lutz Riedel ... Soldier (voice) (uncredited)

Raphaël Vogt ... Peter (uncredited)
Herbert Weissbach ... Fajngold (voice) (uncredited)

Directed by
Volker Schlöndorff 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Jean-Claude Carrière  writer
Günter Grass  additional dialogue
Günter Grass  novel
Volker Schlöndorff  writer
Franz Seitz  writer

Produced by
Eberhard Junkersdorf .... executive producer
Hans Prescher .... producer: HR
Franz Seitz .... producer
Anatole Dauman .... producer (uncredited)
Volker Schlöndorff .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Maurice Jarre 
Cinematography by
Igor Luther 
Film Editing by
Suzanne Baron 
Production Design by
Piotr Dudzinski 
Zeljko Senecic 
Art Direction by
Nicos Perakis 
Set Decoration by
Marijan Marcius  (as Marijan Marcijus)
Edouard Pezzoli 
Paul Weber 
Costume Design by
Inge Heer 
Dagmar Niefind 
Yoshio Yabara  (as Yoshy Yabara)
Makeup Department
Rino Carboni .... makeup artist
Albina Mackic .... makeup artist
Vitaliana Patacca .... hair stylist (as Vitaliana Potacka)
Ingeborg Thiess .... hair stylist
Alfredo Tiberi .... makeup artist
Teresa Tomaszewska .... makeup artist
Ruzica Vidmar .... key makeup artist (as Ruza Vidmar)
Production Management
Dominik Baltic .... unit manager
Donko Buljan .... production manager
Emir Cejvan .... production manager
André Heinrich .... production manager
Siegfried Hofbauer .... production manager
Herbert Kerz .... production manager
Czeslaw Klak .... unit manager
Urszula Orczykowska .... production manager
Marko Vrdoljak .... production manager
Emir Vrodoljak .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Wolfgang Krake .... assistant director
Branko Lustig .... assistant director
Richard Malbequi .... assistant director
Andrzej Reiter .... assistant director
Alexander von Richthofen .... assistant director
Art Department
Dominique Antony .... set constructor
Pierre Audouard .... props
Ivo Baltic .... props
Franz Bauer .... props
Ewa Kowalska .... set constructor
Tadeusz Kunikowski .... props
Christian Lenz .... props
Bernd Lepel .... set designer
Boleslaw Miziolek .... props
Barbara Nowak .... set designer
Stanislaw Nowak .... painter
Tihomir Piletic .... set designer
Thomas Schulz .... props
Bogdan Serwa .... painter
Ivo Stjejan .... props
Sound Department
Peter Beil .... sound
Walter Grundauer .... sound
Peter Kellerhals .... sound (as Walter Kellerhals)
Hans-Dieter Schwarz .... sound mixer (as Hans Dieter Schwarz)
Special Effects by
Georges Iaconelli .... pyrotechnician (as Georges Jaconelli)
Josif Karovski .... weapons
Krzysztof Szwed .... pyrotechnician
Nikola Vujasinovic .... pyrotechnician
Camera and Electrical Department
Peter Arnold .... assistant camera
Slawomir Baranski .... gaffer
Pero Bernakovic .... electrician
Andrzej Biskupski .... still photographer
Zvonko Blaskovic .... gaffer
Karl Dillitzer .... lighting technician
Antun Gorisek .... grip
Ulla Hübner .... still photographer
Stanislav Jesih .... lighting technician
Eugeniusz Kapelak .... electrician
Vlado Loncaric .... gaffer
Stanislaw Piech .... lighting technician
Drago Poldrugac .... gaffer
Karl Reiter .... still photographer
Peter Seitz .... still photographer
Nikolaus Starkmeth .... assistant camera
Paul Weber .... lighting technician
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Krystyna Bartosik .... wardrobe
Anica Cerovac .... wardrobe
Marko Cerovac .... costumer
Zofia Jedrzejczak .... wardrobe
Renée Miquel .... wardrobe
Elzbieta Radke .... costumer
Franjo Simek .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Helga Kusterka .... assistant editor
Agape von Dorstewitz .... assistant editor (as Agape Dorstewitz)
Barbara von Weitershausen .... assistant editor (as Barbara v. Weitershausen)
Music Department
Lothar Brühne .... composer: song "Kann Denn Liebe Sünde Sein?" (uncredited)
Maurice Jarre .... conductor (uncredited)
Jan Latham-Koenig .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Carl Loubé .... orchestra (uncredited)
Sidney Sax .... orchestra contractor (uncredited)
Eric Tomlinson .... music engineer (uncredited)
Other crew
Andrzej Dojnik .... production assistant
Ute Ehmke .... location manager
Paulette Hufnagel .... production administrator
Ingrid Höller .... production secretary
Louis Mayr .... location manager
Jean Claude Mouliére .... location manager
Franjo Proscan .... production secretary
Lilo Schick .... script supervisor
Gabriele Seitz .... press relations
Amelia Statkiewicz .... production administrator
Ivan Steiger .... toys provided by
Günther M. Stocklöv .... location manager (as Günter Stocklöv)
Zygmunt Wójcik .... location manager
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Die Blechtrommel" - West Germany (original title)
See more »
142 min | Germany:162 min (director's cut) | Netherlands:132 min (1980 cut)
Black and White | Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (35 mm prints) | 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)
Argentina:X (original rating) | Argentina:18 (re-rating) | Australia:R | Australia:MA (re-rating) (2007) | Canada:R (Manitoba/Ontario) | Canada:(Banned) (Ontario) (original rating) | Finland:K-16 | France:-12 | Germany:16 (Director's Cut) | Hong Kong:III | New Zealand:R18 | Norway:18 | Singapore:R21 | South Korea:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) (cut) | UK:15 (re-rating) (2003) (uncut) | UK:15 (re-rating) (1994) (cut) | USA:R | West Germany:16 (bw)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Acclaimed Polish-British actress Beata Pozniak made her movie debut as an extra when scenes were shot right outside her home.See more »
Anachronisms: While depicting the picnic scene on top of the bunker roof, in the background are clearly visible remains of the Mulberry harbor, Arromanches, France. This artificial harbor was set up days after the D-Day landing, yet the scene plays way before it.See more »
Agnes Matzerath:Don't expect me to touch your eels.
Alfred Matzerath:Don't put on airs.
Agnes Matzerath:I'll never eat fish again. Certainly not eels.
Alfred Matzerath:You've always eaten them, and you knew where they came from!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Die Nacht der Regisseure (1995)See more »


What are the differences between the Theatrical Version and the German TV Version?
What are the differences between the Theatrical Version and the Director's Cut?
See more »
36 out of 52 people found the following review useful.
One of the most memorable films of all time, 11 April 2005
Author: alexlehmann4 from Norway

Die Blechtrommel, based on the highly acclaimed German novel by the same name. Oscar is 3 years old. For his birthday he gets a tin drum. He sees how grown ups act, (this is during the rise of the Nazi Party) and he decides to stop growing.

The film is filled with moral ethics and symbolism. The tin drum Oscar always drums on is a symbol of his protest against the cruelty that grown ups create, not to mention the rise of Nazism. Die Blechtrommel even has large scenes that are only for symbolism. It is probably one of the most important German films since WW2. Somehow, the German make the best films that decipher Nazism and WW2 (like Stalingrad and the new Der Untergang) which very clearly shows their self awareness. I think Die Blechtrommel is one of the finest examples of this.

It is often quite absurd this film, one of the most memorable scenes is when Oscar watches a Nazi rally. As an officer is marching through the crowd, the orchestra is playing a march. Oscar starts playing his drum, and make all the musicians play false, and after a while they all start to play "An der Schönen blauen Donau" and the crowd starts to dance.

Die Blechtrommel is one of the most memorable films ever, whet ever you liked it or not. Some scenes are very sick, and i do not encourage people who don't have a stomach for strong films to see this. For other film lovers though, this is one of the greatest films ever.

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