The Tin Drum (1979) - Plot Summary Poster


Plot Summary

  • 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
  • In Danzig, the young Agnes has a triangle of love with her Polish cousin Jan Bronski and the dealer Alfred Matzerath. She marries Alfred, but has a son, Oskar, with Bronski. On the day of his third birthday, Oskar decides to stop growing up. Along the next years, the family lives the life after World War I and before and during World War II and the rise and fall of the Nazi Party.

    - Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Oskar Matzerath, from mixed German/Polish (Kashubian) heritage, is born in Danzig during the post WWI period with a well formed mentality and knowledge of life, including his family's history, such as the strange way his maternal grandparents met which resulted in the birth of his mother Agnes Bronski, and while loving her husband, baker Alfred Matzerath, Agnes' continuing affair with her cousin, Jan Bronski, a Pole who works at a Polish run post office. With this knowledge, knowing that he will receive a tin drum as a gift on his third birthday, and watching the way adults around him continue to act, Oskar makes a conscious decision that on his third birthday, after he receives his tin drum, that he will stop growing, making it look like an accident has stunted his growth. His tin drums - the original as well as subsequent replacements - will act as symbols of his eternal youth. At a young age, he also learns of another special gift he has which aids in him getting what he wants by causing disruptions around him. Oskar will learn more fully of the consequences of his decision when chronologically he becomes a teenager, which coincides with the Nazi uprising and persecution of Poles and Jews.

    - Written by Huggo


This movie was set in Danzig, Germany before, during and at the end of WWII. The main character is Oskar Matzerath(David Bennent)...

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