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"The Boat" is the story of the crew of one of the hundreds of U-boats deployed by the Germans in World War II. Subject to countless hours of claustrophobic confinement and unending assault by enemy ships, the crew struggles for survival. Written by
Carl Miller <firstname.lastname@example.org>
If you want an action movie, watch something else. Das Boot reflects what war must really be like, showing not just the 1% of terror and confusion, but also the 99% sitting around waiting for things to happen. It is also the best if not only explanation I know, of how honourable men could have fought for the Nazis.
I have now seen "Das Boot" 4 times. The first time was the "Director's Cut" with subtitles. Since then I have learnt German, so each time I watch the film I understand it better. It is still very difficult to follow, and a great deal passes me by; I think this film probably has the hardest German of any of the 50 or so German-language films I've seen. This is part of its authenticity; you don't expect people to speak Standard High German when they think they may die horribly in the next five minutes.
The original mini-series has about the same amount of action as the Director's Cut, but a great deal more explanation and character development. For example, the Captain gets to comment on his actions towards the English sailors from the sinking oil-tanker. I think the sound of the Director's Cut was redone for Dolby-7, so the noises seem to come from all around and at times make you want to hide under the seat. However in all other respects, I think the mini-series is very much better than the Director's Cut, brilliant though that is.
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